Exercises on the passive voice
Reported Speech (Indirect Speech)
What is reported speech?
Reported speech is when you tell somebody else what you or a person said before.
Distinction must be made between direct speech and reported speech.
Direct speech vs Reported speech:
|Direct speech||Reported speech|
|She says: "I like tuna fish."||She says that she likes tuna fish.|
|She said: "I'm visiting Paris next weekend"||She said that she was visiting Paris the following weekend.|
Different types of sentences
When you use reported speech, you either report:
- requests / commands
- other types
A. Reporting Statements
When transforming statements, check whether you have to change:
- place and time expression
In reported speech, you often have to change the pronoun depending on who says what.
She says, “My dad likes roast chicken.” – She says that her dad likes roast chicken.
- If the sentence starts in the present, there is no backshift of tenses in reported speech.
- If the sentence starts in the past, there is often backshift of tenses in reported speech.
|Direct speech||Reported speech|
|(no backshift)||“I write poems.”||He says that he writes poems.|
|(backshift)||“I write poems.”||He said that he wrote poems.|
Do not change the tense if the introductory clause is in a present tense (e. g. He says). Note, however, that you might have to change the form of the present tense verb (3rd person singular).
He says, “I write poems.” – He says that he writes English.
You must change the tense if the introductory clause is in a past tense (e. g. He said).
He said, “I am happy.” – He said that he was happy.
Examples of the main changes in tense:
|Direct Speech||Reported Speech|
|Simple Present He said: "I am happy"||Simple Past He said that he was happy|
|Present Progressive He said: "I'm looking for my keys"||Past Progressive He said that he was looking for his keys|
|Simple Past He said: "I visited New York last year"||Past Perfect Simple He said that hehad visited New York the previous year.|
|Present Perfect He said: " I've lived here for a long time "||Past Perfect He said that hehad lived there for a long time|
|Past Perfect He said: "They had finished the work when Iarrived"||Past Perfect He said that theyhad finished the work when he had arrived"|
|Past Progressive He said: "I was playing football when the accidentoccurred"||Past Perfect Progressive He said that he had been playing football when the accident had occurred|
|Present Perfect Progressive He said:"I have been playing football for two hours."||Past Perfect Progressive He said that he had been playing football for two hours|
|Past Perfect Progressive He said: "I had been readinga newspaper when the light went off"||Past Perfect Progressive He said that he had been reading a newspaper when the light had gone off|
|Future Simple (will+verb) He said: "I will open the door."||Conditional (would+verb) He said thathe would open the door.|
|Conditional (would+verb) He said: "I would buy Mercedes if I were rich"||Conditional (would+verb) He said that hewould buy Mercedes if he had been rich"|
The modal verbs could, should, would, might, needn't, ought to, used to do not normally change.
He said, "She might be right." – He said that she might be right.
Other modal verbs may change: