09 October 2014 by Diane
We use reported speech when we are saying what other people have already said.
- When we tell people what someone has said in the past, we generally change the tense to be ‘more in the past.’
Direct speech: “I am happy,” she said.
Reported speech: She said (that) she was happy.
- However, when we are reporting something that was said in the past but is still true, it is not necessary to change the tense. The speaker can decide.
Direct speech: "I am a teacher."
Reported speech: She said (that) she is a teacher. OR She said (that) she was a teacher.
- When we are reporting what was said, we sometimes have to change other words in the sentence. We have to change the pronoun if we are reporting what someone else said.
- We also have to change the time if the time has changed!
Notice in the above example:
WILL changes to WOULD
TOMORROW changes to THE NEXT DAY
I changes to HE
YOU changes to ME
SAY or TELL?
TELL is often used to give orders and instructions, and is always followed by an object.
SAY is not followed by an object, unless the word “to” is first used.
ex. Direct speech: Reported Speech:
She said, “Everything will be alright.” She said everything would be alright.
She said to me, “Everything will be alright.” She said to me everything would be alright.
She told me, “Everything will be alright.” She told me everything would be alright.
claim that (someone) did something wrong
He was accused of stealing.
confess to be true
She admitted to eating the last cookie.
The doctor advised her to avoid salt.
have the same opinion about something
He agreed to help his sister with her homework.
express opposite views
The husband and wife argued for hours.
make a public declaration about something
Be quiet! They are announcing the results of the match.
a thing said in reaction to a question
The student raised his hand to answer the question.
express regret for something that you have done wrong
Her boyfriend apologized for lying to her.
say something in order to get an answer
The tourist asked me for directions.
ask humbly for something
He begged his dad to give him $20.
assign a responsibility for a fault
The team blamed the loss on the goalie.
say in a boastful way
"I won again," he bragged.
ask to take part in a contest or competition
He challenged her to a game of tennis.
a repeated rhythmic phrase
"Let's go Yankees!" the crowd chanted.
shout in encouragement
She cheered for her teammates.
make more clearly understandable
The report clarified his position.
to say something without evidence or proof
He claimed that he was the best soccer player on the team.
to say something nice about someone
She complimented her friend on her haircut.
to bring to an end
The doctors concluded that the patient had cancer.
admit or state that one has done something wrong
She was unable to confess to the murder.
state with evidence that a report or fact is true
He confirmed that the information was true.
praise (someone) for a specific achievement
He congratulated her on winning the game.
think carefully about something
She considered her options and made the best decision.
think about for a long time
He contemplated whether or not to accept the job.
defy or challenge to do something
His friends dared him to ask her on a date.
to say something with confidence
"I am always right," he declared.
He declined the invitation to the party.
ask for in a forceful way
She demanded to see the email.
have or express a different opinion
Why do you always disagree with me?
refuse to admit
The defendant denied stealing the money.
explain something using details
Can you describe the city you live in?
give support, confidence, or hope to
My teacher encouraged me to study chemistry.
represent (something) as being larger, greater, better, or worse than it really is
"I couldn't sleep for three days. I'm not exaggerating!"
cry out suddenly in surprise, anger, or pain
"Yes!" he exclaimed.
make (an idea, situation, or problem) clear to someone by describing it in more detail
The teacher explained how to multiply fractions.
convey (a thought or feeling) in words or by gestures and conduct
He expressed his love for her in a card.
to complain about something in a low, angry, almost non-understandable voice
"This is terrible," he grumbled, not loud enough to be heard.
estimate (something) without sufficient information to be sure of being correct
She guessed the child's age to be 8 or 9.
suggest or indicate something indirectly
She hinted at the surprise.
strongly suggest the truth or existence of
The report implies that more jobs will be lost if we don't make changes.
give (someone) facts or information
My parents informed me about what happened.
to ask for information from (someone)
The guest at the hotel inquired about room service.
to not accept refusal
He insisted on paying for dinner.
teach (someone) a subject or skill
He instructed them about how to drive.
speak to or treat with disrespect
He insulted her by calling her fat.
ask questions of (someone, esp. a suspect or a prisoner) aggressively, or formally
The police interrogated the suspect.
stop (someone speaking) by saying or doing something
I hate when people interrupt me when I'm speaking.
deliver an educational speech
My parents always lecture me about what I can and can't do.
not tell the truth
She lied about her age.
refer to something briefly and without going into detail
I haven't mentioned the news to him yet.
say something indistinctly and quietly, making it difficult for others to understand
He mumbled something so that the teacher wouldn't hear.
say something to express one's disapproval of or disagreement with something
Residents object to the building of a new mall.
watch (someone or something) carefully and attentively
The police officer stood to the side observing the action.
present (something) for (someone) to accept or reject
He offered to buy me a drink.
express an objection to what someone has said or done
He tried to pay for her dinner, but she protested.
stimulate (someone) to do or feel something, usually by making them angry
Her younger brother provoked her into hitting him.
feel or express doubt about
She questioned his decision to move.
say something in reply
She will not respond to my phone calls.
say something quickly and irritably to someone
"Don't bother me when I'm working," she snapped.
express something clearly in speech or writing
The news reported stated that ten people were injured in the accident.
state a possible idea
My boyfriend suggested going out to dinner tonight.
to promise to do something / to use offensive language
She swore to me that she wouldn't lie again. / He was kicked out of class for swearing at the teacher.
make fun of or attempt to provoke
My sisters teased me about my new boots.
express one's intention to harm (someone) if (something) is not done
He threatened to call the police if I didn't leave the store.
communicate information, facts, or news to someone
I told her that you would be late.
try persistently to persuade
He urged her to quit her job and work for his company.
offer to do something for free
He volunteered to bake the cake for the party.
make sure or demonstrate that (something) is true or accurate
Can you verify these numbers for me?
inform (someone) in advance about a future danger
She warned him not to drive because the roads were icy.
give or make a long, high-pitched complaining cry or sound
The employee whined about working so much.
Please try to whisper in the library.
speak loudly to express excitement or anger
Don't yell at me!
Review reported speech with Teacher Diane's YouTube video