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Statements If we want to say what other people said, thought or felt, we can use the direct and indirect

speech (reported speech). The direct speech: "I like it," he said. "Irene is late," he thought. "I will pass the exam," she hoped. The reported speech: He said he liked it. He thought that Irene was late. She hoped she would pass the exam. The reported speech is typically introduced by verbs such as say, tell, admit, complain, explain, remind, reply, think, hope, offer, refuse etc. in the past tense. He said (that) he didn't want it. She explained that she had been at the seaside. If these verbs are in the past tense, we change the following: a) verb tenses and verb forms, b) pronouns, c) the adverbs of time and place. A) Verb tenses We change the tenses in the following way: 1. Present - past "I never understand you," she told me. - She told me she never understood me. "We are doing exercises," he explained. - He explained that they were doing exercises. 2. Present perfect - past perfect "I have broken the window," he admitted. - He admitted that he had broken the window. "I have been waiting since the morning," he complained. - He complained that he had been waiting since the morning. 3. Past - past perfect "She went to Rome," I thought. - I thought that she had gone to Rome. "He was thinking of buying a new car," she said. - She said he had been thinking of buying a new car. 4. Will - conditional Will changes into the conditional. "I will come on Sunday," he reminded me. - He reminded me that he would come on Sunday. Notes I shall, we shall usually become would. "I shall appreciate it," he said. - He said he would appreciate it. I should, we should usually changes into would. "We should be really glad," she told us. - She told us they would be really glad. May becomes might. "I may write to him," she promised. - She promised that she might write to him. The verb forms remain the same the following cases. 1. If the reporting verb is in the present tense. Bill: "I am enjoying my holiday." - Bill says he is enjoying his holiday. Sandy: "I will never go to work." - Sandy says she will never go to work. 2. When we report something that is still true. Dan: "Asia is the largest continent." - Dan said Asia is the largest continent. Emma: "People in Africa are starving." - Emma said people in Africa are starving.

In time-clauses. If we only make mechanical changes (Kevin said he had killed them)." .Margo said she wished they were in Greece." I said.3. "I hated her.He said he needn't be/didn't have to be at school that day. But must can become had to or wouldhave to and needn't can become didn't have to or wouldn't have to if we want to express an obligation." . "She did it on Sunday. "You must be tired after such a trip." they said." he said. otherwise it will not be clear whether we are talking about the present or past feelings.Mimi said she might come. had better." ." . "I must wash up. B) Pronouns We have to change the pronouns to keep the same meaning of a sentence. "We must do it in June. it is time. her dad would be happy. Matt: "I would rather fly.Paul said it was time he got up. In if-clauses. . George: "I would try it." .He said they had called them. Joe: "When I was staying in Madrid I met my best friend.They said they wanted the flowers. "They will finish it this year. the new sentence can have a different meaning ." . "He killed them. "I needn't be at school today." he said. . "We want these flowers. This and these are usually substituted. We do not usually change the modal verbs must and needn't. Betty: "They had better go. "I brought you this book." .Kevin said that the man had killed them. With modal verbs would. otherwise the new sentence is confusing. Paul: "It is time I got up. After wish. ." Kevin said.Kevin himself killed them.I said she did it on Sunday." ." . Would/wouldn't have to are used to talk about future obligations.George said he would try it. Martha: "If I tidied my room.He said he could lend me his car. . in the following sentence. . Sometimes we have to use a noun instead of a pronoun. . "They called us.He said they would finish it that year. used to.She said she had brought me the book. We must change it. Margo: "I wish they were in Greece.He said he had hated her. Mimi: "I might come. "We are the best students. When a sentence is made and reported at the same time and the fact is still true. we do not change it.Matt said he would rather fly. 4. Linda: "He should/ought to stay in bed." (certainty) .Steve said he could fail. could. .Linda said he should/ought to stay in bed. "We must relax for a while." ." he said.He said he must wash up/he had to wash up. Mel: "I used to have a car.He said they would have to do it in June. however. . 8. ought to." . . Steve: "I could fail." . .He said they were the best students. "I like your jeans.She said she liked my jeans." . my dad would be happy.He said they must relax for a while." .Martha said that if she tidied her room. 9." (suggestion) . .He said we must be tired after such a trip. 5. "I can lend you my car. might. We do not change the past tense in spoken English if it is clear from the situation when the action happened.Betty said they had better go. should." .He said that when he was staying in Madrid he met his best friend. If the modal verb must does not express obligation.Mel said he used to have a car." she said. 7." he said. 6.Michael said he is thirsty." he said. would rather." she said. Michael: "I am thirsty.

" . persuade.the following week/month. Here usually becomes there." If we say his sentence a week later.He asked me where I had been. "Will you come?" she asked me. requests and advice are made by verb + object + not + infinitive. Unlike the direct speech the person addressed must be mentioned in the indirect speech.She asked me if/whether I would come. it is not correct. forbid. . yesterday .He said he would be there at 10 o'clock.two days before.the previous week/month.). Commands. Last week Jim said: "I'm playing next week. Questions Questions become statements. urge. . recommend." I said. revise for the test.The doctor warned my father not to smoke. The reporting verb say changes into ask.She told me this week they had painted the hall last weekend. . Negative commands. On the other hand. If is more common and whether is more formal. if something is reported later. . At school: "I'll be here at 10 o'clock. the day after tomorrow . "What time did it start?" he said.Mary said that Greg had come the day before.." the doctor warned my father. .He said they would meet in Baker Street.the day before.He urged me to revise for the test..He told me to get up. "Get up!" he said. . If we say: Mary said Greg had come yesterday. But sometimes we make different adjustments. requests and advice mostly have the same form in English: verb + object + infinitive (advise. tomorrow . we have to do the following: Mary: "Greg came yesterday. . "We painted the hall last weekend. the time expressions are different in the reported speech. wonder ." . the time expressions can remain the same.Julie said he had moved a year before." he said. .She wondered why he wouldn't do it. In yes/no questions we use if or whether in questions. "Where have you been?" he said. . Note If something is said and reported at the same time." It means that Greg came on Thursday." she told me this week. "Put on your coat." he said. want to know. "Don't hesitate. order. the day before yesterday . . . If we report Mary's sentence on Sunday. because it means that he came on Saturday. warn etc.the next day/the following day. Sam: "She arrived last week.Bill said she would leave the next day.He told me today he would go on holiday tomorrow. In Baker Street: "We'll meet here. Julie: "He moved a year ago." .He wanted to know what time it had started. next week/month .a year before/the previous year Bill: "She will leave tomorrow.in two days' time." he said. we will say: Jim said he was playing this week. ask.She wondered if/whether he married Sue. a year ago . last week/month . And she said: "Greg came yesterday. "Did he marry Sue?" she said. ." ." . . requests and advice The commands.He persuaded me not to hesitate.Sam said she had arrived the previous week. today .that day." he told me today. "Please. tell. beg. The time expressions change as follows.I advised him to put on his coat.C) Time and place Let's suppose that we talked to our friend Mary on Friday. "Why won't he do it?" she said. . "Don't smoke. "I will go on holiday tomorrow. .

commands. commands. requests or advice. . Statements with tell "I'm leaving.He told John to leave the room. Commands. . . The form is different. please.Greg asked me not to park in his place.The teacher told the students not to give up. Questions with ask "Will you make coffee?" he said. . requests or advice with tell "Leave the room." he said.He told me that he was leaving. .Tell can introduce statements. . requests or advice in different forms. requests or advice with ask "Make coffee. . however." Greg told me.He asked me to make coffee." he told John." the teacher told her students.He asked me if I would make coffee. Similarly ask is used in reported questions. Commands. "Don't give up. "Don't park in my place." he told me.