1.1 Background of Study
Language is important thing of communication. They will use
language for communication with other people. Through language
people can use to express their feeling, giving information, tellingstory,
shares ideas etc. In Indonesian English language become foreign
language after first language that is Bahasa Indonesia, we learn foreign
language from elementary school to senior high school, it is because the
government still consider with mastery English language in order to
create human resource.
When the students are learning English language, they will learn
language skill and component of language. One of them grammar,
grammar is part of language must learn and understood because it is
very basic language for students in understanding English language.
Learning grammar the student will be able to use language with
precisely and accurately.
There are many aspects discussed in English grammar, one of
them is reported speech. Reported speech is one of grammatical
categories which are importance to be learned by student.
Indirect or reported speech is the speaker’s word based on the
direct speech with certain structural changes. There are two ways to
report what the speaker has said. They are: direct and indirect speech.
Indirect or reported speech is importance for student to be
learnt, because learning reported speech, the student can quote what
someone word, whether in direct or indirect speech, and they will
understand to report speeches such as, statements, questions and
commands. (Practical level, 1
edition 2002 p: 225)
The student should be learnt reported speech because it is one of
linguistic features that are used reported speech by student when they
try to write in text of news item or report text.
Therefore, to use reported speech has important role, because
often use by students in writing and communicating in their daily
Reported speech is not easy for Indonesian student especially
for vocational high school, as we know that English and Indonesian
language have many differences in grammatical role. So that’s why,
there are many error that will be made by student when they learn
reported speech.
Not easy its mean that many students do error in reported
speech, so that the writer will research of reported speech made by the
student especially in question sentence.
In fact, there is different process which happens when the
students want to report somebody word from direct to be indirect
speech form in English language, the student should change the
grammatical in their effort to reproduce words.
On the contrary, when the students want to report somebody’s
word, thoughts, and ideas in Indonesian language, the grammatical
change will not happen or they do not need change the tense or pronoun
like in English language. It means there are often grammatical
differences between Indonesian and English language. So that’s why
the student makes the errors when they transform or quote direct to be
indirect/reported speech in English.
From the statement above, it can be concluded that, the
grammatical change which happened when direct form is transformed
to be indirect form has become one of the difficulties that happens
when the students learn reported speech.
The writers take reported speech in this thesis because the
students make errors in reported speech especially in grammatical as
changing tenses, pronoun and adverb of time and place.
Based on the description above, the writer would like to conduct
the research on the students’ error in reported speech. Because reported
speech is still general, so the writer only does the research on the
student’s error in reported speech of question sentence. The study is
done in the third grade of SMK NEGERI 6 MALANG. So, the writer
would like to discuss it in my thesis under the title: “ERROR IN THE
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Based on the background of the study above, there is problem
that can be identified in this research. It is the student’s error made by
the third grade of SMK NEGERI 6 MALANG in error reported speech
of question sentence.
1.3 Limitation and Formulation of the Problem
1) The limitation of the problem
Based on the statement of the problem above, it can be seen that
the study is still general. There are many error made by the students
when transforming direct speech to be indirect or reported speech such
as error in changing grammar, tense, pronoun, word order and adverb
of time and place. Besides, reported speech is divided into three kinds,
they are: statements, questions, and commands. Therefore, to avoid
misunderstanding in interpreting the problem, it is necessary for the
writer to make the limitation of the problem. The writer limits the
problem only on the error made by the student in reported speech of
question sentence in the change of tenses and pronouns.
2) The formulation of the problem
Based on the statement above, the writer would like to formulate
the problem of the study as follows:
(a) Do the students make errors in reported speech of question sentence?
(b) What are the most types of error made by the student in reported speech
of question sentence?
1.4 The Objective of the Study
As it has been stated in the formulation of the problem, the
objective of this study is to find out the most type of error made by the
third grade of SMK NEGERI 6 MALANG in reported speech of
1.5 Significance of The Study
This research will be useful:
1) For The Student
This research will be able to motivate the student to improve
achievement in learning English, and to increase their ability to apply
the correct direct and indirect or reported speech in English language.
2) For The English Teacher
The research will enable to the teacher to know some
difficulties made by the student and to help them make direct and
indirect speech.
3) For The writer
This research will help the writer to estimate the area of the
most frequent errors as a foundation in the coming teaching.
1.6 Definition of The Key Term
To avoid misunderstanding of key term this study, the writer wants
to give clarification about the term used in this study. The terms are
defined as follow:
1) Error
Errors are the flawed side of learner in reported speech. They
are those parts of compositionthat deviate from some selected norm of
mature language performance. (Dulay, Burt, and krasen, 1982: p138)
2) Reported speech
Reported speech refers to reproduce the idea of another person’s
word. Not all of the aspect words are used: verb form and pronoun may
change. (Azar, Betty Schrampfer, 1992, p: 366)
A.J . Thomson and A.V. Martinet stated in A Practical English
Grammar, “In indirect speech we give exact meaning of a remark or a
speech, without necessarily using the speaker’s exact word” (Thomson
p: 223).
2.1 Theoretical Concept and Definitions
1) The Definition of Error
In early, seminal article, Corder (1967) notes that “Errors
could be significant in three ways: (1) They provided the teacher
with the information about how much the learner had learnt, (2) the
provided the writer with evidence of how language was learnt, (3)
they served as devises by which the learner discovered the rules of
the target language”
J ack C Richards (1974:p 173) states that “Error caused by
the inference of the learner’s mother tongue” and Douglas Mc
Keating (1981:p 213) states that “Error are studied in order to find
out something about the learning process and about the strategies
employed by human beings learning another language”.
2) The Differences Between Error and Mistake
Between error and mistake is looked as the same. Both of
them are same as wrong. However, if we analyze deeply, there are
some distinctions between error and mistake as the writer discuss
to differentiate both of them such as below explanation:
a) Error
Error is the contrary of mistake because of the
language form, which is grammatically wrong in
utterance or written and the learners of target language
cannot correct their error immediately and these error
are dealing with the student’s competency. Corder
(1991: p 59) say that:
“An error is a systematic deviation made by learners
who have not yet mastered the rules of second
language. A learner cannot self-correct an error because
it is a product reflective of his or her current of second
language development, or underlying competence”.
Based on Corder’s theory above error can be
analyzed, because error is caused by lack of knowledge
about the target language. Error is also caused by the
student’s experience of the result of learning a language
in the pats time like when the students were in
vocational high school, they studied reported speech.
b) Mistake
Mistake is language that is grammatically wrong
and it is wrong because the students are not careful in
using a language. Sometimes the students are tired and
unintentionally, they do not concentrate, so they make a
mistake. In the word, mistake is the result of
performance as a faulty representation of competency,
caused by psychological restriction, and so on that the
nature is similar with lapses, but lapses is oral language
in “error analysis” (Richard, 1984: p25). Corder said
“Mistake is not significance to the process of language
learning. However the problem of the determining what
is a learner’s mistakes and learners errors is one of
some difficulties and involve a much a more
sophisticated study and analysis of error than usually
accorded them”.
The theory above says that a mistake does not have
significance so mistake cannot be analyzed, mistake is
dealing with the students’ performance and it is
unsystematic and done irregularly.
3) Types of Error
In this case, the writer uses the surface strategy taxonomy
will analyze the data by identifying and classifying the types of
error. So in order to be focused and easy on the research, the writer
only takes the types of error that made by the students. The writer
dividedthe four types of error. They are namely:
(Dullay, Burt and Khrasen, 1982)
a) Omission
Omission errors are characterized by the absence of
an item that must appear in a well-formed utterance.
Omission can occur in morphology. Learner often leaves
out the third person singular morphemes, the plural markers
and the past tense inflection in syntax; learner may omit
certain element which is an obligatory element. E.g. I not
crying (Dullay, et/al p: 156).
b) Addition
Addition error is the opposite of mission. It is
characterized by the presence of an item which must not
appear in well-formed utterance. E.g. we works our
homework (Dullay, et/al p: 160).
c) Disordering
As the label suggest, disordering errors are
characterized by the incorrect placement of morpheme or
group of morphemes in an utterance. E.g. where did you go
d) Misformation
Misformation errors are characterized by the use of
wrong form of the morpheme or group of morphemes in
utterance. E.g I see her yesterday
2.2 Reported Speech
1) The Definition of Reported Speech
Reported speech refers to reproduce the idea of another
person’s word. Not all of the aspect words are used: verb form
and pronoun may change. (Azar, Betty Schrampfer, 1992, p:
A.J . Thomson and A.V. Martinet state “In indirect speech
we give exact meaning of a remark or a speech, without
necessarily using the speaker’s exact word” (p: 269)
Reported speech or indirect speech is used to communicate
what someone else said, but without using exact words.
From some definition above, it can be concluded that
reported speech is to quote somebody’s idea or thoughts
without exactly repeating the exact word produced by the
Reported speech is used when it is interested not in the
words that someone has chosen, but in the essential information
they conveyed. It is often used far fewer words to report this
than were originally spoken. Reported speech found in
newspaper reports, fiction, talking or writing about
conversation, reports, articles pr speeches that have been heard
or read. (Parrot, p: 217)
When turning direct speech into indirect, some changes are
usually necessary. The tense, pronouns and other words may
different from the original sentence. (Swan p: 501-502)
Tense of the direct speech is present continuous tense, so
when it is transformed into indirect, these tense of indirect
speech is past continuous tense. Pronoun of I is change into he.
Besides, from example above, it also can be seen that the
most neutral and most common verbs which are used to
introduce what are reported are say and tell, and choosing
between these verbs often poses a problem to learners. Say is
never followed by an indirect object (e.g. him, us, them, etc)
whereas it has to use an indirect object after tell. It is better to
choose to tell when to draw attention especially to the person
who is being addressed. (Parrot p: 217-218)
2) The Kind of reported speech
There are two ways of relating what a person has said, they
are: direct and indirect speech.
a) Direct speech
Direct speech conveys exactly what a person has said:
Direct speech usually found in conversation in books, plays,
and in question.
He asked, “What does she eat?”
Quotation marks are use when we quote direct speech. Single
marks (‘…’) are using in British English and double quotation mark
(“…”) using in American English.
(Michael swan, 1995 p: 471)
In direct speech, usually the word quotes are introduced by
one of the word say or think. It is put before the quotation. In
writing, quotation marks (“…”) are used. In literary writing, a large
number of other verbs are used (to add variety and to give
additional information) for example, ask, suggest, recommend,
remind, Etc.
b) Indirect speech
It can be made a speaker’s words or thought part of this
sentence, using conjunction (e.g. that), and changing pronouns,
tenses and other words where necessary. This kind of structures
called ‘indirect speech’ or ‘reported speech’. (Michael swan, 1995
p: 501)
He said what she ate
Commas are not put beforethat, what, where, etc in indirect
speech structure.
He said that when he saw them. (Not) he said, that
when he saw them.
3) The Transformational Rules from Direct Question into
Indirect or Reported Question
As mentioned in the previous chapter the writer limits the
problem only on reported speech of question sentence.
Reported question is used when the people want to relate a
question that someone has asked.
When turning direct question into indirect speech some
changes are necessary. Tense, pronoun and possessive
adjectives, adverb of time and place change as in statements. In
indirect question, the interrogative form of the verb changes to
the affirmative form, and the question mark (?) is omitted in
indirect question. For example: Direct question: He said,
“Where does she lives?” to change into indirect question: He
asked where she lived. (Thomson p: 277)
Besides, there are two types of report structure for
questions. The first is yes/no question. These are question
which can be answered simply with yes or no. the second types
is WH-Question. These are questions in which someone asks
for information about an event or situation. WH-Questions
cannot be answered with yes or no. (Sinclair, Collins Cobuild
p: 322)
When one report a yes/no question, he or she uses an ‘if’
clause beginning with the conjunction ‘if’, or ‘whether’ clause
beginning with the conjunction ‘whether’, ‘if’ uses when the
speaker has suggested one possibility that may be true.
Meanwhile, ‘whether’ uses when the speaker has suggested one
possibility but has left open the question of other possibilities.
(Sinclair, Collins Cobuild p: 322)
One the other hand, when ones report a ‘WH’ question,
he/she uses a ‘WH’ word at the beginning of the reported
2.3 The Procedure of Error Analysis
In the language teaching, either a native language or a second
language teaching, study about the students’ error is very important.
Theo Van et all state that there are some procedures in errors analysis,
a) Identification of errors
b) Description of errors
c) Explanation of errors
d) Evaluation of errors
e) Preventing/correction of errors
The first step in the process of analysis is identification of
errors. In this step, teachers recognize the student errors from the
task given.
The second step is the description of errors begun when
identification stage have taken place. The description of the
students’ errors involves classification of sort of errors made by the
The third step is explanation of errorsthat can be regarded as a
linguistic problem. This step attempts to account for how the errors
can happen and why the errors occur.
The fourth step is the evaluation of errors in which the teachers
will give the task to the students.
Finally, the last step is correction of errors where the teachers
check the result from the task done by the students. Then, they
correct the errors that the student made.
2.4 The Error in the Change of Tense and Pronoun
As explained before, when someone report another person’s words
in indirect or reported speech, he/she often changes the tenses and
pronouns which are used in the direct speech.
If the time of reporting is expressed as later than the time of the
time utterance, there is generally a change of verbs forms. The change
is termed backshift and the resulting relationship of verb forms in the
reporting and reported clause is known as the sequence of tense.
A change of the speaker may mean a change of pronoun. A change
of time may mean a change of tense; the person reporting uses tenses
that relate to the time when he/she is making the report, no to the time
when the original words were used.
(Swan, practical English p: 501-502). In other hand, when
someone turns direct question into indirect question, the following
changes are necessary such as in the change of tenses and pronouns.
Beside the change of tense and pronoun, other changes are also needed
such as in the change of possessive adjective, adverbs of time and
Martin Parrot stated in his book Grammar for English Language
Teacher, “learner is sometimes confused by the tense and pronoun
changes that can occur in reported speech” (parrot, p: 225).
The example of the difficulty in the change of tense and pronoun:
Direct speech:
The student asked, “Who speaks English?”
Indirect speech: Incorrect The student wanted to know who
has spoken English.
This type of error is disordering because it is characterized
by the incorrect placement of morpheme or group of morpheme in
an utterance.
The sentence of thedirect speech above, if it is transformed
into indirect speech, so it must be: the student asked me who spoke
English. The tense of the direct speech is simple present, so when it
is transformed into direct, it must simple past not present perfect.
From the statement above, it can be summarized that the
grammatical change that occur in converting direct into indirect
question becomes the error for the student whose their mother
tongue of first language does not have grammatical change in
reporting somebody’s word or question.
This chapter present: Research Design, Place and Time of
Research, Population and Sample, Instrument of Research, Data Analysis.
3.1 Research Design
This study will use descriptive qualitative, (shows details, process,
at work, and the important role of individual) method. Qualitative
research is one of the two major approaches to research methodology
in social sciences. Qualitative research involves an in-depth
understanding of human behavior and the reasons that govern human
3.2 The Place and Time of Research
The writer conducted this research at SMK NEGERI 6 MALANG
which is located on J l Ki Ageng Gribig no 28 Madyopuro Malang. The
research was carried on 31
November 2013.
3.3 The Population and Sample
In this study, the writer took the sample in the third grade of SMK
NEGERI 6 MALANG. The students are in one class XII RPL 2 the
number of the third grade of Smk Negeri 6 Malangis 34 students.
3.4 The Instrument of The Research
In this research, the writers used test an instrument to obtain the
data, the writers make the test about reported speech, give a written
test focused on the subject matter that would be studied, the test
consist of 25 questions. It is about directing the students to transform
direct question into indirect question.
3.5 The Technique of Data Collection
The writer uses the test to know the errors made by the third grade
of SMK NEGERI 6 MALANG in reported speech of question.
3.6 The Technique of Data Analysis
The technique of data analysis used by the writer in this research is
descriptive qualitative analysis technique. In this technique the writer
describes the errors made by the third grade of SMK NEGERI 6
MALANG, and describe the cause of why the student make errors in
reported speech of question sentence. There are some steps to analyze
the errors.
The first step in the process of analysis is identification of errors,
the second step is the descriptive of errors, the third step is explanation
of errors, the fourth step is the evaluation of errors, and the last step is
correction of errors. In the end, the writer tries to classify the errors.
Besides, to know the percentage of errors made by the student the
writer uses formula by Heaton, 1977:89:

F=Frequency of wrong answer
N=Number of sample which is observed