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Reported Speech (Indirect Speech) in English - Summary

How to use Reported Speech
If you have a sentence in Direct Speech, try to follow our 5 steps to put the sentence into Reported Speech..

Define the type of the sentence (statement, questions, command)
What tense is used in the introductory sentence?
Do you have to change the person (pronoun)?
Do you have to backshift the tenses?
Do you have to change expressions of time and place?

1. Statements, Questions, Commands
Mind the type of sentences when you use Reported Speech. There is more detailed information on the following pages.
Commands, Requests

2. The introductory sentence
If you use Reported Speech there are mostly two main differences.
The introductory sentence in Reported Speech can be in the Present or in the Past.
If the introductory sentences is in the Simple Present, there is no backshift of tenses.



” Reported Speech: Introductory sentence in the Simple Present → Susan says (that)* Mary works in an office.” Reported Speech → Peter said (that)* he worked in the garden.” Reported Speech → Susan said (that)* she worked in an office. Backshift of tenses If there is backshift of tenses in Reported Speech. Change of persons/pronouns If there is a pronoun in Direct Speech.26/8/2015 Reported Speech (Indirect Speech) in English . Direct Speech Reported Speech Simple forms data:text/html.Summary Direct Speech: Susan: “Mary works in an office. 3. depending on the siutation. Direct Speech → Susan: “I work in an office. Direct Speech → Peter: “I work in the garden. Introductory sentence in the Simple Past → Susan said (that)* Mary worked in an office. the tenses are shifted the following way. 4. Here I is changed to she. it has possibly to be changed in Reported Speech.%3Ch2%20style%3D%22font-family%3A%20'Source%20Sans%20Pro'%2C%20Arial%2C%20sans-serif%3B%20font-weight%3A%20bold%3B%20color%3A%20rgb(0%2C%200%2C%200)%3B%20t… 2/5 .charset=utf-8.

” Reported Speech → Peter said (that) he had worked in the garden the day before.%3Ch2%20style%3D%22font-family%3A%20'Source%20Sans%20Pro'%2C%20Arial%2C%20sans-serif%3B%20font-weight%3A%20bold%3B%20color%3A%20rgb(0%2C%200%2C%200)%3B%20t… 3/5 . Conversion of expressions of time and place If there is an expression of time/place in the sentence.charset=utf-8. Direct Speech → Peter: “I worked in the garden yesterday. depending on the situation.Summary Simple Past Simple Past Present Perfect Past Perfect Past Perfect will would Progressive forms am/are/is was/were was/were has been had been had been 5. Direct Speech Reported Speech this evening that evening data:text/html.26/8/2015 Simple Present Reported Speech (Indirect Speech) in English . it may be changed.

charset=utf-8. data:text/html.Summary today/this day that day these days those days now then a week ago a week before last weekend the weekend before / the previous weekend next week the following week tomorrow the next/following day here there 6.” Mandy said (that) the sun rose in the east. John: “My brother is at Leipzig university. or John said (that) his brother is at Leipzig university. Mandy: “The sun rises in the east. when statements are still true.g.%3Ch2%20style%3D%22font-family%3A%20'Source%20Sans%20Pro'%2C%20Arial%2C%20sans-serif%3B%20font-weight%3A%20bold%3B%20color%3A%20rgb(0%2C%200%2C%200)%3B%20t… 4/5 .26/8/2015 Reported Speech (Indirect Speech) in English . or Mandy said (that) the sun rises in the east. or when you use general statements. Additional information In some cases backshift of tenses is not necessary. Backshift of tenses is never wrong.” John said (that) his brother was at Leipzig university. e.

charset=utf-8.Summary * The word that is optional. that is he reason why we put it in brackets. data:text/html.26/8/2015 Reported Speech (Indirect Speech) in English .%3Ch2%20style%3D%22font-family%3A%20'Source%20Sans%20Pro'%2C%20Arial%2C%20sans-serif%3B%20font-weight%3A%20bold%3B%20color%3A%20rgb(0%2C%200%2C%200)%3B%20t… 5/5 .