martes, 19 de julio de 2011


building blocksReported Speech


When reporting what someone said, we have to pay careful attention to our verb tenses. Generally, reported speech is introduced by the verb say (Other reporting verbs include tell, mention, inform). The verb is used in the past tense, said, which indicates that something was spoken in the past. For example:
“she said”, “he said”, “they said”
The main verb in the reported speech sentence is also in the past tense. In a sentence where the main verb is already in the past tense, then the verb changes to another past tense verb as it is moving further into the past.
Usually, the tense in reported speech is one tense back in time from the tense in direct speech. However, often if the speaker is reporting something soon after it has been said, there is no change in the verb tense. This is also true if the reported statement is a general truth. For example:
“The capital of Canada is Ottawa.” → Byron said that the capital of Canada is Ottawa.
Remember that in reported speech, there are no quotation marks.
Quoted Speech
(What the person actually said)
Reported Speech
Mark said, “I am thirsty.” Mark said (that) he was thirsty.
(Note: The use of that is optional)
Verbs usually change to the past in reported speech because we are talking about the past. For example:
Quoted Speech
(What the person actually said)
Reported Speech
Am/is was
Are were
Have/has had
Can could
Do/want/know did/wanted/knew
Will would
In reported speech, the simple past (I did) often stays the same or it changes to the past perfect (I had done).
Examples of Verb Changes in Reported Speech
Quoted Speech
(What the person actually said)
Reported Speech
Simple Present:
“I love tea”, she said.
Simple Past:
She said (that) she loved tea.
Present Continuous:
“I am studying French”, he said.
Past Continuous:
He said (that) he was studying French.
Simple Past:
“Mike arrived on Sunday”, Gayle said
Past Perfect:
Gayle said (that) Mike (had) arrived on Sunday.
Present Perfect:
“I have been to Russia”, she said.
Past Perfect:
She said (that) she had been to Russia.
Past Perfect:
“I had just finished my homework”, Kendall told me.
Past Perfect:
Kendall told me (that) she had just finished her homework.
Present Perfect Continuous:
“We have been waiting for 3 hours.”
Past Perfect Continuous:
They mentioned (that) they had been waiting for 3 hours
Past Continuous:
“We were living in San Diego.”
Past Perfect Continuous:
They told us (that) they had been living in San Diego.
Future with Will:
She said, “We will be in Vancouver next year.”
She informed me (that) they would be in Vancouver next year.
Future with Be going to:
He said, “I am going to marry her next spring.”
Past Continuous:
He said (that) he was going to marry her next spring.

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