Reported speech examples
Reported Speech forms a very important part of English conversation. Very often we have to report the words of the speaker which can be reported in two ways:
- Direct Speech
We can quote the actual words he spoke, we call it Direct Speech. In Direct speech we use Inverted commas.
- Indirect SpeechWe may tell what he said without quoting his exact words, we call it Indirect or Reported Speech. In Reported speech we do not use inverted commas.When we change Direct speech into Indirect speech we use the conjunction that before the Indirect statement, e.g.
Direct: Alia said, ''I am very hungry now''.Indirect: Alia said that she was very hungry then.The pronoun I is changed to she.The verb am is changed to was.The Adverb now is changed to then.When the reporting or principal verb is in the Past Tense, all Present Tenses of the Direct Speech are changed into corresponding Past Tense.
(a) A simple present Tense becomes simple past e.g.Direct: He said, ''I am sick.''Indirect: He said that he was sick.
( b) A present continues becomes past continuous e.g.Direct: He said, ''My friend is writing letters.''Indirect: He said that his friend was writing letters.
(c) A present perfect become a past perfect e.g.Direct: He said, ''I have passed the examination.''Indirect: He said that he had passed the examination.The shall of the Future Tense is changed into should. The will of the future tense is changed into would or should.As a rule the simple past in the Direct Speech become the past perfect in the Indirect Speech.Direct: He said, ''The dog died in the night.''Indirect: He said that the dog had died in the night.
(a) Words expressing nearness in time or placing are generally changed into word expressing distance.
now then here there ago before thus so today that day tomorrow the next day yesterday the day before last night the night before
Direct: He said, ''I am delighted to be here this evening.''Indirect: He said that he was delighted to be there that evening.(b) The change does not occur if the speech is reported during the same period or at the same place.Direct: He says, ''I am delighted to be here this evening.''Indirect: He says that he is delighted to be here this evening.(c) This and there are changed to that and those unless the thing which is pointed out is very near at the time of reporting.When we report questions we introduced the Indirect speech by verbs like asked, enquired etc. But if the question is not introduced by an interrogative word then the reporting verb is followed by whether or etc.Direct: He said to me, ''Where are you going''.Indirect: He asked me where I was going.Direct: ''Where do you study?'' asked the old man.Indirect: The old man enquired where I studied.Direct: He said, ''Will you believe this man?''Indirect: He asked them whether they would believe the man.Direct: He said, ''Do you want something?''Indirect: He asked me if I wanted something.When we report commands or requests the Indirect speech is introduced by verbs expressing request or command.Direct: Javed said to Nasir, ''Go away''.Indirect: Javed ordered Nasir to go away.Direct: He said to me, ''Please wait for me till I return.''Indirect: He requested me to wait for him till he returned.When we report exclamation and wishes, the Indirect speech is introduced by verbs expressing exclamation or wish.Direct: Javed said, ''How smart I am!''Indirect: Javed exclaimed that he was very smart.Direct: ''God help me! ''he cried, ''I will never drive fast again.''Indirect: He called upon God to help him, he resolved never to drive fast again.