Reported Speech (Part 1) – Statements

What is reported speech?

“Reported speech” is when we talk about what somebody else said – for example:

Direct Speech: “I’ve been to London three times.”

Reported Speech: She said she’d been to London three times.

We often use “reported speech” when talking about a conversation that happened in the past. There are some changes to the verbs with reported speech; read the table to find out how each verb tense changes:

 

DIRECT SPEECH REPORTED SPEECH EXAMPLE
Simple present Simple past “I want to go home.”
She said she wanted to go home.
Present continuous Past continuous I’m reading a good book.”
She said she was reading a good book.
Simple past Past perfect “I ate pasta for dinner last night.”
She said she’d eaten pasta for dinner last night.
Present perfect Past perfect I’ve just finished cleaning my room.”
She said she’d just finished cleaning her room.“My mother has never been to Japan.”
She said her mother had never been to Japan.
Can / can’t Could / couldn’t “I can meet with you next Monday.”
She said she could meet with me next Monday.“Sorry, I can’t talk now. I’m at work.”
She said she couldn’t talk at the moment because she was at work.
Will / won’t Would / wouldn’t “I’ll pick him up at the airport.”
She said she’d pick him up at the airport.“I won’t tell anybody your secret.”
She said she wouldn’t tell anybody my secret.

 

Be careful: “said” and “told” have a small difference.

After “told,” we need to include a person:

  • She said she wanted to go home.
  • She told me she wanted to go home.
  • She told John that she wanted to go home.
  • She told she wanted to go home.
  • She said me that she wanted to go home.


Reported Speech (Part 1) Quiz

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Question 1
Maria: "I saw them leave the meeting early."
A
Maria said she sees them leave the meeting early.
B
Maria said she was seeing them leave the meeting early.
C
Maria said she'd seen them leave the meeting early.
Question 2
Lisa: "I've forgotten your name."
A
Lisa said she'd forgotten my name.
B
Lisa said she wouldn't forget my name.
C
Lisa said she's forgetting my name.
Question 3
Kevin: "I'm not hungry."
A
He said me he wasn't hungry.
B
He told me he wasn't hungry.
C
He told me he hasn't been hungry.
Question 4
Bill (yesterday): "I won't work late today."
A
Bill said he shouldn't work late yesterday.
B
Bill said he couldn't work late yesterday.
C
Bill said he wouldn't work late yesterday.
Question 5
Sharon: "I can give you a ride."
A
Sharon said she could give me a ride.
B
Sharon said she has given me a ride.
C
Sharon said she is giving me a ride.
Question 6
James: "My sister is coming over this afternoon."
A
James said his sister had come over in the afternoon.
B
James said his sister was coming over in the afternoon.
C
James said his sister came over in the afternoon.
Question 7
Tom: "I'm thinking about buying a new computer."
A
Tom told me he was thinking about buying a new computer.
B
Tom told he was thinking about buying a new computer.
C
Tom said he had thought about buying a new computer.
Question 8
Pat: "Joe has already left."
A
Pat said that Joe had already left.
B
Pat told Joe that I had already left.
C
Pat told me that Joe was already leaving.
Question 9
Jerry, "I'll help you!"
A
Jerry said I would help him.
B
Jerry said he won't help me.
C
Jerry said he would help me.
Question 10
Susan: "I'm not taking any English classes this semester."
A
Susan said she wouldn't take any English classes this semester.
B
Susan said she wasn't taking any English classes this semester.
C
Susan said she hasn't taken any English classes this semester.
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There are 10 questions to complete.

 

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