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1.To report statements a reporting verb(say, tell, explain, etc.)followed by athat-clause is used.In spoken Englishthatcan be omitted:He said, “I feel sick. He said (that) he felt sick.

2.Pronouns and possessive adjectives change according to the context.

Direct Speech: Reported Speech:

He said, “I’ll lend you my car”. He said he would lend me his car.

3. Verb Tenses and time expressions change in Reported Speech:

a) when the introductory verb is in a past tense: She saidthat she was leavingthe following week.

b) in out-of-date reporting: When I saw Alec he said he was going to England the next month.

c) when there is a difference between what was said and what is really true:You saidyou liked (not ‘you like’)chocolate, but you aren’t eatingany.

4. When the reporting verb is in the past, the verb tenses change according to the rules of Sequence of Tenses as follows:

Direct Speech Reported Speech
Present Indefinite Þ Past/Present Indefinite
“Helikeswalking,” she said. She said he liked/likes walking.
Present Continuous Þ Past Continuous
“Heis watching TV,” he said. He said he was watchingTV.
Present Perfect Þ Past Perfect
“He has just left,” she said. She said hehad just left.
Past Indefinite Þ Past Indefinite/Past Perfect
“I went home early,” she said. She said she went/hadgone home early.
Future Þ Future-in-the-Past
“He’ll be back in an hour,” she said. She said he would be back in an hour.
Present Perfect Continuous Þ Past Perfect Continuous
“I’ve been typing since night,” she said. She said she had been typing since night.


a) If the statement is still up to date when reported, then there is a choice. You can either leave the tense the same, or you can change it:

John said heis/was going to Rome in April.(a future event is expressed)

Sarah told me that her father owns/owneda racehorse. (it is possible to say that her father owns a racehorse because it is still true)

Peter told metodaythat helost his watch some days ago. (recent report)

Mary said her motheris seriously ill. (the situation hasn’t changed, it’s relevancy at the present moment is emphasized)


b) If the statement is no longer up to date, then the tense is changed.

John said he was going to Rome in April. (now it is May)

Sarah once told me that her fatherowneda racehorse. (he may no longer own one)

Peter told melast month that hehad lost his watch some days before. (remote past report)

Last month I met Mary. She said her mother was seriously ill. (the event is past, the situation might have changed)


NOTE 2:If the verb is Past Perfect or Past Perfect Continuous, it stays the same: “My moneyhad run out.” Daniel said his moneyhad run out.

5. Certain words can change as follows depending on the time reference.

Direct Speech Reported Speech
tonight, today, this week/month/year Þ that night, that day, that week/month/year
now Þ then, at that time, at once, immediately
now that Þ since
yesterday, last night/week/month Þ the day before, the previous night/week/month/year
tomorrow, next week/ month/year Þ the following day /the day after, the following/next week/month/year
two days/months etc. ago Þ two days/months etc. before
this/these Þ that/those
here Þ there
come Þ go
E.g. ‘Tomis leaving tomorrow,” she said. She said that Tom was leaving the next day.

6. There are no changes in the verb tenses in Reported Speech when the direct sentence expresses a general truth. (See Unit 3)

“The Earthis a planet,” he said. He said the Earth is a planet.



E x e r c i s e s


Date: 2015-12-11; view: 202

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UNIT 2 Reported Speech. MEANING AND USE | Turn each direct-speech statement into Reported Speech with tense changes.
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