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Published byDerek Benninger Modified over 7 years ago
Direct and Indirect Speech
Direct Speech In direct speech, the original speaker's exact words are given and are indicated by quotation marks. "I don't know what to do," said Dean.
When using indirect or reported speech, the form changes. Usually indirect speech is introduced by the verb said, as in I said, Bill said, or they said. Using the verb say in this tense, indicates that something was said in the past. In these cases, the main verb in the reported sentence is put in the past.
If the main verb is already in a past tense, then the tense changes to another past tense; it can almost be seen as moving even further into the past.
Verb tense changes also characterize other situations using indirect speech. Note the changes shown in the chart and see the table below for examples. With indirect speech, the use of that is optional.
IndirectDirect simple past He said (that) he went to school every day. Present simple He said, “I go to school every day.” past perfect He said (that) he had gone to school every day. simple past He said, “I went to school every day.”
past perfect He said (that) he had gone to school every day. present perfect He said, “I have gone to school every day.” past progressive He said (that) he was going to school every day. present progressive He said, “I am going to school every day.” perfect progressive He said (that) he had been going to school every day, past progressive He said, “I was going to school every day.”
could He said (that) he could go to school every day. can He said, “I can go to school every day.” might He said (that) he might go to school every day. may He said, “I may go to school every day.” might He said, “I might go to school every day.” had to He said (that) he had to go to school every day. must He said, “I must go to school every day.”
have to He said, “I have to go to school every day.” should He said (that) he should go to school every day. should He said, “I should go to school every day.” ought to He said (that) he ought to go to school every day. ought to He said, “I ought to go to school every day.”
Indirect Questions The same rules apply to indirect questions as to indirect statements. The difference is that a wh clause is used instead of a that clause. Direct question: "Did Marama's horse win a prize?" Owen asked.
Indirect questions: Owen asked (whether (or if Marama's horse had won a prize.
Direct question: "Why won't you marry me?" asked Donald.Indirect question: Donald asked her why she wouldn't marry him.
It is not always necessary to change the verb when you use reported speech. If you are reporting something and you feel that it is still true, you do not need to change the tense of the verb
To said, “New York is bigger than London” Tom said (that) New York is (or was) bigger than London
Auxiliary verbs remain the same in the indirect speech Must, might, could, would stay the same May normally changes to might
If you say who you are talking to, you the verb “tell”: Tom told me that he did not like Brian (not Tom said me)
We also use infinitives with the indirect speech “Stay in bed” The doctor said to me. The doctor told me to stay in bed
Complete the sentences in reported speech. Note the change of pronouns in some sentences.
"Stop talking, Joe," the teacher said. → The teacher told Joe __________ "Be patient," she said to him. → She told him ___________ "Go to your room," her father said to her. → Her father told her __________
"Hurry up," she said to us. → She told us _________ "Give me the key," he told her. → He asked her ___________ "Play it again, Sam," she said. → She asked Sam ______________
"Sit down, Caron" he said. → He asked Caron ________ "Fill in the form, Sir," the receptionist said. → The receptionist asked the guest _____ "Take off your shoes," she told us. → She told us __________ "Mind your own business," she told him. → She told him ____________-
"Don't touch it," she said to him. → She told him _______ "Don't do that again," he said to me. → He told me ___________ "Don't talk to me like that," he said. → He told her __________-
"Don't repair the computer yourself," she warned him. → She warned him __________ "Don't let him in," she said. → She told me _____________ "Don't go out without me," he begged her. → He begged her ________
"Don't forget your bag," she told me. → She told me __________ "Don't eat in the lab," the chemistry teacher said. → The chemistry teacher told his students____________ "Don't give yourself up," he advised her. → He advised her____________
"Don't hurt yourselves, boys," she said. → She told the boys __________
"Where is my umbrella?" she asked. → She asked ________ "How are you?" Martin asked us. → Martin asked us ______ He asked, "Do I have to do it?" → He asked __________
"Where have you been?" the mother asked her daughter. → The mother asked her daughter ____ "Which dress do you like best?" she asked her boyfriend. → She asked her boyfriend _________ "What are they doing?" she asked. → She wanted to know __________
"Are you going to the cinema?" he asked me. → He wanted to know _______ The teacher asked, "Who speaks English?" → The teacher wanted to know _______ "How do you know that?" she asked me. → She asked me __________
"Has Caron talked to Kevin?" my friend asked me. → My friend asked me ___________
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