Reported Speech To Tell Stories
English Grammar: Reported Speech
Reported speech (sometimes called indirect speech) is used in English to relate to what other people have said. It is really useful to use in conversation as it allows you to tell more in-depth, interesting stories. You may have noticed this style of writing in your favorite English novel, so today we will try to help you become a J.K. Rowling-like storyteller! The first thing to understand is that you need to take a step back in the past for reported speech. That a look at what I mean in the sentences below:
present simple —> past simple
Direct speech= I play football everyday.
Reported speech= He said that he played football every day.
present continuous —> past continuous
Direct speech= She is playing the violin very badly.
Reported speech= My friend said that she was playing the violin very badly.
present perfect —> past perfect
Direct speech= I have seen that movie one million times!
Reported speech= John said that he had seen that movie one million times!
past simple —> past perfect
Direct speech= He washed his car yesterday.
Reported speech= He said he had washed his car yesterday.
past continuous —>past perfect continuous
Direct speech= They were sitting next to the umbrella.
Reported speech= He said that they had been sitting next to the umbrella.
will —> would
Direct speech= I will see you tomorrow.
Reported speech= He said that he would see you tomorrow.
going to —> was/were going to
Direct speech= They are going to fly to Tokyo tomorrow.
Reported speech= They said that they were going to fly to Tokyo tomorrow.
Summary Of English Reported Speech
Have you got that? Always remember that you must take a step back in the past. You are telling a story about what someone did or what they said. Try the 5 questions below to see how much you can remember. For each question, can you change the direct speech to reported speech? Write your answer in the comment section so that we can check your work!
example: direct speech= I swim in the river every day.
reported speech= He said that he swam in the river every day.
1. He ran a marathon 2 months ago.
2. Derek lives in San Francisco.
3. They will travel around Asia for two months.
4. She has finished that book a few times.
5. Tim and Laura are playing tennis in the park
Last Reported Speech Activity
For this last activity, can you complete the direct and reported speech sentences with a correct verb?
example: direct speech= David eats at the Italian restaurant all the time.
reported speech=David said that he ate at the Italian restaurant all the time.
1.a. Karin and Eric were ____________ a large pizza when I knocked on their door.
b. She said that Karin and Eric _______ _________ _________ a large pizza when I knocked on their door.
2.a. Her English ________ _____________ a lot since she started taking English classes.
b. She said that her English ________ _______________ a lot since she started taking English classes.
3.a. We ___________ have class again in one week.
b. He said that we __________ have class again in one week.
4.a. He is ____________ on his computer upstairs.
b. She said that he ________ _____________ on his computer upstairs.
5.a. I ____________ in an office from Monday-Friday.
b. Jessica said that she ____________ in an office from Monday-Friday.
We hope that you enjoyed today’s blog post. For more information about reported speech, look at this class. As always, leave your comments and answers below so we can get back to you, and sign up here for a trial class!