Unit 10 - Grammar A

Reporting what people say

Reported speech: Statements

When transforming statements, check whether you have to change:
  • pronouns
  • present tense verbs (3rd person singular)
  • place and time expressions
  • tenses (backshift)
direct speech“I speak English.”
reported speech
(no backshift)
He says that he speaks English.
reported speech
He said that he spoke English.
Example:     He said, “I am happy.” – He said that he was happy.

Direct SpeechReported Speech
Simple PresentSimple Past
Present ProgressivePast Progressive
Simple PastPast Perfect Simple
Present Perfect Simple
Past Perfect Simple
Past ProgressivePast Perfect Progressive
Present Perfect Progressive
Past Perfect Progressive
Future I (going to)was / were going to
Future I (will)Conditional I (would)
Conditional I (would)
The verbs could, should, would, might, must, needn’t, ought to, used to do not normally change.
He said, “She might be right.” – He said that she might be right.
Direct SpeechReported Speech
todaythat day
yesterdaythe day before
… days ago… days before
last weekthe week before
next yearthe following year
tomorrowthe next day / the following day

Requests in Reported Speech

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