Reported Speech

Reported speech, also known as indirect speech, is used to report what someone else said.

It’s different from direct speech, which is when we repeat the exact words that someone else said.

In reported speech, we need to change the tense and pronouns to match the new speaker and the time of reporting. Here’s a table that summarizes the changes:

Direct SpeechReported SpeechExample
Present SimplePast Simple“I like pizza,” said John.
John said that he liked pizza.
Present ContinuousPast Continuous“I am playing soccer,” said Emily.
Emily said that she was playing soccer.
Present PerfectPast Perfect“I have visited France,” said Kate.
Kate said that she had visited France.
Present Perfect Cont.Past Perfect Continuous“I have been studying Spanish,” said Tom.
Tom said that he had been studying Spanish.
Past SimplePast Perfect“I went to the store,” said Sarah.
Sarah said that she had gone to the store.
Past ContinuousPast Perfect Continuous“I was watching TV,” said Mike.
Mike said that he had been watching TV.
Past PerfectPast Perfect“I had finished my homework,” said Jane.
Jane said that she had finished her homework.
Past Perfect Cont.Past Perfect Continuous“I had been studying for hours,” said Alex.
Alex said that he had been studying for hours.
Future SimpleConditional (would) + Infinitive“I will come to the party,” said Peter.
Peter said that he would come to the party.
Future ContinuousConditional Continuous (would + be + Ving“I will be working late,” said Mark.
Mark said that he would be working late.
Future PerfectConditional Perfect (would + have + PP)“I will have finished by then,” said Anna.
Anna said that she would have finished by then.
Future Perfect Cont.Conditional Perfect Cont. (would + have + been + Ving)“I will have been studying for 4 hours,” said Sam.
Here/ThereChanged according to the new location“I live here,” said Lisa.
Lisa said that she lived there.
Personal PronounsChanged according to the new speaker“I love this song,” said Tim.
Tim said that he loved that song.

Grammar Practice

Speaking Practice

  1. Open the box
  2. Look at the picture
  3. Answer the following questions using reported speech

What did they say?/ What did they ask?


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