Reported or Indirect and Direct Speech. In communication we often have to give information about what people say or think. In order to do this we can use direct / quoted speech, or indirect / reported speech.
When we say about ourselves information directly to someone, it is called direct speech (sometimes called quoted speech). And when we use direct speech in writing, we place the words spoken between quotation marks (” “) and there is no change in these words.
She says, “What time will you be home?”
She said, “What time will you be home?” and I said, “I don’t know!”
“There’s a fly on my soup!” screamed Rita.
Bandi said, “There’s a goat outside the window.”
When we say to someone about what another person has said to us, it is called Indirect Speech (sometimes called reported speech). And when we use indirect speech in writing, we don’t use quotation marks to enclose what the person said.
When reporting speech (indirect speech), the tense usually changes. This is because when we use indirect speech, we are usually talking about a time in the past (because obviously the person who spoke originally spoke in the past). The verbs therefore usually have to be in the past too.
She said, “I saw him.”
She said that she had seen him.
Ram said to his mother, “I will be late today night.”
Ram said to his mother that he would be late that night.
The verbs commonly used in Indirect Speech are said, told and asked.
She said her name was Lailina.
He told me that he was tired.
However, there are many other verbs we can use apart from said, told and asked.
accused, admitted, advised, alleged, agreed, apologized, begged, boasted, complained, denied, explained, implied, invited, offered, ordered, promised, replied, suggested and thought.
Using them properly can make what you say much more interesting and informative.
He asked me to come to the party:-
He invited me to the party.
He begged me to come to the party.
He ordered me to come to the party.
Rule of changing from Direct Speech to Indirect Speech
Simple Present > Simple Past
Present continuous > Past continuous
Present perfect > Past perfect
Present perfect continuous > Past perfect continuous
Simple Past > Past perfect
Past continuous > Past perfect continuous
Past perfect > Past perfect
Past perfect continuous > Past perfect continuous
She said, “It’s cold.” (Simple Present)
She said it was cold. (Simple Past)
Expressions of time if reported on a different day
this (evening) > that (evening)
today > yesterday …
yesterday > the day before.
these (days) > those (days)
now > then
(a week) ago > (a week) before
last weekend > the previous weekend
here > there
next (week) > the following (week)
tomorrow > the next/following day
She said, “I want to bring my children tomorrow.”
She said she wanted to bring her children the next day.
Jack said, “My wife went with me to the show yesterday.”
Jack said his wife had gone with him to the show the day before.