REPORTED (= INDIRECT) SPEECH

Is the reporting verb in the past form (said, told,...) you have to change the tense.
(Steht das reporting verb in der Mitvergangenheit (said, told,...) ändert sich die Zeitform.)
       
Direct speech Indirect speech Direct Speech Indirect speech
Present simple Past simple go went
Present progressive Past progressive am/is/are going was/were going
Past simple Past perfect went had gone
Past progressive Past perfect progressive was/were going had been going
Present perfect simple Past perfect has/have gone had gone
Present perfect progr. Past perfect progressive has/have been going had been going
Future Conditional I will go would go
Example: Peter said: "Carol is a nice girl." Peter said (that) Carol was a nice girl.
Don't change these verbs: might, could, would, should
Examle: He said:"I might arrive late." He said (that) he might arrive late.
You don't need to change the present tense into the past tensee if the information in the direct speech is still true or a general fact.
Example: Frank said (that) his sister is/was a secretary.

 

When you form the reported speech you have to pay attention that the pronouns refer to the correct persons.
(Bei der Bildung der reported speech ist darauf zu achten, dass sich die Fürwörter auf die richtigen Personen beziehen.)
   
Examples: Susan said: "My parents are clever scientists."
  Susan said (that) her parents were clever scientists.
   
  Tom said: "I like PE best."
  Tom said (that) he liked PE best.
   
  They said: "We went swimming with our friends."
  They said (that) they had gone swimming with their friend.
   
  Betty said: "Sam told me the truth."
  Betty said (that) Sam had told her the truth.
       
  Direct speech Indirect speech  
She said I - my - me she - her - her  
He said I - my - me he - his - him  
They said we - our - us they - their - them  

 

You and your:
 
They told her / him / me / them / us: "George likes you."
They told her / him / me / them / us (that) George liked her / him / me / them / us.
 
They told her / him / me / them / us: "George likes your sister."
They told her / him / me / them / us (that) George likes her / his / my / their / our sister.
 
They told her / him / me / them / us: "You are clever."
They told her / him / me / them / us (that) she / he / I / they / we was / were clever.

 

Expressions of time and place - we have to change them.
(Zeit- und Ortsangaben ändern sich ebenfalls.)
     
Direct speech Indirect speech
Time now then
today that day
yesterday the day before
tomorrow the next / following day
last week, month,... the previous week, month,... / the week, month,... before
next week, month,... the following week, month,...
  a (week,...) ago a (week,...) before
Place here there
this that
these those
     
Examle: She said: "I have already seen Carol today."
She said (that) she had already seen Carol that day.

 

Reported Questions
   
If there is a question word we keep it.
   
Examples: They asked me:"Where is the next supermarket?"
  They asked me where the next supermarket was.
  She asked them:"How often do you play golf?"
  She asked them how often they played golf.
   
If there is no question word we start the reported speech with if or whether
   
Examples: She asked me:"Do you like some tea?"
  She asked me if/whether I liked some tea.
  We asked them:"Did she arrive in time?"
  We asked them if/whether she had arrived in time.
   
Reported Requests
   
If someone asks you in a polite way use (not) to + infinitive
   
Examples: He asked her:"Could you close the door, please?"
  He asked her to close the door.
  She asked them:"Help me, please."
  She asked them to help her.
   
Reported Orders
   
If someone doesn't ask you politely or gives you an order use (not) to + infinitive
   
Examles: He told me:"Be quiet!"
  He told me to be quiet.
  She told us:"Don't stay up too late!"
  She told us not to stay up too late.

 

BACK TO GRAMMAR EXPLANATIONS


Statements Exercise 1 Exercise 2 Exercise 3 Exercise 4 Exercise 5
Mixed Exercise 6 Exercise 7