English Language Learning
|Is the reporting verb in the past form (said, told,...) you have to change the tense.|
|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|
|Example: He said, "I might arrive late." He said (that) he might arrive late.|
|It isn't necessary to change the present tense into the past tense if the information in the direct speech is still true or a general statement.|
Frank said, "My sister is a secretary." Frank said (that) his sister is (was) a secretary.
He told us, "The sun rises in the east." He told us that the sun rises (rose) in the east.
When you form the reported speech you have to pay attention that the pronouns refer to the correct persons.
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.
|Direct speech||Indirect speech|
|yesterday||the day before|
|tomorrow||the next / following day|
|last week, month,...||the previous week / the week before|
|next week, month,...||the following week, month,...|
|a (week,...) ago||a (week,...) before|
|Example: She said, "I have already seen Carol today."|
|She said (that) she had already seen Carol that day.|
If there is a question word we keep it.
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.
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.
If someone asks you in a polite way use (not) to + infinitive
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.
If someone doesn't ask you politely or gives you an order use (not) to + infinitive.
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.
Reported Speech Exercise 1 - statements - mixed tenses
Reported Speech Exercise 2 - statements - present tense
Reported Speech Exercise 3 - statements - present tense
Reported Speech Exercise 4 - statements - mixed tenses
Reported Speech Exercise 5 - statements - mixed tenses
Reported Speech Exercise 6 - statements, questions, commands
Reported Speech Exercise 7 - statements, questions, commands
Reported Speech Exercise 8 - questions, commands
Reported Speech Exercise 9 - questions, commands
Reported Speech Exercise 10 - statements, questions, commands