Reported Speech

Unit 11 grammar
Reported Speech (talking about what 
other people have said)
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Slide 1: Tekstslide
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Unit 11 grammar
Reported Speech (talking about what 
other people have said)

Slide 1 - Tekstslide

What is reported speech?
Sometimes someone says a sentence, for example "I'm going to the cinema tonight". 
Later, maybe we want to tell someone else what the first person said. We report what was said. 

We will look at how to do this.

Slide 2 - Tekstslide

Reported speech
Direct speech: the literal, exact words someone says:
  • Mike: “I am very angry with you”. 
Often in written text with quotation marks "..."/'...'

Indirect or reported speech: when you tell someone what somebody else said. 
  • He said (that) he was very angry with me. 
No quotation marks in written text.

What changes:  - Tense  (present to past) - Pronouns ( I, we, you)  - Pronouns (here → there, this → that, these → those)  - Adverbials of time (yesterday → the day before, tomorrow→ the following/ next day)  

Slide 3 - Tekstslide

Changing the tense
Direct speech                      Mary: "He tells a lie"   
Reported speech               Mary said that he told a lie

Present simple        →       Past simple  

So what happens is that when we change the verb tense, we take a step 'back in time', as it were. Have a look →

Slide 4 - Tekstslide

Tense changes
Mary: "He is telling a lie"                              She said that he was telling a lie 
Present continuous       →                          Past continuous
Mary: "He has told a lie                                She said that he had told a lie 
Present perfect               →                           Past perfect   
Mary: "He told a lie"                                       She said that he had told a lie 
Past simple                       →                           Past perfect 
Mary: "He was telling a lie"                        She said that he had been telling a lie 
Past continuous             →                           Past perfect continuous  
Mary: "He had told a lie"                              She said that he had told a lie 
Past perfect                     →                            Past perfect  

Slide 5 - Tekstslide

Mary: "He will tell a lie"                           She said that he would tell a lie 
Will                                              →                would 
Mary: "He can tell a lie"                          She said that he could tell a lie 
Can                                             →                could 
Mary: "He may tell a lie"                         She said that he might tell a lie.  
May                                             →               might
Mary: "He must tell a lie"                       She said that he had to tell a lie.
must                                           →               had to

When something is reported that is a general truth, there is often no tense change
Teacher: “Water boils at 100 degrees Celsius."
The teacher said that water boils at 100 degrees Celsius.  

Slide 6 - Tekstslide

Slide 7 - Tekstslide

Other changes: pronouns
you →  he/she/they   - 'I warned you earlier'  = He said that he had warned her earlier.  
your →  his/her/their -   'I noticed your mistake earlier.' =  He said that he had noticed her mistake earlier.
You need the context to find the right pronouns. 

this/that (as pronouns) -  'You should erase this .' =  She told him he should erase it.
this/that/these/those + noun: 'This report is very detailed' = she told him the report was very detailed.

Slide 8 - Tekstslide

Other changes: time

Slide 9 - Tekstslide

There are different reporting verbs, which can take the following structures:
Accuse + of + -ing 
Mike: “You stole the bag”                →          He accused her of stealing the bag 

Admit + (to) + -ing / Admit + (that) 
Mike:“I lost the key”                          →           He admitted that he had lost the key  He admitted (to) losing the key 

Apologise + for + -ing 
Mike: “I am sorry that I am late”   →           He apologized for being late  

Argue + for + -ing / argue (that) 
Mike: “It is unnecessary to change anything”      →         He argued that it was unnecessary to change anything  

Claim + (that)
Jane: “He is a coward”        →             Jane claimed that he was a coward. 

Slide 10 - Tekstslide

Deny + (that) / deny + -ing
 John: “I don’t break any rules”       →       John denied that he broke any rules / John denied breaking any rules.  

Explain + (that) 
The mechanic: “There aren’t any problems.”    →     The mechanic explained (that) there weren’t any problems anymore. 

Invite + pronoun + to
Isaac: "Come to my party tonight!'   →     Isaac invited me to come to his party tonight.

Promise + (that) / promise+ to + infinitive
Dad: “I will pick you up”       →            Dad promised (that) he would pick me up. / Dad promised to pick me up. 

Refuse + to + infinitive
The boy: “I don’t want to throw the rubbish in the bin”         →         The boy refused to throw the rubbish in the bin. 

Slide 11 - Tekstslide

Reveal + (that) 
The fireman: “The fire started in the bakery".”        →      He revealed that the fire had started in the bakery. 

Suggest + (that) / suggest + -ing
“Let’s drive more slowly."    →       The man suggested (that) we drove more slowly. / The man suggested driving more slowly.

Threaten + to + infinitive
Hugh: “I will hit you if you don't stop teasing me.”          →         Hugh threated to hit them if they didn't stop teasing him.

Warn + (that) / warn = to + infinitive
Mum: “Santa will not come if you are naughty.”       →        Mum warned us that Santa wouldn’t come if we were naughty. / Mum warned us not to be naughty or Santa wouldn’t come.

Slide 12 - Tekstslide

Practise: Turn to reported speech
  1. Mark said, “My friend found a new job in the music business.”
  2. Her boyfriend told her,” You have bought a wonderful dress.” 
  3. Mary said, “I will play a card game tomorrow.” 
  4. Judy revealed, “I have already written this essay four times.” 
  5. My father told Ben, “I am sure I saw you here last week.

Slide 13 - Tekstslide

  1. Mark said that his friend had found a new job in the music business.
  2. Her boyfriend told her that she had bought a wonderful dress.
  3. Mary said that she would play a card game the following day.
  4. Judy revealed that she had already written that essay four times.
  5. My father told Ben that he was sure he had seen him there the week before.

Slide 14 - Tekstslide

Change into reporting speech using the given reporting verb
  1. Tom: “Gerry cheats at tests.” (accuse
  2. Jerry: “you must replace A by B” (explain
  3. Joe: “ I do not know anything” (deny
  4. Mary: “I will help you” (promise
  5. Christa: “You could work harder” ( suggest
  6. We: “ stop cheating at tests” (warn)

Slide 15 - Tekstslide

  1. Tom accused Gerry of cheating at tests. 
  2. Jerry explained that I had to replace A by B. 
  3. Joe denied knowing anything / Joe denied that he knew anything 
  4. Mary promised to help me / Mary promised that she would help me. 
  5. Christa suggested working harder / Christa suggested that we could work harder 
  6. We warned you that you must stop cheating at tests.  / We warned you to stop cheating at tests.  

Slide 16 - Tekstslide

Reported speech
Still having some problems with understanding how this works? Have a look at the videos!

Slide 18 - Tekstslide