Reported Speech

Grammar: Reported speech
Reported Speech (talking about what 
other people have said)
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Slide 1: Tekstslide
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Grammar: Reported speech
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               She 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 should tell a lie"                   She said that he should tell a lie 
Should                                       →               should / should have + past participle   

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

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 8 - 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 anymore”    →     The mechanic explained (that) there weren’t any problems anymore. 

Insist + on+ -ing / insist+ (that) 
“I want to finish this first”        →              I insisted on finishing that first. / I insisted (that) I finished that first.  

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 9 - Tekstslide

Say + (that) 
The fireman: “The fire started in the bakery".”        →      He said 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.

Urge + to + infinitive
Hugh: “Don’t worry.”          →         Hugh urged them not to worry.

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.
Passive: is said + to + infinitive
- “The book contains several flashbacks"
- The book is said to contain several flashback.  

Slide 10 - Tekstslide

Turn into reported speech
  1. John: “She is having a dentist’s appointment tomorrow”. 
  2. Mr X: “ You should finish the job this week”. 
  3. Emma: “I have never been so embarrassed”. 
  4. Tom: “When were we supposed to call our boss?” 
  5. Mum: “ My children were at home” 
  6. I: “ I cannot do my homework”. 
  7. Teacher: “ You must open your books and copy these sentences”. 
  8. Guy: “ I loved going to America”    

Slide 11 - Tekstslide

  1. John said that she was having a dentist’s appointment the following day. 
  2. Mr X said that I/we should have finished/ should finish the job that week. 
  3. Emma said that she had never been so embarrassed. 
  4. Tom asked when they had been supposed to call their boss. 
  5. Mum said that her children had been at home. 
  6. I said that I couldn’t do my homework. 
  7. The teacher said that we had to open our books and copy those sentences
  8. Guy said that he had loved going to America.  

Slide 12 - 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
  7. The reporter: “Mr Johnston has been arrested for murder” ( claim
  8. Mum: “You must eat all your spinach” (urge)    

Slide 13 - 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 (me) 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. 
  7. The reporter claimed that Mr Johnson had been arrested for murder  
  8. Mum urged us to eat all our spinach.  

Slide 14 - Tekstslide

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

Slide 15 - Tekstslide