Home Grammar The Reported speech

The Reported speech

Reported speech
Reported speech

The Reported Speech

  • A speech can be divided into direct and indirect.

“They are building a new school here “ => direct speech

He said that they were building a new school there. => indirect speech

  • It can also be divided into :

1 – Statement: “they have just finished the exam “

2 – Question: “what were you doing when they came? “

“Have you finished the exercise? “

3 – Command: “stop teasing me “

“You must not smoke here “

“ you needn’t come “

  • If the reporting verb is in the present simple, present perfect, or future simple then we report the sentence as it is. In other words, we make no changes.

Ex: “they will move from here next week “

He says/is saying /will say that they will move from here next week

 But if the reporting verb is in simple past then certain changes are necessary. These changes affect:

  • Verbs
  • Pronouns ( I, you …. My, your …., mine, their …..)
  • Time indications ( yesterday, tomorrow, now, next ……)
  • Place indications ( here, there, this place …..)

NB: these changes take place when the reporting verb is in simple past and they are applied to statements, questions, and command

  • Verbs and Modals
    • Direct: present Simple
    • Indirect: past simple
    • Direct: present continuous
    • Indirect: past continuous
    • Direct: present perfect
    • Indirect: past perfect
    • Direct: past simple
    • Indirect: past perfect
    • Direct: past continuous
    • Indirect: past perfect continuous
    • Direct: past perfect
    • Indirect: past perfect
    • Direct: will
    • Indirect: Would
    • Direct: can
    • Indirect: could
    • Direct: may
    • Indirect: might
    • Direct:shall
    • Indirect: Should
    • Direct: must, have to.
    • Indirect: had to
  • Time and Place Indicators
    • Direct: Today
    • Indirect: That day
    • Direct: Yesterday
    • Indirect: The day before
    • Direct: The day before yesterday
    • Indirect: Two days before
    • Direct: Tomorrow
    • Indirect: The next/following/coming day
    • Direct: The day after tomorrow
    • Indirect: In two days’ time
    • Direct: Next week, year…
    • Indirect: The following week, year…
    • Direct: Last week, year…
    • Indirect: The previous week, year …
    • Direct: A day/weak/month/year… ago
    • Indirect: A day before / the previous week
    • Direct: Here
    • Indirect: There
    • Direct: This place/city
    • Indirect: That place/city …


The changing of pronouns depends on who is speaking. notice the two examples below:

1.  “ I am not leaving with you” Katherine said to her

Suppose that Katherine reported her statement. then:

I said to her that I was not leaving with her

But suppose that Bill reported Katherine’s statement then :

Bill said that she was not leaving with her


Direct speech: “ I saw her the day before yesterday, here, “ he said

Indirect speech:  he said that he had seen her two days before, there.


1 – Wh –questions : ( these are questions that begin with a wh-word: what, where….)

Direct speech: “ where is she going ?”

Indirect speech:  she asked where she was going.

Notice: – the question mark is omitted.

  • The interrogative form of the verb becomes affirmative :

Where is she => where she was

2- Yes/no questions (these are questions that their answers are either yes or no)

Direct speech: “ will you participate in the ceremony?” Kamal asked me

Indirect speech: he wondered if /whether if /whether I would participate in the ceremony.

Notice: – the question mark is omitted.

  • The interrogative form of the verb becomes affirmative :

Will you participate => I would participate


1 – Direct speech: “revise your lessons,” the mother said to her son.

Indirect speech: the mother ordered her son to revise his lessons.

2 – Direct speech: “ don’t smoke here, “ said the doctor

In Direct speech: he ordered him not to smoke there

Notice: in the indirect speech 

Affirmative: reporting verb + pronoun + verb (infinitive)

Negative: reporting verb + pronoun +  not + verb (infinitive)


  1. am i wrong or there i alittle mistake (kathrine instead of bill)
    nice work by the way

    • yes i think it’s kathrine

  2. Thanks you teatcher nabil

  3. it is really of great help
    thanks for the enormous effort

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