Reported speech in English

Reported speech is used to explain what somebody said, without quoting the exact words. For example, you could say: “I found an article that said that reported speech is used to explain what someone says without using exact quotes”.

Indirect speech is used with the verbs “to say” and “to tell” in the past, which is “said” and “told.”

Ok then, let’s look at some examples:

Present simple

“I’m hungry”: She said she was hungry.

Past simple

“I want pizza for dinner”: He said he wanted to eat pizza for dinner.

Past perfect

“We’ve already eaten”: They said they had already eaten.

Going to

“We’re going to come to the party” (or “we’re coming to the party”): She said they are going to come to the party.

Simple conditional

“I’ll see you on Monday”: Kim said she would see me on Monday.

Now let’s take a look at how to use reported speech in the imperative.

Reported speech and the imperative

Remember that we use the imperative with reported speech to give orders, advice, make requests or suggestions. We can also use the imperative in the negative.

He told me not to close the door.

She asked me to help her with her homework.

He ordered me to leave the room.

He suggested we go watch a movie.

She asked me not to come home too late.

Reported speech and the verb “to ask”

As you may have noticed, we can also use the verb “to ask” in the past tense with reported speech and indirect questions.

For example:

“Where are you from?”

He asked me where I was from.

“Where do you live?”

He asked me where I lived.

“What do you do?”

She asked me what I did.

Reported speech with other verbs

Reported speech can be used with many other verbs in English too, depending on the situation or message conveyed.

Here are a few examples:

To admit

She admitted that she stole the money.

To advise

He advised me to study hard for the exam.

To mention

He mentioned that he would come to the party.

To claim

She claimed he had discovered a new species of bird.

To suggest

I suggested he cleaned his room before his mother arrived

Did you know that in addition to this blog, ABA English also has a complete online English course from beginner to business level? If you sign up as a free student you can get access to 144 video classes which cover all levels. What are you waiting for? Start learning more English with ABA today.


About Brandon

Brandon has been teaching ESL students for over 12 years and has taught in India, Cambodia, Brazil and Spain. In his free time, he enjoys writing music, playing his guitar and travelling.

One comment

  1. I just like it to!!!!!!

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