Reported Speech

Different types of sentences

When we use reported speech, we either report:

  • Statements
  • Yes/No Questions
  • Requests/commands
  • Wh-questions

We change the tense accordingly.

For example:

Jane says, “I like apples”           Jane says that she likes apples

  PresenTense                        (Tense doesn’t change as it starts in the present.)  

 Jane said, “I liked the restaurant last night.”

   Past Tense

Jane said that she had liked the restaurant the previous night.       

 (Tense changed as it started in the past.)

As the tense changes, time expressions change in the reported speech.

Let’s have a look how direct speech changes.

‘I want to go to the party.’She said (that) she wanted to go to the party.
‘I’m making a cake now.’She said (that) she was making a cake then.
‘I drank some tea yesterday.’She said (that) she had drunk some tea.
‘I have finished my homework.’She said (that) she had finished her homework.
‘I had finished my homework.”She said (that) she had finished her homework.
‘I was doing my homework last night’She said (that) she had been doing her homework the night before.
‘I am going to watch TV.’She said (that) she was going to watch TV.
‘I will come to the party.’She said (that) she would come to the party.
‘I can climb the tree.’She said (that) she could climb the tree.
‘I have to call my mum.’She said (that) she had to call her mum.