Reported speech English grammar
|Direct quote||Kyle said, “I will be busy tonight.”|
|Sharing information||Kyle said he will be busy tonight.|
We use reported speech to share information that we heard from another person or information that we got from TV, newspaper, Internet etc. This English grammar is very common in English conversation.
There are two ways to use reported speech to talk about something that someone told us.
Reported speech #1.
1. We can “quote” the person.
Cheryl said, “I’m busy.”
You’ll see this way used in written English, like books or magazine and newspaper articles.
Reported speech #2.
Remember our first example ~ Cheryl said, “I’m busy.”
In conversation we will change the verb tense (am changes to was) and change the pronoun (I changes to she)
Cheryl said “I’m busy.” becomes:
Cheryl said she was busy.
This is a natural way to report what someone else has said.
More reported speech examples
“I only have $4.”
~ Mark said he only had 4 dollars.
“I’m not worried about it.”
~ Kristen said she wasn’t worried about it.
If we report the speech of more than 1 person, we use the pronoun they.
“Darryl and I will stop by later.”
~ Mike and Darryl said they would stop by later.
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Reported speech English grammar -Future possibilities
When we report what someone has told us is possible in the future the verb can becomes could
“I can go…”
“He could go…”
and if they tell us about something that is going to happen the verb will becomes would.
“I will go…”
“She would go…”
Daniel: “I can meet you at 5:30.”
Daniel said he could meet us at 5:30.
Paul: “We can have lunch with you and your wife on Thursday.”
Paul said they could have lunch with us on Thursday.
Brenda: “I won’t be in town on Saturday.” (Won’t is a contraction of will not.)
~ Brenda said she wouldn’t be in town on Saturday. (In this example would not is used as the past tense of will not. Wouldn’t is the contraction of would not.)
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From the news, TV, Internet etc.
We also use this grammar when we talk about something that we heard from TV news, the radio or read in the newspaper or on the Internet. Even if we read the information, we still use the verb said to share what we have learned. When we report information from these sources we use the pronoun it.
“I read the paper (newspaper) this morning at breakfast and it said it was gonna rain today.”
The newspaper said that it will be sunny all week. (It is a pronoun in this sentence that means the weather, we understand this from the adjective sunny. Just like it’s raining today, it’s going to be cloudy tomorrow.)
There are 2 it pronouns in our first example. – “I read the paper (newspaper) this morning at breakfast and it said it was gonna rain today.” The first it is referring to the paper. The second it is referring to the weather.
Reported speech can also be reporting exactly what someone has told you.
The newspaper said that it will be sunny all week.
“George said Karen got a new job.”
When we report exactly what someone said we don’t have to change the verb to past tense.
“Cheryl said she is busy.”
“Kathy said the new James Bond movie is great.”
Conclusion Reported speech English grammar
Reported speech is a very useful in conversation. Do you have a way to use this English grammar? Write your sentence in the comment section.
Review the grammar by watching the video below and strengthen your English listening skills.
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- No and None English Grammar (No-one – Nothing – Nowhere)
- What’s the difference between SAY and TELL? (I’ll TELL you the answer!)
- Do you have Confusing English questions? (Get Answers!)
- Hear Vs. Listen – What’s the difference? (Over 20 REAL examples)
- How to use the suffix EN (Increase vocabulary. Video too!)