Grammar: Reported Speech (Statements)


1: Work it Out

When you report what somebody says, (turning direct into indirect speech), some changes are often made. Look at the following pairs of sentence. Can you see what needs to change when reporting statements?

A: "I'm going to the cinema this evening", said Kim.
B: Kim said she was going to the cinema that evening.
A: "I left school at 15", Mark explained.
B: Mark said he had left school at 15.
A: "I'll pay the bill today", said Kathy.
B: Kathy said she would pay the bill that day.
A: "I've never been to France", said Michelle.
B: Michelle said she had never been to France.

Now try the quiz below to check your ideas.


2: Check Reported Speech

Decide if the position of the adverbs in the following sentences is correct or incorrect:

1a) "I'll be at work till late tonight", said Gill.
1b) Gill said she at work late that night.
2a)
"I don't eat fish", said Corinne.
2b) Corinne said she fish.
3a) "I broke the mirror", said Miguel.
3b) Miguel said he the mirror.
4a) "I've passed my English exam", said Carl.
4b) Carl said he his English exam.

Well done. When reporting what someone has said we often change the tense. Present tense changes to past tense, past tense changes to past perfect tense, will changes to would. Also, words like 'this', 'today', and 'now', change to 'that', 'that day' and 'then'. Note that it isn't always necessary to make these changes. For example, if the person speaking is standing next to you and you're telling a third person what was said, there is no need to make any changes.Try again. When reporting what someone has said we often change the tense. Present tense changes to past tense, past tense changes to past perfect tense, will changes to would. Also, words like 'this', 'today', and 'now', change to 'that', 'that day' and 'then'. Note that it isn't always necessary to make these changes. For example, if the person speaking is standing next to you and you're telling a third person what was said, there is no need to make any changes.Your answer has been saved.Check your answer

3: Sentence Transformation

For each question, complete the second sentence so that it means the same as the first.
Use no more than three words.

1. "I've left some food in the pot", said Sue.
Sue said she ........................................ some food in the pot.

That's right.No. The correct answer is 'had left' or ''d left'.Your answer has been saved.Check your answer

 

2. "I'll ask Andrew to give me a lift", said Fiona.
Fiona said she ........................................ Andrew to give her a lift.

That's right.No. The correct answer is 'would ask' or ''d ask'.Your answer has been saved.Check your answer

 

3. "I finish work early today", said Anna.
Anna said she finished work early .........................................

That's right.No. The correct answer is 'that day'.Your answer has been saved.Check your answer

 

4. "I booked the tickets this morning" said Claire.
Claire said she ........................................ the tickets that morning.

That's right.No. The correct answer is 'had booked' or ''d booked.Your answer has been saved.Check your answer

 

5. "I'll try to be there on time", said Louisa.
Louisa said she ........................................ to be there on time.

That's right.No. The correct answer is 'would try', ''d try'.Your answer has been saved.Check your answer

 

6. "The car has broken down", said Steve.
Steve said the car ........................................ down.

That's right.No. The correct answer is 'had broken'.Your answer has been saved.Check your answer

 ! 

Study Tip!

To practise reported speech look through your favourite magazine and find an interview with a celebrity you admire. Turn some of the simple statements he or she makes into reported speech. For example:

'I try to eat healthy food'.
She said she tried to eat healthy food.
'I met my wife at college'.
He said he'd met his wife at college.


Preliminary English Test: PET Home | Reading | Writing | Speaking | Listening | Vocabulary | Grammar