English Grammar

Reported Speech examples in English with their usages

Reported Speech

We can refer to something someone else said using direct speech, but we don’t want to quote every word that someone else said verbatim. For this, we use reported speech to refer indirectly. In this way, the pronouns, word order, and verb tenses may be different from the original sentence that was said. In this article we will provide you the examples of Reported Speech in English.

The reported speech can be used in a variety of tenses, of which we will see some examples below. In indirect sentences, we have the option of using conjunctions like “that” for some affirmative sentences, while we use “if” for interrogative sentences, but these uses are completely optional.

It is necessary to know that the sentences said in direct speech in present or past tenses will be used in any tense in the past during the reported speech. For sentences referring to future tenses, we use conditional phrases in reported speechHere are some examples of this:

Verbal tense Phrase direct ( direct speech ) Indirect phrasereported speech )
Simple Past She said, “I always listen to rock music.” She said that she always listened to rock music.
Past Continuous He said, “I am studying for that test.” He said that he was studying for that test.
Past Perfect ” Did you see that movie?” she asked. She asked me if I had seen that movie.
Past Perfect Continuous They asked, ” were you waiting all this time?” They asked if we have been waiting all this time.
Present Conditional ” We will go to the park” they said. They said that they would go to the park.
Conditional Continuous I have asked, ” will you be working all day?” He asking if I would be working all day

When should the verb tenses not be changed during reported speech

There are situations during reported speech when it is not necessary to change the verb tense of the sentence, since the action to which it is referring is still happening, has not changed or will happen in the future, in relation to the original conversation said in direct speech. For example:

Phrase direct ( direct speech ) Indirect phrasereported speech )
” I’m waiting for the bus,” he said. He said that he’s waiting for the bus.
They said, ” we are going to the movies next week.” They said that they are going to the movies next week.
I asked him, ” are you still looking for a job?” I asked him if he’s still looking for a job.

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