Reported speech, also known as indirect speech, is used to convey what someone said without quoting them directly. It is an essential part of English grammar that is commonly used in both formal and informal communication. Here are some examples and explanations of reported speech.
In reported speech, the verb tense may change depending on the context of the reported information. For example, if the original statement was in the present tense, the reported speech might use the past tense. Consider the following example:
Direct speech: “I am studying English,” she said.
Reported speech: She said that she was studying English.
Notice that the verb “am” changes to “was” to reflect the past tense.
Different reporting verbs can also affect the structure of the reported speech. For instance, when using reporting verbs like “complain,” “suggest,” or “insist,” different structures are used. The following examples demonstrate how this can work:
Direct speech: “I’m tired,” Mary complained.
Reported speech: Mary complained that she was tired. (verb + that clause)
Direct speech: “Can we stop for a rest?” she asked.
Reported speech: She asked if they could stop for a rest. (verb + if clause)
Direct speech: “Don’t worry,” Peter told her.
Reported speech: Peter told her not to worry. (verb + to-infinitive)
Direct speech: “Let’s stop and have a picnic,” he suggested.
Reported speech: He suggested stopping and having a picnic. (verb + -ing form)
Reported speech can be used in a variety of situations, from casual conversations to more formal business settings. It is a useful tool for conveying information that was said without quoting the speaker directly. Learning to use reported speech correctly can improve your communication skills and help you to better understand what others are saying.
Reported speech is an essential part of English grammar that is used to convey information that was said without directly quoting the speaker. It requires an understanding of verb tense and reporting verbs, as well as an ability to structure sentences correctly. By practicing and using reported speech in your conversations, you can improve your English communication skills and become a more effective communicator.