1 Samuhn

Assignment Reported Speech

Exercises on Reported Speech

If we report what another person has said, we usually do not use the speaker’s exact words (direct speech), but reported (indirect) speech. Therefore, you need to learn how to transform direct speech into reported speech. The structure is a little different depending on whether you want to transform a statement, question or request.

Statements

When transforming statements, check whether you have to change:

  • pronouns
  • present tense verbs (3rd person singular)
  • place and time expressions
  • tenses (backshift)
TypeExample
direct speech“I speak English.”
reported speech
(no backshift)
He says that he speaks English.
reported speech
(backshift)
He said that he spoke English.

→ more on statements in reported speech

Questions

When transforming questions, check whether you have to change:

  • pronouns
  • present tense verbs (3rd person singular)
  • place and time expressions
  • tenses (backshift)

Also note that you have to:

  • transform the question into an indirect question
  • use the interrogative or if / whether
TypeExample
with interrogativedirect speech“Why don’t you speak English?”
reported speechHe asked me why I didn’t speak English.
without interrogativedirect speech“Do you speak English?”
reported speechHe asked me whether / if I spoke English.

→ more on questions in reported speech

Requests

When transforming questions, check whether you have to change:

  • pronouns
  • place and time expressions
TypeExample
direct speech“Carol, speak English.“
reported speechHe told Carol to speak English.

→ more on requests in reported speech

Additional Information and Exeptions

Apart from the above mentioned basic rules, there are further aspects that you should keep in mind, for example:

  • main clauses connected with and / but
  • tense of the introductory clause
  • reported speech for difficult tenses
  • exeptions for backshift
  • requests with must, should, ought to and let’s

→ more on additional information and exeptions in reported speech

Exercises on Reported Speech

Statements in Reported Speech

Questions in Reported Speech

Requests in Reported Speech

Mixed Exercises on Reported Speech

Grammar in Texts

  • Peter: "The weather is warmer than usual."
    Byron: Peter said _______________.

    1.   that the weather warmer than usual
    2.   the weather be warmer than usual
    3.   the weather was warmer than usual
    4.   the weather it is warmer than usual
  • Byron: “I don’t know what Dan said.”
    Byron stated _______________.

    1.   that he didn't know what he say
    2.   that he didn't know what he did say
    3.   that he didn't know what he did said
    4.   that he didn't know what he said
  • Travel agent: “I think the train will be on time.”
    The travel agent said _______________.

    1.   that she thinks will be the train on time
    2.   that she thought the train would be on time
    3.   that she thinks the train to be on time
    4.   that she thinks the train would going to be on time
  • Greg: “I know what the assignment is.”
    Greg said _______________.

    1.   that he knew what the assignment was
    2.   that he knows what was the assignment
    3.   that he knew what was to be the assignment
    4.   that he knows what is the assignment
  • Sherri and Dan: “We enjoyed the concert.”
    Sherri and Dan told us _______________.

    1.   that they enjoying the concert
    2.   they enjoyed the concert
    3.   they can be enjoy the concert
    4.   that enjoyed the concert
  • Cathy: “I have a cat.”
    Greg: Cathy just said _______________.

    1.   that she have a cat
    2.   that she has a cat
    3.   that she been having a cat
    4.   that she had before a cat
  • Byron: “I can’t swim.”
    Byron said _______________.

    1.   he can't to swim
    2.   he couldn't swim
    3.   he can not swim
    4.   he had not swim
  • Ruby: “I go to school every day.”
    Ruby said _______________.

    1.   that she go each day to school
    2.   that she goes to school every day
    3.   that she could go school every day
    4.   that she went to school next month
  • Chris: “Robin will be arriving on Saturday.”
    Chris said _______________.

    1.   Robin arrive on Saturday
    2.   Robin had arrive on Saturday
    3.   Robin would be arriving on Saturday
    4.   Robin arriving on Saturday
  • Cameron: “I have missed the bus, but I’ll catch the next one.”
    Cameron said _______________.

    1.   he had missed the bus, but would catch the next one
    2.   he has missed the bus but he catches the next one
    3.   he has missed the bus but can caught the next one
    4.   he has missed the bus but was catching the next time
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