Reported Speech – Rules, Examples & Worksheet

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| Candace Osmond

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Candace Osmond

Candace Osmond studied Advanced Writing & Editing Essentials at MHC. She’s been an International and USA TODAY Bestselling Author for over a decade. And she’s worked as an Editor for several mid-sized publications. Candace has a keen eye for content editing and a high degree of expertise in Fiction.

They say gossip is a natural part of human life. That’s why language has evolved to develop grammatical rules about the “he said” and “she said” statements. We call them reported speech.

Every time we use reported speech in English, we are talking about something said by someone else in the past. Thinking about it brings me back to high school, when reported speech was the main form of language!

Learn all about the definition, rules, and examples of reported speech as I go over everything. I also included a worksheet at the end of the article so you can test your knowledge of the topic.

What Does Reported Speech Mean?

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Reported speech is a term we use when telling someone what another person said. You can do this while speaking or writing.

There are two kinds of reported speech you can use: direct speech and indirect speech. I’ll break each down for you.

A direct speech sentence mentions the exact words the other person said. For example:

  • Kryz said, “These are all my necklaces.”

Indirect speech changes the original speaker’s words. For example:

  • Kryz said those were all her necklaces.

When we tell someone what another individual said, we use reporting verbs like told, asked, convinced, persuaded, and said. We also change the first-person figure in the quotation into the third-person speaker.

Reported Speech Examples

We usually talk about the past every time we use reported speech. That’s because the time of speaking is already done. For example:

  • Direct speech: The employer asked me, “Do you have experience with people in the corporate setting?”

Indirect speech: The employer asked me if I had experience with people in the corporate setting.

  • Direct speech: “I’m working on my thesis,” I told James.

Indirect speech: I told James that I was working on my thesis.

Reported Speech Structure

A speech report has two parts: the reporting clause and the reported clause. Read the example below:

  • Harry said, “You need to help me.”

The reporting clause here is William said. Meanwhile, the reported clause is the 2nd clause, which is I need your help.

What are the 4 Types of Reported Speech?

Aside from direct and indirect, reported speech can also be divided into four. The four types of reported speech are similar to the kinds of sentences: imperative, interrogative, exclamatory, and declarative.

Reported Speech Rules

The rules for reported speech can be complex. But with enough practice, you’ll be able to master them all.

Choose Whether to Use That or If

The most common conjunction in reported speech is that. You can say, “My aunt says she’s outside,” or “My aunt says that she’s outside.”

Use if when you’re reporting a yes-no question. For example:

  • Direct speech: “Are you coming with us?”

Indirect speech: She asked if she was coming with them.

Verb Tense Changes

Change the reporting verb into its past form if the statement is irrelevant now. Remember that some of these words are irregular verbs, meaning they don’t follow the typical -d or -ed pattern. For example:

  • Direct speech: I dislike fried chicken.

Reported speech: She said she disliked fried chicken.

Note how the main verb in the reported statement is also in the past tense verb form.

Use the simple present tense in your indirect speech if the initial words remain relevant at the time of reporting. This verb tense also works if the report is something someone would repeat. For example:

  • Slater says they’re opening a restaurant soon.
  • Maya says she likes dogs.

This rule proves that the choice of verb tense is not a black-and-white question. The reporter needs to analyze the context of the action.

Move the tense backward when the reporting verb is in the past tense. That means:

  • Present simple becomes past simple.
  • Present perfect becomes past perfect.
  • Present continuous becomes past continuous.
  • Past simple becomes past perfect.
  • Past continuous becomes past perfect continuous.

Here are some examples:

  • The singer has left the building. (present perfect)

He said that the singers had left the building. (past perfect)

  • Her sister gave her new shows. (past simple)
  • She said that her sister had given her new shoes. (past perfect)

If the original speaker is discussing the future, change the tense of the reporting verb into the past form. There’ll also be a change in the auxiliary verbs.

  • Will or shall becomes would.
  • Will be becomes would be.
  • Will have been becomes would have been.
  • Will have becomes would have.

For example:

  • Direct speech: “I will be there in a moment.”

Indirect speech: She said that she would be there in a moment.

Do not change the verb tenses in indirect speech when the sentence has a time clause. This rule applies when the introductory verb is in the future, present, and present perfect. Here are other conditions where you must not change the tense:

  • If the sentence is a fact or generally true.
  • If the sentence’s verb is in the unreal past (using second or third conditional).
  • If the original speaker reports something right away.
  • Do not change had better, would, used to, could, might, etc.

Changes in Place and Time Reference

Changing the place and time adverb when using indirect speech is essential. For example, now becomes then and today becomes that day. Here are more transformations in adverbs of time and places.

  • This – that.
  • These – those.
  • Now – then.
  • Here – there.
  • Tomorrow – the next/following day.
  • Two weeks ago – two weeks before.
  • Yesterday – the day before.

Here are some examples.

  • Direct speech: “I am baking cookies now.”

Indirect speech: He said he was baking cookies then.

  • Direct speech: “Myra went here yesterday.”

Indirect speech: She said Myra went there the day before.

  • Direct speech: “I will go to the market tomorrow.”

Indirect speech: She said she would go to the market the next day.

Using Modals

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If the direct speech contains a modal verb, make sure to change them accordingly.

  • Will becomes would
  • Can becomes could
  • Shall becomes should or would.
  • Direct speech: “Will you come to the ball with me?”

Indirect speech: He asked if he would come to the ball with me.

  • Direct speech: “Gina can inspect the room tomorrow because she’s free.”

Indirect speech: He said Gina could inspect the room the next day because she’s free.

However, sometimes, the modal verb should does not change grammatically. For example:

  • Direct speech: “He should go to the park.”

Indirect speech: She said that he should go to the park.

Imperative Sentences

To change an imperative sentence into a reported indirect sentence, use to for imperative and not to for negative sentences. Never use the word that in your indirect speech. Another rule is to remove the word please . Instead, say request or say. For example:

  • “Please don’t interrupt the event,” said the host.

The host requested them not to interrupt the event.

  • Jonah told her, “Be careful.”
  • Jonah ordered her to be careful.

Reported Questions

When reporting a direct question, I would use verbs like inquire, wonder, ask, etc. Remember that we don’t use a question mark or exclamation mark for reports of questions. Below is an example I made of how to change question forms.

  • Incorrect: He asked me where I live?

Correct: He asked me where I live.

Here’s another example. The first sentence uses direct speech in a present simple question form, while the second is the reported speech.

  • Where do you live?

She asked me where I live.

Wrapping Up Reported Speech

My guide has shown you an explanation of reported statements in English. Do you have a better grasp on how to use it now?

Reported speech refers to something that someone else said. It contains a subject, reporting verb, and a reported cause.

Don’t forget my rules for using reported speech. Practice the correct verb tense, modal verbs, time expressions, and place references.

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Reported Speech

Perfect english grammar.

reported speech here there

Reported Statements

Here's how it works:

We use a 'reporting verb' like 'say' or 'tell'. ( Click here for more about using 'say' and 'tell' .) If this verb is in the present tense, it's easy. We just put 'she says' and then the sentence:

  • Direct speech: I like ice cream.
  • Reported speech: She says (that) she likes ice cream.

We don't need to change the tense, though probably we do need to change the 'person' from 'I' to 'she', for example. We also may need to change words like 'my' and 'your'. (As I'm sure you know, often, we can choose if we want to use 'that' or not in English. I've put it in brackets () to show that it's optional. It's exactly the same if you use 'that' or if you don't use 'that'.)

But , if the reporting verb is in the past tense, then usually we change the tenses in the reported speech:

  • Reported speech: She said (that) she liked ice cream.

* doesn't change.

  • Direct speech: The sky is blue.
  • Reported speech: She said (that) the sky is/was blue.

Click here for a mixed tense exercise about practise reported statements. Click here for a list of all the reported speech exercises.

Reported Questions

So now you have no problem with making reported speech from positive and negative sentences. But how about questions?

  • Direct speech: Where do you live?
  • Reported speech: She asked me where I lived.
  • Direct speech: Where is Julie?
  • Reported speech: She asked me where Julie was.
  • Direct speech: Do you like chocolate?
  • Reported speech: She asked me if I liked chocolate.

Click here to practise reported 'wh' questions. Click here to practise reported 'yes / no' questions. Reported Requests

There's more! What if someone asks you to do something (in a polite way)? For example:

  • Direct speech: Close the window, please
  • Or: Could you close the window please?
  • Or: Would you mind closing the window please?
  • Reported speech: She asked me to close the window.
  • Direct speech: Please don't be late.
  • Reported speech: She asked us not to be late.

Reported Orders

  • Direct speech: Sit down!
  • Reported speech: She told me to sit down.
  • Click here for an exercise to practise reported requests and orders.
  • Click here for an exercise about using 'say' and 'tell'.
  • Click here for a list of all the reported speech exercises.

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Reported Speech - Definition, Rules and Usage with Examples

Reported speech or indirect speech is the form of speech used to convey what was said by someone at some point of time. This article will help you with all that you need to know about reported speech, its meaning, definition, how and when to use them along with examples. Furthermore, try out the practice questions given to check how far you have understood the topic.

reported speech here there

Table of Contents

Definition of reported speech, rules to be followed when using reported speech, table 1 – change of pronouns, table 2 – change of adverbs of place and adverbs of time, table 3 – change of tense, table 4 – change of modal verbs, tips to practise reported speech, examples of reported speech, check your understanding of reported speech, frequently asked questions on reported speech in english, what is reported speech.

Reported speech is the form in which one can convey a message said by oneself or someone else, mostly in the past. It can also be said to be the third person view of what someone has said. In this form of speech, you need not use quotation marks as you are not quoting the exact words spoken by the speaker, but just conveying the message.

Now, take a look at the following dictionary definitions for a clearer idea of what it is.

Reported speech, according to the Oxford Learner’s Dictionary, is defined as “a report of what somebody has said that does not use their exact words.” The Collins Dictionary defines reported speech as “speech which tells you what someone said, but does not use the person’s actual words.” According to the Cambridge Dictionary, reported speech is defined as “the act of reporting something that was said, but not using exactly the same words.” The Macmillan Dictionary defines reported speech as “the words that you use to report what someone else has said.”

Reported speech is a little different from direct speech . As it has been discussed already, reported speech is used to tell what someone said and does not use the exact words of the speaker. Take a look at the following rules so that you can make use of reported speech effectively.

  • The first thing you have to keep in mind is that you need not use any quotation marks as you are not using the exact words of the speaker.
  • You can use the following formula to construct a sentence in the reported speech.
  • You can use verbs like said, asked, requested, ordered, complained, exclaimed, screamed, told, etc. If you are just reporting a declarative sentence , you can use verbs like told, said, etc. followed by ‘that’ and end the sentence with a full stop . When you are reporting interrogative sentences, you can use the verbs – enquired, inquired, asked, etc. and remove the question mark . In case you are reporting imperative sentences , you can use verbs like requested, commanded, pleaded, ordered, etc. If you are reporting exclamatory sentences , you can use the verb exclaimed and remove the exclamation mark . Remember that the structure of the sentences also changes accordingly.
  • Furthermore, keep in mind that the sentence structure , tense , pronouns , modal verbs , some specific adverbs of place and adverbs of time change when a sentence is transformed into indirect/reported speech.

Transforming Direct Speech into Reported Speech

As discussed earlier, when transforming a sentence from direct speech into reported speech, you will have to change the pronouns, tense and adverbs of time and place used by the speaker. Let us look at the following tables to see how they work.

Here are some tips you can follow to become a pro in using reported speech.

  • Select a play, a drama or a short story with dialogues and try transforming the sentences in direct speech into reported speech.
  • Write about an incident or speak about a day in your life using reported speech.
  • Develop a story by following prompts or on your own using reported speech.

Given below are a few examples to show you how reported speech can be written. Check them out.

  • Santana said that she would be auditioning for the lead role in Funny Girl.
  • Blaine requested us to help him with the algebraic equations.
  • Karishma asked me if I knew where her car keys were.
  • The judges announced that the Warblers were the winners of the annual acapella competition.
  • Binsha assured that she would reach Bangalore by 8 p.m.
  • Kumar said that he had gone to the doctor the previous day.
  • Lakshmi asked Teena if she would accompany her to the railway station.
  • Jibin told me that he would help me out after lunch.
  • The police ordered everyone to leave from the bus stop immediately.
  • Rahul said that he was drawing a caricature.

Transform the following sentences into reported speech by making the necessary changes.

1. Rachel said, “I have an interview tomorrow.”

2. Mahesh said, “What is he doing?”

3. Sherly said, “My daughter is playing the lead role in the skit.”

4. Dinesh said, “It is a wonderful movie!”

5. Suresh said, “My son is getting married next month.”

6. Preetha said, “Can you please help me with the invitations?”

7. Anna said, “I look forward to meeting you.”

8. The teacher said, “Make sure you complete the homework before tomorrow.”

9. Sylvester said, “I am not going to cry anymore.”

10. Jade said, “My sister is moving to Los Angeles.”

Now, find out if you have answered all of them correctly.

1. Rachel said that she had an interview the next day.

2. Mahesh asked what he was doing.

3. Sherly said that her daughter was playing the lead role in the skit.

4. Dinesh exclaimed that it was a wonderful movie.

5. Suresh said that his son was getting married the following month.

6. Preetha asked if I could help her with the invitations.

7. Anna said that she looked forward to meeting me.

8. The teacher told us to make sure we completed the homework before the next day.

9. Sylvester said that he was not going to cry anymore.

10. Jade said that his sister was moving to Los Angeles.

What is reported speech?

What is the definition of reported speech.

Reported speech, according to the Oxford Learner’s Dictionary, is defined as “a report of what somebody has said that does not use their exact words.” The Collins Dictionary defines reported speech as “speech which tells you what someone said, but does not use the person’s actual words.” According to the Cambridge Dictionary, reported speech is defined as “the act of reporting something that was said, but not using exactly the same words.” The Macmillan Dictionary defines reported speech as “the words that you use to report what someone else has said.”

What is the formula of reported speech?

You can use the following formula to construct a sentence in the reported speech. Subject said that (report whatever the speaker said)

Give some examples of reported speech.

Given below are a few examples to show you how reported speech can be written.

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Reported Speech in English

“Reported speech” might sound fancy, but it isn’t that complicated.

It’s just how you talk about what someone said.

Luckily, it’s pretty simple to learn the basics in English, beginning with the two types of reported speech: direct (reporting the exact words someone said) and indirect (reporting what someone said without using their exact words ).

Read this post to learn how to report speech, with tips and tricks for each, plenty of examples and a resources section that tells you about real world resources you can use to practice reporting speech.

How to Report Direct Speech

How to report indirect speech, reporting questions in indirect speech, verb tenses in indirect reported speech, simple present, present continuous, present perfect, present perfect continuous, simple past, past continuous, past perfect, past perfect continuous, simple future, future continuous, future perfect, future perfect continuous, authentic resources for practicing reported speech, novels and short stories, native english videos, celebrity profiles.

Download: This blog post is available as a convenient and portable PDF that you can take anywhere. Click here to get a copy. (Download)

Direct speech refers to the exact words that a person says. You can “report” direct speech in a few different ways.

To see how this works, let’s pretend that I (Elisabeth) told some people that I liked green onions.

Here are some different ways that those people could explain what I said:

Direct speech: “I like green onions,” Elisabeth said.

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reported speech here there

Direct speech: “I like green onions,” she told me. — In this sentence, we replace my name (Elisabeth) with the pronoun she.

In all of these examples, the part that was said is between quotation marks and is followed by a noun (“she” or “Elisabeth”) and a verb. Each of these verbs (“to say,” “to tell [someone],” “to explain”) are ways to describe someone talking. You can use any verb that refers to speech in this way.

You can also put the noun and verb before what was said.

Direct speech: Elisabeth said, “I like spaghetti.”

The example above would be much more likely to be said out loud than the first set of examples.

Here’s a conversation that might happen between two people:

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reported speech here there

1: Did you ask her if she liked coffee?

2: Yeah, I asked her.

1: What did she say?

2. She said, “Yeah, I like coffee.” ( Direct speech )

Usually, reporting of direct speech is something you see in writing. It doesn’t happen as often when people are talking to each other. 

Direct reported speech often happens in the past. However, there are all kinds of stories, including journalism pieces, profiles and fiction, where you might see speech reported in the present as well.

This is sometimes done when the author of the piece wants you to feel that you’re experiencing events in the present moment.

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reported speech here there

For example, a profile of Kristen Stewart in Vanity Fair  has a funny moment that describes how the actress isn’t a very good swimmer:

Direct speech: “I don’t want to enter the water, ever,” she says. “If everyone’s going in the ocean, I’m like, no.”

Here, the speech is reported as though it’s in the present tense (“she says”) instead of in the past (“she said”).

In writing of all kinds, direct reported speech is often split into two or more parts, as it is above.

Here’s an example from Lewis Carroll’s “ Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland ,” where the speech is even more split up:

Direct speech: “I won’t indeed!” said Alice, in a great hurry to change the subject of conversation. “Are you—are you fond—of—of dogs?” The Mouse did not answer, so Alice went on eagerly: “There is such a nice little dog near our house I should like to show you!”

Reporting indirect speech is what happens when you explain what someone said without using their exact words.

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reported speech here there

Let’s start with an example of direct reported speech like those used above.

Direct speech: Elisabeth said, “I like coffee.”

As indirect reported speech, it looks like this:

Indirect speech: Elisabeth said she liked coffee.

You can see that the subject (“I”) has been changed to “she,” to show who is being spoken about. If I’m reporting the direct speech of someone else, and this person says “I,” I’d repeat their sentence exactly as they said it. If I’m reporting this person’s speech indirectly to someone else, however, I’d speak about them in the third person—using “she,” “he” or “they.”

You may also notice that the tense changes here: If “I like coffee” is what she said, this can become “She liked coffee” in indirect speech.

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reported speech here there

However, you might just as often hear someone say something like, “She said she likes coffee.” Since people’s likes and preferences tend to change over time and not right away, it makes sense to keep them in the present tense.

Indirect speech often uses the word “that” before what was said:

Indirect speech: She said that she liked coffee.

There’s no real difference between “She said she liked coffee” and “She said that she liked coffee.” However, using “that” can help make the different parts of the sentence clearer.

Let’s look at a few other examples:

Indirect speech: I said I was going outside today.

reported speech here there

Indirect speech: They told me that they wanted to order pizza.

Indirect speech: He mentioned it was raining.

Indirect speech: She said that her father was coming over for dinner.

You can see an example of reporting indirect speech in the funny video “ Cell Phone Crashing .” In this video, a traveler in an airport sits down next to another traveler talking on his cell phone. The first traveler pretends to be talking to someone on his phone, but he appears to be responding to the second traveler’s conversation, which leads to this exchange:

Woman: “Are you answering what I’m saying?”

Man “No, no… I’m on the phone with somebody, sorry. I don’t mean to be rude.” (Direct speech)

Woman: “What was that?”

Man: “I just said I was on the phone with somebody.” (Indirect speech)

When reporting questions in indirect speech, you can use words like “whether” or “if” with verbs that show questioning, such as “to ask” or “to wonder.”

Direct speech: She asked, “Is that a new restaurant?”

Indirect speech: She asked if that was a new restaurant. 

In any case where you’re reporting a question, you can say that someone was “wondering” or “wanted to know” something. Notice that these verbs don’t directly show that someone asked a question. They don’t describe an action that happened at a single point in time. But you can usually assume that someone was wondering or wanted to know what they asked.

Indirect speech: She was wondering if that was a new restaurant.

Indirect speech: She wanted to know whether that was a new restaurant.

It can be tricky to know how to use tenses when reporting indirect speech. Let’s break it down, tense by tense.

Sometimes, indirect speech “ backshifts ,” or moves one tense further back into the past. We already saw this in the example from above:

Direct speech: She said, “I like coffee.”

Indirect speech: She said she liked coffee.

Also as mentioned above, backshifting doesn’t always happen. This might seem confusing, but it isn’t that difficult to understand once you start using reported speech regularly.

What tense you use in indirect reported speech often just depends on when what you’re reporting happened or was true.

Let’s look at some examples of how direct speech in certain tenses commonly changes (or doesn’t) when it’s reported as indirect speech.

To learn about all the English tenses (or for a quick review), check out this post .

Direct speech: I said, “I play video games.”

Indirect speech: I said that I played video games (simple past) or I said that I play video games  (simple present).

Backshifting into the past or staying in the present here can change the meaning slightly. If you use the first example, it’s unclear whether or not you still play video games; all we know is that you said you played them in the past.

If you use the second example, though, you probably still play video games (unless you were lying for some reason).

However, the difference in meaning is so small, you can use either one and you won’t have a problem.

Direct speech: I said, “I’m playing video games.”

Indirect speech: I said that I was playing video games (past continuous) or I said that I’m playing video games (present continuous).

In this case, you’d likely use the first example if you were telling a story about something that happened in the past.

You could use the second example to repeat or stress what you just said. For example:

Hey, want to go for a walk?

Direct speech: No, I’m playing video games.

But it’s such a nice day!

Indirect speech: I said that I’m playing video games!

Direct speech: Marie said, “I have read that book.”

Indirect speech: Marie said that she had read that book (past perfect) or Marie said that she has read that book (present perfect).

The past perfect is used a lot in writing and other kinds of narration. This is because it helps point out an exact moment in time when something was true.

The past perfect isn’t quite as useful in conversation, where people are usually more interested in what’s true now. So, in a lot of cases, people would use the second example above when speaking.

Direct speech: She said, “I have been watching that show.”

Indirect speech: She said that she had been watching that show (past perfect continuous) or She said that she has been watching that show (present perfect continuous).

These examples are similar to the others above. You could use the first example whether or not this person was still watching the show, but if you used the second example, it’d probably seem like you either knew or guessed that she was still watching it.

Direct speech: You told me, “I charged my phone.”

Indirect speech: You told me that you had charged your phone (past perfect) or You told me that you charged your phone (simple past).

Here, most people would probably just use the second example, because it’s simpler, and gets across the same meaning.

Direct speech: You told me, “I was charging my phone.”

Indirect speech: You told me that you had been charging your phone (past perfect continuous) or You told me that you were charging your phone (past continuous).

Here, the difference is between whether you had been charging your phone before or were charging your phone at the time. However, a lot of people would still use the second example in either situation.

Direct speech: They explained, “We had bathed the cat on Wednesday.”

Indirect speech: They explained that they had bathed the cat on Wednesday. (past perfect)

Once we start reporting the past perfect tenses, we don’t backshift because there are no tenses to backshift to.

So in this case, it’s simple. The tense stays exactly as is. However, many people might simplify even more and use the simple past, saying, “They explained that they bathed the cat on Wednesday.”

Direct speech: They said, “The cat had been going outside and getting dirty for a long time!”

Indirect speech: They said that the cat had been going outside and getting dirty for a long time. (past perfect continuous)

Again, we don’t shift the tense back here; we leave it like it is. And again, a lot of people would report this speech as, “They said the cat was going outside and getting dirty for a long time.” It’s just a simpler way to say almost the same thing.

Direct speech: I told you, “I will be here no matter what.”

Indirect speech: I told you that I would be here no matter what. (present conditional)

At this point, we don’t just have to think about tenses, but grammatical mood, too. However, the idea is still pretty simple. We use the conditional (with “would”) to show that at the time the words were spoken, the future was uncertain.

In this case, you could also say, “I told you that I will be here no matter what,” but only if you “being here” is still something that you expect to happen in the future.

What matters here is what’s intended. Since this example shows a person reporting their own speech, it’s more likely that they’d want to stress the truth of their own intention, and so they might be more likely to use “will” than “would.”

But if you were reporting someone else’s words, you might be more likely to say something like, “She told me that she would be here no matter what.”

Direct speech: I said, “I’ll be waiting for your call.”

Indirect speech: I said that I would be waiting for your call. (conditional continuous)

These are similar to the above examples, but apply to a continuous or ongoing action.

Direct speech: She said, “I will have learned a lot about myself.”

Indirect speech: She said that she would have learned a lot about herself (conditional perfect) or She said that she will have learned a lot about herself (future perfect).

In this case, using the conditional (as in the first example) suggests that maybe a certain event didn’t happen, or something didn’t turn out as expected.

However, that might not always be the case, especially if this was a sentence that was written in an article or a work of fiction. The second example, however, suggests that the future that’s being talked about still hasn’t happened yet.

Direct speech: She said, “By next Tuesday, I will have been staying inside every day for the past month.”

Indirect speech: She said that by next Tuesday, she would have been staying inside every day for the past month (perfect continuous conditional) or She said that by next Tuesday, she will have been staying inside every day for the past month (past perfect continuous).

Again, in this case, the first example might suggest that the event didn’t happen. Maybe the person didn’t stay inside until next Tuesday! However, this could also just be a way of explaining that at the time she said this in the past, it was uncertain whether she really would stay inside for as long as she thought.

The second example, on the other hand, would only be used if next Tuesday hadn’t happened yet.

Let’s take a look at where you can find resources for practicing reporting speech in the real world.

One of the most common uses for reported speech is in fiction. You’ll find plenty of reported speech in novels and short stories . Look for books that have long sections of text with dialogue marked by quotation marks (“…”). Once you understand the different kinds of reported speech, you can look for it in your reading and use it in your own writing.

Writing your own stories is a great way to get even better at understanding reported speech.

One of the best ways to practice any aspect of English is to watch native English videos. By watching English speakers use the language, you can understand how reported speech is used in real world situations.

FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.

You can try FluentU for free for 2 weeks. Check out the website or download the iOS app or Android app.

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Celebrity profiles, which you can find in print magazines and online, can help you find and practice reported speech, too. Celebrity profiles are stories that focus on a famous person. They often include some kind of interview. The writer will usually spend some time describing the person and then mention things that they say; this is when they use reported speech.

Because many of these profiles are written in the present tense, they can help you get used to the basics of reported speech without having to worry too much about different verb tenses.

While the above may seem really complicated, it isn’t that difficult to start using reported speech.

Mastering it may be a little difficult, but the truth is that many, many people who speak English as a first language struggle with it, too!

Reported speech is flexible, and even if you make mistakes, there’s a good chance that no one will notice.

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reported speech here there

Reported Speech in English Grammar

Direct speech, changing the tense (backshift), no change of tenses, question sentences, demands/requests, expressions with who/what/how + infinitive, typical changes of time and place.

  • Lingolia Plus English

Introduction

In English grammar, we use reported speech to say what another person has said. We can use their exact words with quotation marks , this is known as direct speech , or we can use indirect speech . In indirect speech , we change the tense and pronouns to show that some time has passed. Indirect speech is often introduced by a reporting verb or phrase such as ones below.

Learn the rules for writing indirect speech in English with Lingolia’s simple explanation. In the exercises, you can test your grammar skills.

When turning direct speech into indirect speech, we need to pay attention to the following points:

  • changing the pronouns Example: He said, “ I saw a famous TV presenter.” He said (that) he had seen a famous TV presenter.
  • changing the information about time and place (see the table at the end of this page) Example: He said, “I saw a famous TV presenter here yesterday .” He said (that) he had seen a famous TV presenter there the day before .
  • changing the tense (backshift) Example: He said, “She was eating an ice-cream at the table where you are sitting .” He said (that) she had been eating an ice-cream at the table where I was sitting .

If the introductory clause is in the simple past (e.g. He said ), the tense has to be set back by one degree (see the table). The term for this in English is backshift .

The verbs could, should, would, might, must, needn’t, ought to, used to normally do not change.

If the introductory clause is in the simple present , however (e.g. He says ), then the tense remains unchanged, because the introductory clause already indicates that the statement is being immediately repeated (and not at a later point in time).

In some cases, however, we have to change the verb form.

When turning questions into indirect speech, we have to pay attention to the following points:

  • As in a declarative sentence, we have to change the pronouns, the time and place information, and set the tense back ( backshift ).
  • Instead of that , we use a question word. If there is no question word, we use whether / if instead. Example: She asked him, “ How often do you work?” → She asked him how often he worked. He asked me, “Do you know any famous people?” → He asked me if/whether I knew any famous people.
  • We put the subject before the verb in question sentences. (The subject goes after the auxiliary verb in normal questions.) Example: I asked him, “ Have you met any famous people before?” → I asked him if/whether he had met any famous people before.
  • We don’t use the auxiliary verb do for questions in indirect speech. Therefore, we sometimes have to conjugate the main verb (for third person singular or in the simple past ). Example: I asked him, “What do you want to tell me?” → I asked him what he wanted to tell me.
  • We put the verb directly after who or what in subject questions. Example: I asked him, “ Who is sitting here?” → I asked him who was sitting there.

We don’t just use indirect questions to report what another person has asked. We also use them to ask questions in a very polite manner.

When turning demands and requests into indirect speech, we only need to change the pronouns and the time and place information. We don’t have to pay attention to the tenses – we simply use an infinitive .

If it is a negative demand, then in indirect speech we use not + infinitive .

To express what someone should or can do in reported speech, we leave out the subject and the modal verb and instead we use the construction who/what/where/how + infinitive.

Say or Tell?

The words say and tell are not interchangeable. say = say something tell = say something to someone

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reported speech here there

What is Reported Speech and how to use it? with Examples

Published by

Olivia Drake

Reported speech and indirect speech are two terms that refer to the same concept, which is the act of expressing what someone else has said.

On this page:

Reported speech is different from direct speech because it does not use the speaker’s exact words. Instead, the reporting verb is used to introduce the reported speech, and the tense and pronouns are changed to reflect the shift in perspective. There are two main types of reported speech: statements and questions.

1. Reported Statements: In reported statements, the reporting verb is usually “said.” The tense in the reported speech changes from the present simple to the past simple, and any pronouns referring to the speaker or listener are changed to reflect the shift in perspective. For example, “I am going to the store,” becomes “He said that he was going to the store.”

2. Reported Questions: In reported questions, the reporting verb is usually “asked.” The tense in the reported speech changes from the present simple to the past simple, and the word order changes from a question to a statement. For example, “What time is it?” becomes “She asked what time it was.”

It’s important to note that the tense shift in reported speech depends on the context and the time of the reported speech. Here are a few more examples:

  • Direct speech: “I will call you later.”Reported speech: He said that he would call me later.
  • Direct speech: “Did you finish your homework?”Reported speech: She asked if I had finished my homework.
  • Direct speech: “I love pizza.”Reported speech: They said that they loved pizza.

When do we use reported speech?

Reported speech is used to report what someone else has said, thought, or written. It is often used in situations where you want to relate what someone else has said without quoting them directly.

Reported speech can be used in a variety of contexts, such as in news reports, academic writing, and everyday conversation. Some common situations where reported speech is used include:

News reports:  Journalists often use reported speech to quote what someone said in an interview or press conference.

Business and professional communication:  In professional settings, reported speech can be used to summarize what was discussed in a meeting or to report feedback from a customer.

Conversational English:  In everyday conversations, reported speech is used to relate what someone else said. For example, “She told me that she was running late.”

Narration:  In written narratives or storytelling, reported speech can be used to convey what a character said or thought.

How to make reported speech?

1. Change the pronouns and adverbs of time and place: In reported speech, you need to change the pronouns, adverbs of time and place to reflect the new speaker or point of view. Here’s an example:

Direct speech: “I’m going to the store now,” she said. Reported speech: She said she was going to the store then.

In this example, the pronoun “I” is changed to “she” and the adverb “now” is changed to “then.”

2. Change the tense: In reported speech, you usually need to change the tense of the verb to reflect the change from direct to indirect speech. Here’s an example:

Direct speech: “I will meet you at the park tomorrow,” he said. Reported speech: He said he would meet me at the park the next day.

In this example, the present tense “will” is changed to the past tense “would.”

3. Change reporting verbs: In reported speech, you can use different reporting verbs such as “say,” “tell,” “ask,” or “inquire” depending on the context of the speech. Here’s an example:

Direct speech: “Did you finish your homework?” she asked. Reported speech: She asked if I had finished my homework.

In this example, the reporting verb “asked” is changed to “said” and “did” is changed to “had.”

Overall, when making reported speech, it’s important to pay attention to the verb tense and the changes in pronouns, adverbs, and reporting verbs to convey the original speaker’s message accurately.

How do I change the pronouns and adverbs in reported speech?

1. Changing Pronouns: In reported speech, the pronouns in the original statement must be changed to reflect the perspective of the new speaker. Generally, the first person pronouns (I, me, my, mine, we, us, our, ours) are changed according to the subject of the reporting verb, while the second and third person pronouns (you, your, yours, he, him, his, she, her, hers, it, its, they, them, their, theirs) are changed according to the object of the reporting verb. For example:

Direct speech: “I love chocolate.” Reported speech: She said she loved chocolate.

Direct speech: “You should study harder.” Reported speech: He advised me to study harder.

Direct speech: “She is reading a book.” Reported speech: They noticed that she was reading a book.

2. Changing Adverbs: In reported speech, the adverbs and adverbial phrases that indicate time or place may need to be changed to reflect the perspective of the new speaker. For example:

Direct speech: “I’m going to the cinema tonight.” Reported speech: She said she was going to the cinema that night.

Direct speech: “He is here.” Reported speech: She said he was there.

Note that the adverb “now” usually changes to “then” or is omitted altogether in reported speech, depending on the context.

It’s important to keep in mind that the changes made to pronouns and adverbs in reported speech depend on the context and the perspective of the new speaker. With practice, you can become more comfortable with making these changes in reported speech.

How do I change the tense in reported speech?

In reported speech, the tense of the reported verb usually changes to reflect the change from direct to indirect speech. Here are some guidelines on how to change the tense in reported speech:

Present simple in direct speech changes to past simple in reported speech. For example: Direct speech: “I like pizza.” Reported speech: She said she liked pizza.

Present continuous in direct speech changes to past continuous in reported speech. For example: Direct speech: “I am studying for my exam.” Reported speech: He said he was studying for his exam.

Present perfect in direct speech changes to past perfect in reported speech. For example: Direct speech: “I have finished my work.” Reported speech: She said she had finished her work.

Past simple in direct speech changes to past perfect in reported speech. For example: Direct speech: “I visited my grandparents last weekend.” Reported speech: She said she had visited her grandparents the previous weekend.

Will in direct speech changes to would in reported speech. For example: Direct speech: “I will help you with your project.” Reported speech: He said he would help me with my project.

Can in direct speech changes to could in reported speech. For example: Direct speech: “I can speak French.” Reported speech: She said she could speak French.

Remember that the tense changes in reported speech depend on the tense of the verb in the direct speech, and the tense you use in reported speech should match the time frame of the new speaker’s perspective. With practice, you can become more comfortable with changing the tense in reported speech.

Do I always need to use a reporting verb in reported speech?

No, you do not always need to use a reporting verb in reported speech. However, using a reporting verb can help to clarify who is speaking and add more context to the reported speech.

In some cases, the reported speech can be introduced by phrases such as “I heard that” or “It seems that” without using a reporting verb. For example:

Direct speech: “I’m going to the cinema tonight.” Reported speech with a reporting verb: She said she was going to the cinema tonight. Reported speech without a reporting verb: It seems that she’s going to the cinema tonight.

However, it’s important to note that using a reporting verb can help to make the reported speech more formal and accurate. When using reported speech in academic writing or journalism, it’s generally recommended to use a reporting verb to make the reporting more clear and credible.

Some common reporting verbs include say, tell, explain, ask, suggest, and advise. For example:

Direct speech: “I think we should invest in renewable energy.” Reported speech with a reporting verb: She suggested that they invest in renewable energy.

Overall, while using a reporting verb is not always required, it can be helpful to make the reported speech more clear and accurate

How to use reported speech to report questions and commands?

1. Reporting Questions: When reporting questions, you need to use an introductory phrase such as “asked” or “wondered” followed by the question word (if applicable), subject, and verb. You also need to change the word order to make it a statement. Here’s an example:

Direct speech: “What time is the meeting?” Reported speech: She asked what time the meeting was.

Note that the question mark is not used in reported speech.

2. Reporting Commands: When reporting commands, you need to use an introductory phrase such as “ordered” or “told” followed by the person, to + infinitive, and any additional information. Here’s an example:

Direct speech: “Clean your room!” Reported speech: She ordered me to clean my room.

Note that the exclamation mark is not used in reported speech.

In both cases, the tense of the reported verb should be changed accordingly. For example, present simple changes to past simple, and future changes to conditional. Here are some examples:

Direct speech: “Will you go to the party with me?”Reported speech: She asked if I would go to the party with her. Direct speech: “Please bring me a glass of water.”Reported speech: She requested that I bring her a glass of water.

Remember that when using reported speech to report questions and commands, the introductory phrases and verb tenses are important to convey the intended meaning accurately.

How to make questions in reported speech?

To make questions in reported speech, you need to use an introductory phrase such as “asked” or “wondered” followed by the question word (if applicable), subject, and verb. You also need to change the word order to make it a statement. Here are the steps to make questions in reported speech:

Identify the reporting verb: The first step is to identify the reporting verb in the sentence. Common reporting verbs used to report questions include “asked,” “inquired,” “wondered,” and “wanted to know.”

Change the tense and pronouns: Next, you need to change the tense and pronouns in the sentence to reflect the shift from direct to reported speech. The tense of the verb is usually shifted back one tense (e.g. from present simple to past simple) in reported speech. The pronouns should also be changed as necessary to reflect the shift in perspective from the original speaker to the reporting speaker.

Use an appropriate question word: If the original question contained a question word (e.g. who, what, where, when, why, how), you should use the same question word in the reported question. If the original question did not contain a question word, you can use “if” or “whether” to introduce the reported question.

Change the word order: In reported speech, the word order of the question changes from the inverted form to a normal statement form. The subject usually comes before the verb, unless the original question started with a question word.

Here are some examples of reported questions:

Direct speech: “Did you finish your homework?”Reported speech: He wanted to know if I had finished my homework. Direct speech: “Where are you going?”Reported speech: She wondered where I was going.

Remember that when making questions in reported speech, the introductory phrases and verb tenses are important to convey the intended meaning accurately.

Here you can find more examples of direct and indirect questions

What is the difference between reported speech an indirect speech?

In reported or indirect speech, you are retelling or reporting what someone said using your own words. The tense of the reported speech is usually shifted back one tense from the tense used in the original statement. For example, if someone said, “I am going to the store,” in reported speech you would say, “He/she said that he/she was going to the store.”

The main difference between reported speech and indirect speech is that reported speech usually refers to spoken language, while indirect speech can refer to both spoken and written language. Additionally, indirect speech is a broader term that includes reported speech as well as other ways of expressing what someone else has said, such as paraphrasing or summarizing.

Examples of direct speech to reported

  • Direct speech: “I am hungry,” she said. Reported speech: She said she was hungry.
  • Direct speech: “Can you pass the salt, please?” he asked. Reported speech: He asked her to pass the salt.
  • Direct speech: “I will meet you at the cinema,” he said. Reported speech: He said he would meet her at the cinema.
  • Direct speech: “I have been working on this project for hours,” she said. Reported speech: She said she had been working on the project for hours.
  • Direct speech: “What time does the train leave?” he asked. Reported speech: He asked what time the train left.
  • Direct speech: “I love playing the piano,” she said. Reported speech: She said she loved playing the piano.
  • Direct speech: “I am going to the grocery store,” he said. Reported speech: He said he was going to the grocery store.
  • Direct speech: “Did you finish your homework?” the teacher asked. Reported speech: The teacher asked if he had finished his homework.
  • Direct speech: “I want to go to the beach,” she said. Reported speech: She said she wanted to go to the beach.
  • Direct speech: “Do you need help with that?” he asked. Reported speech: He asked if she needed help with that.
  • Direct speech: “I can’t come to the party,” he said. Reported speech: He said he couldn’t come to the party.
  • Direct speech: “Please don’t leave me,” she said. Reported speech: She begged him not to leave her.
  • Direct speech: “I have never been to London before,” he said. Reported speech: He said he had never been to London before.
  • Direct speech: “Where did you put my phone?” she asked. Reported speech: She asked where she had put her phone.
  • Direct speech: “I’m sorry for being late,” he said. Reported speech: He apologized for being late.
  • Direct speech: “I need some help with this math problem,” she said. Reported speech: She said she needed some help with the math problem.
  • Direct speech: “I am going to study abroad next year,” he said. Reported speech: He said he was going to study abroad the following year.
  • Direct speech: “Can you give me a ride to the airport?” she asked. Reported speech: She asked him to give her a ride to the airport.
  • Direct speech: “I don’t know how to fix this,” he said. Reported speech: He said he didn’t know how to fix it.
  • Direct speech: “I hate it when it rains,” she said. Reported speech: She said she hated it when it rained.

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Reported speech

Changing time and place in reported speech

Time and place must often change when going from direct to reported speech (indirect speech).

In general, personal pronouns change to the third person singular or plural, except when the speaker reports his own words: I/me/my/mine, you/your/yours = him/his/her/hers we/us/our/ours, you/your/yours = they/their/theirs

He said: "I like your new car." = He told her that he liked her new car. I said: "I'm going to my friend's house." = I said that I was going to my friend's house.

If we are in the same place when we report something, then we do not need to make any changes to  place words . But if we are in a different place when we report something, then we need to change the place words. Look at these example sentences:

  • He said: "It is cold in  here ." → He said that it was cold in  there .
  • He said: "How much is  this book ?" → He asked how much  the book was.

Here are some common place words, showing how you change them for reported speech:

Course Curriculum

  • Direct and indirect speech 15 mins
  • Tense changes in reported speech 20 mins
  • Changing time and place in reported speech 20 mins
  • Reported questions 20 mins
  • Reporting verbs 20 mins
  • Reporting orders and requests 15 mins
  • Reporting hopes, intentions and promises 20 mins

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Reported Speech: Rules, Examples, Exceptions

YouTube video

👉 Quiz 1 / Quiz 2

Advanced Grammar Course

What is reported speech?

“Reported speech” is when we talk about what somebody else said – for example:

  • Direct Speech: “I’ve been to London three times.”
  • Reported Speech: She said she’d been to London three times.

There are a lot of tricky little details to remember, but don’t worry, I’ll explain them and we’ll see lots of examples. The lesson will have three parts – we’ll start by looking at statements in reported speech, and then we’ll learn about some exceptions to the rules, and finally we’ll cover reported questions, requests, and commands.

Reported Speech: Rules, Examples, Exceptions Espresso English

So much of English grammar – like this topic, reported speech – can be confusing, hard to understand, and even harder to use correctly. I can help you learn grammar easily and use it confidently inside my Advanced English Grammar Course.

In this course, I will make even the most difficult parts of English grammar clear to you – and there are lots of opportunities for you to practice!

Reported Speech: Rules, Examples, Exceptions Espresso English

Backshift of Verb Tenses in Reported Speech

When we use reported speech, we often change the verb tense backwards in time. This can be called “backshift.”

Here are some examples in different verb tenses:

Reported Speech (Part 1) Quiz

Exceptions to backshift in reported speech.

Now that you know some of the reported speech rules about backshift, let’s learn some exceptions.

There are two situations in which we do NOT need to change the verb tense.

No backshift needed when the situation is still true

For example, if someone says “I have three children” (direct speech) then we would say “He said he has three children” because the situation continues to be true.

If I tell you “I live in the United States” (direct speech) then you could tell someone else “She said she lives in the United States” (that’s reported speech) because it is still true.

When the situation is still true, then we don’t need to backshift the verb.

Reported Speech: Rules, Examples, Exceptions Espresso English

He said he HAS three children

But when the situation is NOT still true, then we DO need to backshift the verb.

Imagine your friend says, “I have a headache.”

  • If you immediately go and talk to another friend, you could say, “She said she has a headache,” because the situation is still true
  • If you’re talking about that conversation a month after it happened, then you would say, “She said she had a headache,” because it’s no longer true.

No backshift needed when the situation is still in the future

We also don’t need to backshift to the verb when somebody said something about the future, and the event is still in the future.

Here’s an example:

  • On Monday, my friend said, “I ‘ll call you on Friday .”
  • “She said she ‘ll call me on Friday”, because Friday is still in the future from now.
  • It is also possible to say, “She said she ‘d (she would) call me on Friday.”
  • Both of them are correct, so the backshift in this case is optional.

Let’s look at a different situation:

  • On Monday, my friend said, “I ‘ll call you on Tuesday .”
  • “She said she ‘d  call me on Tuesday.” I must backshift because the event is NOT still in the future.

Reported Speech: Rules, Examples, Exceptions Espresso English

Review: Reported Speech, Backshift, & Exceptions

Quick review:

  • Normally in reported speech we backshift the verb, we put it in a verb tense that’s a little bit further in the past.
  • when the situation is still true
  • when the situation is still in the future

Reported Requests, Orders, and Questions

Those were the rules for reported statements, just regular sentences.

What about reported speech for questions, requests, and orders?

For reported requests, we use “asked (someone) to do something”:

  • “Please make a copy of this report.” (direct speech)
  • She asked me to make a copy of the report. (reported speech)

For reported orders, we use “told (someone) to do something:”

  • “Go to the bank.” (direct speech)
  • “He told me to go to the bank.” (reported speech)

The main verb stays in the infinitive with “to”:

  • She asked me to make a copy of the report. She asked me  make  a copy of the report.
  • He told me to go to the bank. He told me  go  to the bank.

For yes/no questions, we use “asked if” and “wanted to know if” in reported speech.

  • “Are you coming to the party?” (direct)
  • He asked if I was coming to the party. (reported)
  • “Did you turn off the TV?” (direct)
  • She wanted to know if I had turned off the TV.” (reported)

The main verb changes and back shifts according to the rules and exceptions we learned earlier.

Notice that we don’t use do/does/did in the reported question:

  • She wanted to know did I turn off the TV.
  • She wanted to know if I had turned off the TV.

For other questions that are not yes/no questions, we use asked/wanted to know (without “if”):

  • “When was the company founded?” (direct)
  • She asked when the company was founded.” (reported)
  • “What kind of car do you drive?” (direct)
  • He wanted to know what kind of car I drive. (reported)

Again, notice that we don’t use do/does/did in reported questions:

  • “Where does he work?”
  • She wanted to know  where does he work.
  • She wanted to know where he works.

Also, in questions with the verb “to be,” the word order changes in the reported question:

  • “Where were you born?” ([to be] + subject)
  • He asked where I was born. (subject + [to be])
  • He asked where was I born.

Reported Speech: Rules, Examples, Exceptions Espresso English

Reported Speech (Part 2) Quiz

Learn more about reported speech:

  • Reported speech: Perfect English Grammar
  • Reported speech: BJYU’s

If you want to take your English grammar to the next level, then my Advanced English Grammar Course is for you! It will help you master the details of the English language, with clear explanations of essential grammar topics, and lots of practice. I hope to see you inside!

I’ve got one last little exercise for you, and that is to write sentences using reported speech. Think about a conversation you’ve had in the past, and write about it – let’s see you put this into practice right away.

Master the details of English grammar:

Reported Speech: Rules, Examples, Exceptions Espresso English

More Espresso English Lessons:

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  • B1-B2 grammar

Reported speech

Daisy has just had an interview for a summer job. 

Instructions

As you watch the video, look at the examples of reported speech. They are in  red  in the subtitles. Then read the conversation below to learn more. Finally, do the grammar exercises to check you understand, and can use, reported speech correctly.

Sophie:  Mmm, it’s so nice to be chilling out at home after all that running around.

Ollie: Oh, yeah, travelling to glamorous places for a living must be such a drag!

Ollie: Mum, you can be so childish sometimes. Hey, I wonder how Daisy’s getting on in her job interview.

Sophie: Oh, yes, she said she was having it at four o’clock, so it’ll have finished by now. That’ll be her ... yes. Hi, love. How did it go?

Daisy: Well, good I think, but I don’t really know. They said they’d phone later and let me know.

Sophie: What kind of thing did they ask you?

Daisy: They asked if I had any experience with people, so I told them about helping at the school fair and visiting old people at the home, that sort of stuff. But I think they meant work experience.

Sophie: I’m sure what you said was impressive. They can’t expect you to have had much work experience at your age.

Daisy:  And then they asked me what acting I had done, so I told them that I’d had a main part in the school play, and I showed them a bit of the video, so that was cool.

Sophie:  Great!

Daisy: Oh, and they also asked if I spoke any foreign languages.

Sophie: Languages?

Daisy: Yeah, because I might have to talk to tourists, you know.

Sophie: Oh, right, of course.

Daisy: So that was it really. They showed me the costume I’ll be wearing if I get the job. Sending it over ...

Ollie: Hey, sis, I heard that Brad Pitt started out as a giant chicken too! This could be your big break!

Daisy: Ha, ha, very funny.

Sophie: Take no notice, darling. I’m sure you’ll be a marvellous chicken.

We use reported speech when we want to tell someone what someone said. We usually use a reporting verb (e.g. say, tell, ask, etc.) and then change the tense of what was actually said in direct speech.

So, direct speech is what someone actually says? Like 'I want to know about reported speech'?

Yes, and you report it with a reporting verb.

He said he wanted to know about reported speech.

I said, I want and you changed it to he wanted .

Exactly. Verbs in the present simple change to the past simple; the present continuous changes to the past continuous; the present perfect changes to the past perfect; can changes to could ; will changes to would ; etc.

She said she was having the interview at four o’clock. (Direct speech: ' I’m having the interview at four o’clock.') They said they’d phone later and let me know. (Direct speech: ' We’ll phone later and let you know.')

OK, in that last example, you changed you to me too.

Yes, apart from changing the tense of the verb, you also have to think about changing other things, like pronouns and adverbs of time and place.

'We went yesterday.'  > She said they had been the day before. 'I’ll come tomorrow.' >  He said he’d come the next day.

I see, but what if you’re reporting something on the same day, like 'We went yesterday'?

Well, then you would leave the time reference as 'yesterday'. You have to use your common sense. For example, if someone is saying something which is true now or always, you wouldn’t change the tense.

'Dogs can’t eat chocolate.' > She said that dogs can’t eat chocolate. 'My hair grows really slowly.' >  He told me that his hair grows really slowly.

What about reporting questions?

We often use ask + if/whether , then change the tenses as with statements. In reported questions we don’t use question forms after the reporting verb.

'Do you have any experience working with people?' They asked if I had any experience working with people. 'What acting have you done?' They asked me what acting I had done .

Is there anything else I need to know about reported speech?

One thing that sometimes causes problems is imperative sentences.

You mean like 'Sit down, please' or 'Don’t go!'?

Exactly. Sentences that start with a verb in direct speech need a to + infinitive in reported speech.

She told him to be good. (Direct speech: 'Be good!') He told them not to forget. (Direct speech: 'Please don’t forget.')

OK. Can I also say 'He asked me to sit down'?

Yes. You could say 'He told me to …' or 'He asked me to …' depending on how it was said.

OK, I see. Are there any more reporting verbs?

Yes, there are lots of other reporting verbs like promise , remind , warn , advise , recommend , encourage which you can choose, depending on the situation. But say , tell and ask are the most common.

Great. I understand! My teacher said reported speech was difficult.

And I told you not to worry!

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StoryLearning

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Learn A Language Through Stories

Reported speech in English

A Comprehensive Guide To Reported Speech In English

Olly Richards Headshot

There are times when someone tells you something and you’ll have to report what they said to someone else.

How can you do this in English?

You’ll need to know how to use what's called reported speech in English and this is what you’ll learn in this blog post.

What Is Reported Speech In English?

Reported speech, also known as indirect speech, is a way of retelling what someone else has said without repeating their exact words. 

For example, let’s say you have a friend called Jon and one called Mary. Mary has organised a house party and has invited you and Jon. 

Jon, however, is not feeling well. He says to you, “Sorry but I cannot come to the party. I spent all day working outside under the rain and I feel ill today.” 

A few days after the party, you meet Sarah. She’s another one of your friends and she was at the party too, but she arrived late – a moment before you left. You only had time to say hello to each other. 

She asks you, “I saw you at the party but I didn’t see Jon. Where was he?”

When Sarah asks you, “Where was Jon?” you can say, 

“Jon said, ‘Sorry but I cannot come to the party. I spent all day working outside under the rain and I feel ill today’.”

However, it would be more natural to use indirect speech in this case. So you would say, “Jon said he couldn’t come to the party. He had spent all day working outside under the rain and he felt ill that day .” 

reported speech here there

Did you notice how the sentence changes in reported speech?

Here’s what happened:

  • “I” became “he”
  • “Cannot” became “couldn’t”
  • “Spent” became “had spent”
  • “I feel ill today” became “he felt ill on that day” 

Let’s take a closer look at how we form reported speech.

How To Form Reported Speech In English

To form reported speech, you might have to make a few changes to the original sentence that was spoken (or written). 

You may have to change pronouns, verb tenses, place and time expressions and, in the case of questions, the word order.

There are certain patterns to learn for reporting promises, agreements, orders, offers, requests, advice and suggestions.

Let’s have a look at all these cases one by one.

Reported Speech In English: Changing Verb Tenses

In general, when we use reported speech, the present tenses become past tenses.  

We do this because we are often reporting someone else’s words at a different time (Jon’s words were spoken 3 days before you reported them to Sarah).

Here’s an example:

Jenny (on Saturday evening) says,  “I don't like this place. I want to go home now.”(present tenses)

Matt (on Sunday morning) talks to James and says, “Jenny said that she didn't like the place, and she wanted to go home. (past tenses)

So this is how different verb tenses change:

Simple Present → Simple Past

DIRECT: I need money.

INDIRECT: She said she needed money.

Present Progressive → Past Progressive

DIRECT: My French is improving.

INDIRECT: He said his French was improving.

Present Perfect → Past Perfect

DIRECT: This has been an amazing holiday.

INDIRECT: She told me that it had been an amazing holiday.

What if there is a past simple form of the verb in direct speech? Well, in this case, it can stay the same in reported speech or you can change it to past perfect .

Past Simple → Past Simple Or Past Perfect

DIRECT: I didn’t go to work.

INDIRECT: Mary said that she didn’t go to work / Mary said that she hadn’t gone to work 

Past Perfect Tenses Do Not Change

reported speech here there

DIRECT: I arrived late because I had missed the bus.

INDIRECT: He said he arrived (or had arrived) late because he had missed the bus.

Modal verbs like “can,” “may,” and “will” also change in reported speech.

Will → Would

DIRECT: The exam will be difficult.

INDIRECT: They said that the exam would be difficult.

Can → Could

DIRECT: I can’t be there.

INDIRECT: He told me he couldn’t be there.

May → Might

DIRECT: We may go there another time.

INDIRECT: They said they might go there another time.

However, past modal verbs don’t change (would, must, could, should, etc.) don’t change in reported speech.

DIRECT: It would be nice if we could go to Paris.

INDIRECT: He said it would be nice if we could go to Paris.

Here are some other examples:

So, in summary, 

  • am/is → were
  • do/does → did
  • have/has → had
  • had done → had done
  • will → would
  • can → could
  • may → might
  • could → could
  • would → would
  • like/love/buy/see → liked/loved/bought/saw or had liked/ had loved/had bought/had seen.

You make these verb tense shifts when you report the original words at a different time from when they were spoken. However, it is often also possible to keep the original speaker’s tenses when the situation is still the same.

For example, 

1. DIRECT: I am feeling sick.

   INDIRECT: She said she is feeling sick.

2. DIRECT: We have to leave now.

   INDIRECT: They said they have to leave now.

3. DIRECT: I will call you later.

   INDIRECT: He said he will call me later.

4. DIRECT: She is not coming to the party.

   INDIRECT: He said she is not coming to the party.

reported speech here there

5. DIRECT: They are working on a new project.

   INDIRECT: She said they are working on a new project.

What about conditional sentences? How do they change in reported speech?

Sentences with “if” and “would” are usually unchanged.

DIRECT: It would be best if we went there early.

INDIRECT: He said it would be best if they went there early.

But conditional sentences used to describe unreal situations (e.g. second conditional or third conditional sentences) can change like this:

DIRECT: If I had more money I would buy a new car.

INDIRECT: She said if she had had more money, she would have bought a new car OR She said if she had more money, she would buy a new car.

Reported Speech In English: Changing Pronouns

In reported speech, because you’re reporting someone else’s words, there’s a change of speaker so this may mean a change of pronoun.

An example:

Jenny says,  “I don't like this place. I want to go home now.”

Matt says, “Jenny said that she didn't like the place, and she wanted to go home.” 

In this example, Jenny says “I” to refer to herself but Matt, talking about what Jenny said, uses “she”.

So the sentence in reported speech becomes:

  • Jenny said that she didn’t like . . . ( not Jenny said that I didn’t like . . .)

Some other examples:

reported speech here there

1 . DIRECT: I have been studying for hours.

   INDIRECT: He said he had been studying for hours.

2. DIRECT: I don’t like that movie.

   INDIRECT: She said she didn’t like that movie.

3. DIRECT: He doesn't like coffee.

   INDIRECT: She said he doesn't like coffee.

4. DIRECT: We have a new car.

   INDIRECT: They told me they had a new car.

5. DIRECT: We are going on vacation next week.

    INDIRECT: They said they are going on vacation next week.

Reported Speech In English: Place And Time Expressions

When you’re reporting someone’s words, there is often a change of place and time.  This may mean that you will need to change or remove words that are used to refer to places and time like “here,” “this,” “now,” “today,” “next,” “last,” “yesterday,” “tomorrow,” and so on. 

Check the differences in the following sentences:

DIRECT: I'll be back next month.

INDIRECT: She said she would be back the next month , but I never saw her again.

DIRECT: Emma got her degree last Tuesday.

INDIRECT: He said Emma had got her degree the Tuesday before.

DIRECT: I had an argument with my mother-in-law yesterday .

INDIRECT: He said he’d had an argument with his mother-in-law the day before .

reported speech here there

DIRECT: We're going to have an amazing party tomorrow.

INDIRECT: They said they were going to have an amazing party the next day.

DIRECT: Meet me here at 10 am.

INDIRECT: He told me to meet him there at 10 am.

DIRECT: This restaurant is really good.

INDIRECT: She said that the restaurant was really good.

DIRECT: I'm going to the gym now.

INDIRECT: He said he was going to the gym at that time.

DIRECT: Today is my birthday.

INDIRECT: She told me that it was her birthday that day .

DIRECT: I'm leaving for Europe next week.

INDIRECT: She said she was leaving for Europe the following week.

Reported Speech In English: Word Order In Questions

What if you have to report a question? For example, how would you report the following questions?

  • Where’s Mark?
  • When are you going to visit your grandmother?
  • What do I need to buy for the celebration?
  • Where are your best friend and his wife staying?
  • Do you like coffee?
  • Can you sing?
  • Who’s your best friend?
  • What time do you usually wake up?
  • What would you do if you won the lottery?
  • Do you ever read nonfiction books?

In reported questions, the subject normally comes before the verb and auxiliary “do” is not used.

So, here is what happens when you're reporting a question:

DIRECT: Where’s Mark?

INDIRECT: I asked where Mark was. 

DIRECT: When are you going to visit your grandmother?

INDIRECT: He wanted to know when I was going to visit my grandmother.

DIRECT: What do I need to buy for the celebration?

INDIRECT: She asked what she needed to buy for the celebration.

DIRECT: Where are your best friend and his wife staying?

INDIRECT: I asked where his best friend and his wife were staying.

reported speech here there

DIRECT: Do you like coffee?

INDIRECT: I asked if she liked coffee.

DIRECT: Can you sing?

INDIRECT: She asked me if I could sing.

DIRECT: Who’s your best friend?

INDIRECT: They asked me who my best friend was. 

DIRECT: What time do you usually wake up?

INDIRECT: She asked me what time I usually wake up.

DIRECT: What would you do if you won the lottery?

INDIRECT: He asked me what I would do if I won the lottery.

DIRECT: Do you ever read nonfiction books?

INDIRECT: She asked me if I ever read nonfiction books.

You might have noticed that question marks are not used in reported questions and you don’t use “say” or “tell” either.

Promises, Agreements, Orders, Offers, Requests & Advice

When you’re reporting these, you can use the following verbs + an infinitive:

Here are some examples:

DIRECT SPEECH: I’ll always love you.

PROMISE IN INDIRECT SPEECH: She promised to love me.

DIRECT SPEECH: OK, let’s go to the pub.

INDIRECT SPEECH: He agreed to come to the pub with me.

reported speech here there

DIRECT SPEECH: Sit down!

INDIRECT SPEECH: They told me to sit down OR they ordered me to sit down.

DIRECT SPEECH: I can go to the post office for you.

INDIRECT SPEECH: She offered to go to the post office.

DIRECT SPEECH: Could I please have the documentation by tomorrow evening?

INDIRECT SPEECH: She requested to have the documentation by the following evening.

DIRECT SPEECH: You should think twice before giving him your phone number.

INDIRECT SPEECH: She advised me to think twice before giving him my phone number.

Reported Speech In English

All right! I hope you have a much clearer idea about what reported speech is and how it’s used. 

And the good news is that both direct and indirect speech structures are commonly used in stories, so why not try the StoryLearning method ? 

You'll notice this grammatical pattern repeatedly in the context of short stories in English.

Not only will this help you acquire it naturally, but you will also have a fun learning experience by immersing yourself in an interesting and inspiring narrative.

Have a wonderful time learning through books in English !

reported speech here there

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Reported speech

Reported speech is how we represent the speech of other people or what we ourselves say. There are two main types of reported speech: direct speech and indirect speech.

Click on a topic to learn more about reported speech.

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  • Transcription

Concourse 2

Reported or indirect speech

reporting

The first section mostly reiterates material in the initial training section and is here as a reminder of the basics.  You can skip this if you are already aware of the basic issues or have recently worked through the initial training section for this area. If that is the case, skim through what follows, and/or do the mini-test or use this menu to go to the area you need and then move on.  It's up to you.

At the end of each section, you can click on -top- to return to this menu, simply read on, scroll back or bookmark the page for another time.

In what follows, we are going to consider four sorts of utterances which are often reported:

  • Statements such as:     It is in the cupboard which are usually reported with that- clauses
  • Questions such as:     When did you go? which are usually reported with dependent wh -clauses
  • Exclamations such as:     What a lovely view! which are usually reported with wh -clauses
  • Commands such as:     Get this done today which are usually reported with to- infinitive clauses

On the left we have the direct speech – the words uttered. On the right we have reported or indirect speech – how the message is passed on.

On the face of it, there's nothing terribly difficult about this idea.  The tense shifts back one (from, e.g., was to had been, from can to could ) .  At the same time, I changes to he , we changes to they and so on. Here's a list of the changes in English.

A small but significant source of error in reporting in British English is that the intrusive got in, for example:     I have got enough money is dropped when the tense is backshifted so we get:     He said he had enough money However, when the structure is used to express either:

  • strong obligation as in:      I have got to go now the got may be retained and the reporting becomes:     He said he had got to go then
  • the sense of receive , as in:     I have got a letter from her the got may also be retained and the reporting becomes:     She said she had got a letter from her

Here's a definition:

The name given to those aspects of language whose interpretation is relative to the occasion of utterance Fillmore (1966) in Harman (1989)

It's an important phenomenon in this area because the use of deixis neatly explains a lot of the so-called anomalies of indirect speech.  Because meaning is dependent on the identity, point of view, time and location of the speaker / writer we are obliged (or not) to change, e.g., I to he or she, we to they , bring to come, come to go (and go to come ) , this to that, here to there, yesterday to the previous day, now to then, bring to take and so on. We make these changes because of a movement to the deictical centre.  This is usually I, now and here so we make changes to allow for this. There are three types of deixis which affect the way we report what people say:

  • Personal deixis: We change pronouns to reflect who is addressing whom so we report, e.g.:     "Will you please come early?" as any of      She asked me to come early     She asked him / her to come early     She asked you to come early     She asked them to come early     She asked [name(s)] to come early depending on the context of who was addressed.
  • we often need to change bring to take when reporting in another place.
  • we often need to change this to that and these to those (and vice versa )
  • Temporal deixis: When reporting times, we need to consider that most people will expect any utterance to be centred on now so we make the appropriate changes as in, e.g., reporting:     "I want to see you this afternoon" as     She asked to see me that afternoon and     "I'm leaving next year" as     She said she was leaving the following year if the reporting takes place much later.

In this regard, the following changes now make more sense:

Once again, we find that context makes meaning .

For more, there is a guide to deixis on this site, linked below, which includes a larger image of the wheel above and explains what it all means.

Of course, not all changes are always appropriate (but using the changes will usually be correct). If we are reporting something virtually simultaneously, then we often don't change the tense or time expressions.  If we are reporting something in the same place, then we don't change the place expressions. Another way of putting this is to refer to the encoding time (when the statement was made) and the decoding time (when the statement was reported).  If the encoding and decoding times are the same, few if any changes need to be made to time markers and tense forms. So we might get:     A: I'm going there now.     B: What did he say?     C: He said he's going there now However, if the encoding and decoding times are sufficiently separated, we do make changes accordingly so the exchange might end as:     He said he was going there then.

If an utterance remains true, we often don't change the tense so we get, e.g.,     I'm from South Africa = He said he's from South Africa     I love the countryside = She said she loves the countryside

Try this matching exercise to make sure you have understood so far.

Did you notice the changes, particularly with time and place expressions but also with the verb come (which changed to go )?

If you have followed so far, this will be familiar:

It's clear that we have examples of direct speech and indirect speech here in sentences 1, 4, 2 and 5 but Sentence 6 is what is called a hybrid form because the first part follows the 'rules' but the second part actually changes only the pronoun, from you to I . If the sentence followed the reported speech 'rules', it should be     He said I was welcome to come and asked if I would like to bring Mary which is another possibility, of course, but sounds quite formal.

Statements or declarative utterances are routinely reported using that- clauses as in, for example:

There are two things to notice even with the simplest type of reporting of direct statements.

  • The omission of that . All the examples in the table here include that .  However, it can be and routinely is omitted (something which, incidentally, is not allowed in some languages which have a parallel structure). When it is omitted, it is still, in technical terms a that- clause but referred to as a zero- that- clause, often written as Ø-that -clause . When the clause is short and concise, that is conventionally ellipted so most users of English will prefer:     She said it's OK rather than:     She said that it's OK However, if the utterance is structurally heavy, including multiple adverbials, subordinated and coordinated clauses and other modifiers, it is usually stylistically inappropriate to ellipt that .  For example, if we report:     Mary explained, "Up to now, I had always assumed the guy in the suit was the boss of the enterprise but now I see I was mistaken." we would normally include that in indirect speech and have:     Mary explained that she had up to then she had always assumed that the guy in the suit was the boss of the enterprise but now she saw that she was mistaken.
  • Reporting verbs. If we report something like:     "It's the switch on the left," explained Peter. we may choose to structure the report differently and simply have:     Peter explained which switch it was rather than the more tortuous:     Peter explained that it was the switch on the left. There is more on reporting verbs below.

Incidentally, the rule for ordering in direct speech is that you cannot reverse the verb and subject pronoun but you can reverse a noun or noun phrase subject and verb.  We allow, therefore:     "That's the bus," said John and     "That's the bus," John said and     "That's the bus," he said but     "That's the bus,", said he is now hopelessly archaic.

Closed questions are those which require a Yes or No response and they are usually reported with if or whether .  We get, therefore, for example:     Are you going to the cinema? reported as     He asked her if she was going to the cinema There is a bit more to it, however.

Consider what direct speech is being reported in the following.

  • I asked whether there were any good recipes in it.
  • I asked if there were any good recipes in it.
  • She wondered whether to go.
  • He asked whether or not they could come.

When you have done that, try reporting these sentences (from the point of view of later and elsewhere). Then click to reveal the comment .

  • “Are they English?” she asked
  • “Are they English?” he wondered
  • “I’m wondering whether to join you.” she said
  • "Can I talk to you?" asked Mary

You should have something like:

  • "Are there any good recipes in it?" I asked
  • "Shall I go?" she wondered / asked herself
  • "Can they come?" he enquired
  • She asked whether / if they were English
  • He wondered whether they were English
  • She was wondering whether to join us
  • She asked whether / if she could speak to me

In reporting a direct question, you can use if or whether interchangeably but if you are reporting someone's thoughts and doubts, only whether is usually the choice.

The other important thing to make sure that learners get right is the word ordering when reporting a question.  There are three issues to consider:

  • The word order in these clauses is the one we would expect for a normal declarative statement.  We have, e.g.:     I asked if he was coming not     *I asked if was he coming
  • The do, does, did operator which is used for forming questions in present and past simple tenses is not used in a reported question.  We have, e.g.:     I enquired if she worked in London not     *I enquired if did she work in London
  • There is no reversal of subject and object with primary or modal auxiliary verbs.  We have, e.g.:     He wondered if she could manage the project not     *He wondered if could she manage the project

Many languages do not work this way and the transfer from L 1 to L T often produces errors like:     *She asked were they English     *She wondered should she go     *They enquired whether did the train stop at Margate?

Questions phrased using wh- words: who, what, why, when, which, where, how cannot be predicted to have a Yes-No-Maybe answer. Questions formed in this way cannot be reported with if or whether .  The reporting is done by embedding the questions. This means that reporting this type of question requires a different word ordering from that used in reporting yes-no questions (see above) and that is non-intuitive.  Many learners, having struggled to get the word ordering of yes-no questions right, logically transfer the rule concerning not disturbing the natural word ordering to wh-question s with resulting error.  We can get, therefore:     *She asked me where is the station     *They enquired when are we coming     *She asked what did I do for a living etc.

Embedding is often associated with polite questioning so, instead of the direct:     Where is the station? we form polite embedded questions such as     Can you tell me where the station is?

So it is with reported questions.  Thus:

The tense chosen will often conform to the time and place of the reporting using the common-sense rules discussed above although back-shifting tenses where possible is common even when the reporting is virtually simultaneous.

The big issue for learners with this kind of reporting is the ordering of the subject and verb.  Most first languages will lead learners to produce errors such as:     *Can you tell me when is the film beginning?     *Do you know who is the lady there? etc. And this will also carry over to reported questions so we get:     *She asked me where is the zoo     *They enquired what time did the train leave and so on.

Other reporting verbs such as explain, clarify, complain, mention, remember and state will produce similar errors because the structures are parallel to reported questions in English but not parallelled in many other languages.  We may encounter, therefore:     *She explained how did the machine work     *They clarified what did they need     *I remembered where was I going

There is more on the quirky nature of some reporting verbs below.

If the direct question is formed with who, which or what with the verb be as part of the predicate, it is possible to disturb the word order outlined above.  For example, the following can be reported in two ways, like this:

However, the word ordering with the reversal of subject and verb is always correct, so, for teaching purposes, that is the way to go.  Your learners may, however, encounter this disturbance so it's as well to be prepared for it and note that it only occurs in the limited circumstances set out here.

The disturbed word order is, however, always conventional when the question involves be as a simple copula with an adjectival attribute.  So, for example:     Which is best? is reported as:     She asked which was best not as:     *She asked which best was

What are the rules for using that and what in reported speech?  Report the following using that or what if possible and then reveal the commentary .

  • "I am coming now."
  • "I don't know her name."
  • "What's your name?"
  • "My name is Mary."
  • "I will not go if it rains"

Rule 1: you can't use that in reporting questions or if -clauses. So we can have:     He said (that) he was coming then / is coming now     She said (that) she didn't / doesn't know her name     She said (that) her name is / was Mary but not:     *He asked that is her name     *She said she would not go that if it rained Rule 2: Conditional sentences may be back-shifted but that may not be used in them. At all other times, that can be dropped with no loss of sense, but some loss of formality. On the dropping or not of that with bridge and non-bridge verbs, see below. Rule 3: to report open questions , we have choices.  We can't use that but we can, with a change to an embedded question, use what :     He asked her her name / He asked her what her name was but not, usually:     ?He asked her what was her name

As we saw in part 1 of this guide, tense shifting is common in English and it is rarely wrong to do it.  However:

  • If the reporting verb is in the present, we don't shift tenses.  So we get     She often says, "I don't know what to do" changing to     She often says she doesn't know what to do     "There was a nasty accident here last night," John informs me changing to     John tells me there was a nasty accident here / there last night. (Note that last night does not change because the reporting is of a recent utterance.)
  • If the validity of what was said still holds.  For example:     Darwin wrote, "There is grandeur in this view of life." changes to      Darwin wrote that there is grandeur in this view of life. not to     Darwin wrote that there was grandeur in this view of life
  • Although back-shifting could be used in all the above examples, there are rare times when it actually produces nonsense.  Try reporting     "I chose to study French because it was a beautiful language." Will you accept     He said he had chosen to study French because it had been a beautiful language ?

We saw above that question forms are reported differently from statements.  How would you report these?  Click here to reveal some comments .

  • "What awful weather!" she exclaimed.
  • "Stop fidgeting!" she said to John.
  • "Stop fidgeting," she growled.

Sentence 19 could be rendered as     She exclaimed / said / remarked loudly what awful weather it was . It can't be reported without a change of grammar. Sentence 20 can be reported as     She told John to stop fidgeting but ... Sentence 21 can't be reported this way.  It has to be something like     She growled at John to stop fidgeting Note that we have to insert the object here.

Essentially, there are three types.  Can you categorise this list into three groups?  Click to reveal , as usual.

The simple reporting verbs in the left-hand column often require only the deixis, pronoun and tense shifts covered in this guide.  So we can have, e.g.:

strength

in which the verbs are arranged in relation to the strength of the statement made so, for example:     "I must have the steak," she said could be reported as:     She insisted on having the steak and     "I'd like the steak," she said as     She said she'd like the steak but     "I wonder if I might have the steak," she said as     She enquired whether she could have the steak This has some pedagogical utility, of course, because it gives learners a way of understanding the connotations of the verbs. However, the categories are not unarguable and people will put different verbs in different boxes.  It is a rule of thumb at best.

Some reporting verbs are used to report an embedded or fronted comment clause so, for example, something like:     "She is, as you well know, quite capable." may be reported as:     He insisted that I knew that she was quite capable. Other comment clauses such as in:     "Well, to be honest, I don't have a clue." and     "As you know, I've been living here for years." may be reported using an appropriate reporting verb but maintaining the adverbial as:     He explained that he honestly didn't have a clue. or as:     He reminded me that he had been living there for years.

There is a difference in the way that such clauses are reported depending on the role of the disjunct adverbial.

  • Style disjuncts express the speaker / writer's view of what is being expressed and how it should be understood.  So, for example:     "Seriously, I don't think it will arrive in time." expresses how the speaker wishes to be understood and may be reported as:     She seriously doubted whether it would arrive in time.
  • Attitude disjuncts indicate how generally the speaker wants to be understood or what limitations apply and they are reported using the same disjuncts usually (so are considerably easier to form).  For example:     "More or less, that's the same conclusion I arrived at." and      "Administrationally, this is quite a simple matter." can be reported simple as:     He said that it was more or less the same conclusion he had arrived at. and     She said it was administrationally quite a simple matter.

Purely for information, there's a PDF of a list of reporting verbs in English list which considers the syntactical restraints concerned with them.  The list also includes some consideration of the functions of reporting verbs and categorises them accordingly. Click to download a list of reporting verbs . Don't try to teach them all at once!

There is also a guide to the kinds of reporting verbs used in academic writing, linked below, which contains a list of over 150 verbs such as state, aver, suggest, discount, dismiss, investigate etc.

The issue here is whether one can omit the word that from a reported statement. The theoretical distinction is between what are called bridge verbs and non-bridge verbs.  Many simple reporting verbs verbs such as say, tell, think, know, write, claim and hear are bridge verbs and it is perfectly in order to omit the word that when they are followed by a clause so we allow both:     He said that he was coming tomorrow     John thinks that it's too expensive     She claims that she lost the money etc. and:     He said he was coming tomorrow     John thinks it's too expensive     She claims she lost the money Many find (that) the sentences without that are more stylistically acceptable.

However, some verbs, exemplified above with verbs like cry, sneer and shout , refer not only to what was said but to how it was said and these are often non-bridge verbs and leaving out that results in clumsiness at best.  For example, many people find:     She shouted she was coming     She whispered the chairman was drunk     He lied he was married     They acknowledged coming late was rude are all clumsy or even wrong and should be expressed with that as:     She shouted that she was coming     She whispered that the chairman was drunk     He lied that he was married     They acknowledged that coming late was rude In general terms, the less common and more loaded reporting verbs require that when followed by a clause . Here are some examples of how non-bridge verbs are used when reporting:

In all those case where we choose to follow the reporting verb with a clause, the insertion of that is almost obligatory. In the last case, not including that results in:     The minister conceded having long periods of unemployment made it difficult to get work in the future which forces the hearer to reconsider who has long periods of unemployment.

In academic writing simple verbs are often avoided for the sake of style or precision and less frequently used so non-bridge verbs are usually preferred.  For example:      Guru confirms that the results are reliable     He acknowledged that the experiment was flawed     The findings indicate that there is a need for ...     She emphasises that findings are provisional all sound clumsy without that .

bridge and non-bridge verbs

Clause length is a factor which tends to override the omission of that even with simple reporting verbs so while, for example:     I said, without much optimism based on his previous track record, he would come is correct and the omission of that is acceptable, most native speakers would insert it to signal the subordinate clause as:     I said, without much optimism based on his previous track record, that he would come

The categories are not watertight but once a learner has decided on a speaker's intentions in terms of the function of what was said (rather than the form), it becomes a good deal simpler to select an appropriate reporting verb providing, of course, that the structural constraints which apply to many of them are understood, too. Should you wish it, that list is included in the list of reporting verbs with the colligational characteristics, available here .

Reporting verbs for true questions form a restricted set which is straightforward to teach.  Almost a complete list is:     ask, enquire, want to know, wonder For example:

However, question forms also routinely perform other functions than asking for information and when this happens, other reporting verbs are necessary to reflect the illocutionary force of the utterance. Like this:

As with much in language, we have to look at the function, not the form, to decide on the right way to report the words.

Colligation with reporting verbs is something of a headache for learners of English and there are numerous constraints and possibilities. Reporting verbs can be categorised by what they may be followed by and it is certainly not intuitive to understand, for example, that we can say:     He confirmed that I had passed but we cannot say:     *He congratulated that I passed Here are some of the common issues.  For a list of reporting verbs and their grammatical constraints and possibilities, download the PDF file from the link above or at the end.

There are times when the source of something said or written is obscure, unknown or unimportant and others when we wish to disguise the source and in these cases a passive clause construction with the dummy it comes to the rescue. In academic texts the structure is also used to cite something so well known in a field of enquiry that it needs no sourcing. For example:     It has been suggested that ...     It is often questioned whether ...     It has been asked whether ...     It is generally reckoned that ... and so on. These constructions are not difficult to teach and are communicatively very useful ways of avoiding the need to say who said or wrote something.

Sometimes, we can use the same kind of passive construction without the dummy pronoun when the source of what has been said or written is unknown, absent or unimportant.  For example:     She has been told to ...     I have often be accused of ...     They are said to be ...     The house is reputed to be ... etc.

At other times, we may wish to emphasise the source of a statement and the passive is also used in this way, of course, so we may encounter, for example:     I have been accused by Mary of ...     She has been asked by the boss to ...     The comment has been made by the department head that ... and so on.

Modal auxiliary verbs are frequently defective insofar as some have no tense forms at all, some have past and future forms which use a different verb altogether and some only have tense forms in certain meanings.  It is a complicated area.  (For more, follow some of the guides from the index of modality.)

There is nothing very difficult about the form of reported speech changes (providing a learner is already familiar with the tense forms of English).  However:

  • Because of the 'common sense' issues touched on above, you need to make sure that the language is very clearly set in a time-and-place context.
  • It is almost impossible to practise the form changes in class by getting students to report each other's utterances because time and place remain static.  You need to spread the practice over time and place to be authentic.
  • You need to make sure that learners are aware of the common-sense issues and don't slavishly transform every utterance.
  • Languages deal with the issues differently.  Some, for example, reserve a subjunctive tense for reported speech and some hardly make any changes at all.

Teaching the mechanics of indirect speech is not too challenging providing the learners have a grasp of the tense forms and pronoun systems but one does need to address different forms separately or it all becomes a mass of data that bewilders learners. A sensible approach is to apply the analysis as above, focusing on reporting declarative statements, yes-no questions, open, wh- questions, exclamations, orders and so on separately before making any attempt to combine ideas.

Here's an idea for teaching indirect speech and still applying the common-sense rules.

1

Obviously, this is contrived and artificial to some extent but it is personalised and situates the language temporally and spatially.  It is certainly better than meaningless sentence-transformation exercises.

Because the word order when reporting questions and using a number of the reporting verbs is a common source of error, it is worth practising separately.  Fortunately, the use of back-shifting, even for virtually simultaneous reporting, is also common so there is less need to set up delayed reporting.

3

  • You have to teach the forms before you can launch into this kind of practice and
  • The questions may well be mixes of wh- questions and closed questions so the reporting will include formulations such as     He asked you why you became a teacher and     She asked you if / whether you enjoy teaching

You can set up the task to exclude one or other type of question, of course, but that's a lot less natural.

Reporting verbs in English need careful handling and there are a number of issues:

  • Grammatical / Colligational issues We saw above that these verbs vary considerably in the constructions they can appear in. When deciding on a set of reporting verbs to teach, therefore, it makes sense to focus on those which are colligates and share structural characteristics or we risk encouraging error rather than helping our learners to avoid it. The simplest way to start is to take common verbs which can be followed by that clauses (i.e., most of them) before getting into other complications. Even at higher levels, it makes sense to select sets of verbs which take the same structural forms in the following clauses.
  • Attitudinal issues Above, we divided reporting verbs into three classes: tentative, neutral and assertive. While this is a rather crude categorisation (and the diagram was meant to alert you to the fact that there is a cline rather than a simple three-part division), it has some utility as far as classroom approaches are concerned because it provides a memorable hook on which to hang the verbs.
  • Stylistic issues Some reporting verbs are rare and more formal in style or, sometimes, rarer and quite colloquial. We need, therefore, to alert learners to the stylistic differences between, e.g.:     She enquired how he felt and     She asked how he was because learners need these kinds of data to be able to use the words naturally. We also need to remember the distinction between bridge and non-bridge verbs and the effect of dropping or including that .

Click here for the test .

References: Chalker, S, 1987, Current English Grammar , London: Macmillan Harman, I P, 1989, Teaching indirect speech: deixis points the way, English Language Teaching Journal, Volume 44, No 3, pp230-238, Oxford: Oxford University Press

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Biden signs executive action drastically tightening border

WASHINGTON — Facing mounting political pressure over the migrant influx at the southern border, President Joe Biden on Tuesday signed an executive action that will temporarily shut down asylum requests once the average number of daily encounters tops 2,500 between official ports of entry, according to a senior administration official.

“The border is not a political issue to be weaponized," Biden said in a White House speech announcing the order.

The shutdown would go into effect immediately since that threshold has already been met, a senior administration official said. The border would reopen only once that number falls to 1,500. The president’s order would come under the Immigration and Nationality Act sections 212(f) and 215(a) suspending entry of noncitizens who cross the southern border into the United States unlawfully. 

Senior administration officials said Tuesday in a call with reporters that “individuals who cross the southern border unlawfully or without authorization will generally be ineligible for asylum, absent exceptionally compelling circumstances, unless they are accepted by the proclamation.”

Migrants walk past razor wire fencing after crossing the Rio Grande river in Eagle Pass, Texas

The officials said that migrants who don’t meet the requirement of having a "credible fear" when they apply for asylum will be immediately removable, and they “anticipate that we will be removing those individuals in a matter of days, if not hours,”

The White House conveyed details of the long-awaited move to lawmakers on Monday , but confirmed details of the executive action Tuesday morning ahead of planned remarks by the president in the East Room of the White House alongside mayors from several border towns.

“It’s definitely a step in the right direction,” said Texas state Rep. Eddie Morales Jr., whose district includes Eagle Pass. “One of a number of steps that are necessary for us to be able to secure the border.”

In 2018, the Trump administration tried to enact similar border restrictions but courts blocked them. The Biden administration now expects to defend the executive action against legal challenges.

Immigrants walk through razor wire surrounding a makeshift migrant camp.

The executive action will also have some exceptions, including for unaccompanied children. 

In a written statement, Donald Trump campaign spokesperson Karoline Leavett claimed that exception would give a “green light to child traffickers and sex traffickers” while reiterating the former president’s rallying cry that “the border invasion and migrant crime will not stop until Crooked Joe Biden is deported from the White House.”

Republican lawmakers are slamming the move as too little, too late. 

“(Biden) created a crisis at the border intentionally,” said Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D. “(The executive action) has more political risk than political benefit, particularly because his own base is going to reject it.”

But the White House has repeatedly argued that it was congressional Republicans who have failed to act on immigration. Earlier this year, Trump urged House GOP members to kill a bipartisan border funding bill that had been negotiated in the Senate. At the time, House Speaker Mike Johnson and other Republicans said that the Senate bill didn’t go far enough and they argued that a more hard-line immigration bill in the House was preferable. 

“President Biden has led a historic opening of lawful pathways for individuals to and including families, to enter the United States through a lawful process, including the CBP One mobile application to request an appointment to present at a port of entry, as well as family reunification programs in countries throughout the region and a historic parole process for Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans and Venezuelans,” a senior administration official said. “And so this measure that we are announcing today comes alongside those lawful pathways,”

The executive action comes on the heels of a  historic presidential election in Mexico  and just as the campaign in the U.S. ramps up. Trump has a  30-point edge with registered voters  on the question of which candidate would better handle immigration and border security, including a 23-point edge among Latino voters, according to a late-March CNBC national poll.

Many immigrant advocates are furious at the president’s harsher immigration policies and argue the changes will cause chaos.

“It is a betrayal of what we were told in his campaign four years ago,” said Lindsay Toczylowski, the executive director for the California-based Immigrant Defenders Law Center. “We were told that President Biden would be restoring humanity at our border. … But what we are seeing is that history is repeating itself.”

Lee Gelernt, the deputy director of the ACLU's Immigrants’ Rights Project who argued the challenge to asylum restrictions during the Trump administration, said the advocacy group planned to sue.

“ A ban on asylum is illegal just as it was when Trump unsuccessfully tried it,” Gelernt said in a statement.

Gelernt on Tuesday said the ACLU was still working out the timing of the lawsuit and where it would be filed during an interview with NBC News' Tom Llamas.

"I'm hoping that we can convince the administration, if not the courts, that this is misguided and illegal, and maybe the administration can pull it back or mitigate it," Gelernt said.

When asked about potential lawsuits during a call with reporters on Tuesday, a senior administration official said the agency was "prepared" for any forthcoming legal battles.

“I think we are accustomed to being litigated, frankly, from both sides of the political spectrum, for just about any measure we take in this space, and that is just yet another sign that there is no lasting solution to the challenges we are facing without Congress doing its job,” the official said.

CORRECTION (June 5, 2024 10:05 a.m. ET) A previous version of this article misstated the last name of the Texas state representative who represents Eagle Pass. He is Eddie Morales Jr. not Jones Jr.

reported speech here there

Gabe Gutierrez is a senior White House correspondent for NBC News.

reported speech here there

Monica Alba is a White House correspondent for NBC News.

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D-Day 80th anniversary in Normandy

By Joshua Berlinger, Antoinette Radford, Shania Shelton and Kyle Feldscher, CNN

Our live coverage of the 80th anniversary of D-Day has ended. Read more about D-Day here or scroll through the posts on today's events below.

French President Emmanuel Macron: "Let us be worthy of those who landed here"

From CNN's Joshua Berlinger and Emmanuel Miculita in Paris

France's President Emmanuel Macron delivers a speech during the International commemorative ceremony at Omaha Beach marking the 80th anniversary of the World War II "D-Day" Allied landings in Normandy, in Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer, in northwestern France, on June 6. 

French President Emmanuel Macron closed the international ceremony marking 80 years since D-Day with a speech honoring the soldiers who fought in the largest seaborne invasion in human history and, as other leaders have done throughout the day, drawing parallels to the current geopolitical unrest — most notably the war in Ukraine.

Perhaps the strongest part of Macron's speech was its end, in which he honored Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky — who was in attendance — and the Ukrainian people's fight against Russia.

"Faced with the return of war to our continent, faced with the questioning of everything they fought for, faced with those who claim to change borders by force or rewrite history, let us be worthy of those who landed here. Your presence here today, Mr. President of Ukraine, says it all,” Macron said, followed by a brief interruption of the roar of a fighter jet flyover.

Europe has not seen the type of ground conflict that is raging in Ukraine since the end of World War II, and this year’s anniversary comes as Russian forces advance on the battlefield – handing Kyiv a series of tactical defeats and poking holes in the already fragile Western alliance opposed to the Kremlin’s war.

"We know that liberty is a fight for every morning," Macron added. "For everyone in this world that lives hoping for liberty, for equality, for fraternity the sixth of June is a day without end, a never-ending dawn."

World War II veteran dies while traveling to France for D-Day anniversary

From CNN’s Dakin Andone

US Navy veteran Bob Persichitti attends the 74th Reunion of Honor ceremony on Iwo To, Japan, March 23, 2019.

Robert Persichitti, a 102-year-old World War II US Navy veteran, died last week while on his way to France to commemorate  the 80th anniversary of D-Day , according to Honor Flight Rochester, a veterans organization.

Persichitti was a “wonderful, pleasant, humble guy,” who was “easy to talk to,” said Honor Flight Rochester President and CEO Richard Stewart, who told CNN he learned of his friend’s death last Friday.

“We miss him,” said Stewart.

While Persichitti passed away bound for Normandy — where the Allied forces’  landing on June 6, 1944 , laid the foundation for the defeat of Nazi Germany — he served in the Pacific as a radioman aboard the USS Eldorado, Stewart said. His tour of duty included Iwo Jima, Okinawa and Guam, according to Stewart and  the New York State Senate Veterans Hall of Fame , into which Persichitti was inducted in 2020.

Persichitti fell ill last week during a stop in Germany while headed for Normandy, Al DeCarlo, a friend who was traveling with Persichitti, told  CNN affiliate WHAM . Persichitti was airlifted to the hospital and died soon after, DeCarlo said.

“The doctor was with him. He was not alone, he was at peace and he was comfortable,” DeCarlo said. “She put his favorite singer, Frank Sinatra, on her phone and he peacefully left us.”

Persichitti had heart problems in the past, “but for 102, I would say he was in superb health,” Stewart told CNN.

Persichitti was born in a coal mining town outside Pittsburgh, Stewart said, describing his friend's “humble, poor beginnings.” After the war, Persichitti worked as a carpentry teacher in Rochester, New York, according to the Veterans Hall of Fame, and in 1972 received a degree from SUNY Buffalo.

Trump posts tribute on 80th anniversary of D-Day landings in Normandy

From CNN's Kate Sullivan

Former US President Donald Trump on Thursday posted a tribute to the “immortal heroes who landed at Normandy” to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy. 

“Today, we honor the immortal heroes who landed at Normandy 80 years ago. The men of D-Day will live forever in history as among the bravest, noblest, and greatest Americans ever to walk the earth. They shed their blood, and thousands gave their lives, in defense of American Freedom. They are in our hearts today and for all time,” Trump posted on Truth Social.

France's Macron awards 3 more people the Legion of Honor

From CNN's Emmanuel Miculita and Joshua Berlinger in Paris

French President Emmanuel Macron awards US WWII veteran Arlester Brown with the Legion of Honor during the International commemorative ceremony at Omaha Beach marking the 80th anniversary of the World War II "D-Day" Allied landings in Normandy, in Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer, in northwestern France, on June 6.

French President Emmanuel Macron used the international ceremony commemorating the 80th anniversary of D-Day to award the Legion of Honor, France's highest military or civilian distinction, to three more American veterans: Joseph Miller, Richard Calvin Rung and Arlester Brown.

Earlier in the day, Macron awarded the Legion of Honor to Christian Lamb , a 104-year-old British woman credited with having made the maps for the D-Day landing, and 11 other American veterans.

Testimonials and musical performances are taking place during international ceremony

As the international ceremony marking the 80th anniversary of D-Day on Omaha Beach is underway, testimonials from those who fought in the war are currently being read out.

Along with the testimonials, musical performances are demonstrated in front of attendees.

French President Emmanuel Macron is set to deliver an address later during the ceremony.

Austin says "Ukraine matters" in the midst of D-Day ceremonies

From CNN's Shania Shelton

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin discussed Russia's war in Ukraine while participating in D-Day ceremonies, telling CNN's Wolf Blitzer that "Ukraine matters."

"I have engaged members of Congress on both sides, in both parties. I have seen throughout strong support for Ukraine, and even though it took a while to get the legislation through, I was confident that that the right thing was going to happen."

He continued, "Because anytime you see that type of support on both sides of the aisle for a cause, Congress will find a way to get things done, which is what they did in this case, because it's the right thing to do."

The international ceremony is underway

From CNN's Josh Berlinger in Paris

The international ceremony marking the 80th anniversary of D-Day on Omaha Beach has begun.

More than 20 heads of state and government and representatives from royal families across Europe are in attendance.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky arrives at international ceremony to standing ovation

From CNN's Joshua Berlinger in Paris

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky arrived at Thursday's international ceremony to commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-Day to a standing ovation and a rousing applause.

Zelensky's presence — and Russian leader Vladimir Putin's absence, despite Soviet Russia's key role in winning the war in Europe — is highly symbolic given how the war in Ukraine is casting a shadow over the day's events.

Several world leaders have already used their speeches to cast parallels between Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the aggression of Nazi Germany that sparked World War II.

Watch the moment here:

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In Shift, Biden Issues Order Allowing Temporary Border Closure to Migrants

The move shows how drastically immigration politics have shifted in the United States. The American Civil Liberties Union said it planned to challenge the order in court.

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Biden Issues Order to Curb Immigration at Southern Border

President biden’s executive order prevents migrants from seeking asylum at the u.s.-mexico border when crossings surge..

I’ve come here today to do what the Republicans in Congress refuse to do: Take the necessary steps to secure our border. Today, I’m announcing actions to bar migrants who cross our southern border unlawfully from receiving asylum. Migrants will be restricted from receiving asylum at our southern border unless they seek it after entering through an established lawful process. And those who seek to come to the United States legally, for example, by making an appointment and coming to a port of entry, asylum will still be available to them, still available. To protect America as a land that welcomes immigrants, we must first secure the border and secure it now.

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By Zolan Kanno-Youngs and Hamed Aleaziz

Zolan Kanno-Youngs and Hamed Aleaziz have reported on immigration politics and border policy during the Biden and Trump administrations.

President Biden issued an executive order on Tuesday that prevents migrants from seeking asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border when crossings surge, a dramatic election-year move to ease pressure on the immigration system and address a major concern among voters.

The measure is the most restrictive border policy instituted by Mr. Biden, or any other modern Democrat, and echoes an effort in 2018 by President Donald J. Trump to cut off migration that was blocked in federal court.

In remarks at the White House, Mr. Biden said he was forced to take executive action because Republicans had blocked bipartisan legislation that had some of the most significant border security restrictions Congress had considered in years.

“We must face a simple truth,” said the president, who was joined by a group of lawmakers and mayors from border communities. “To protect America as a land that welcomes immigrants, we must first secure the border and secure it now.”

Aware that the policy raised uncomfortable comparisons, Mr. Biden took pains to distinguish his actions from those of Mr. Trump. “We continue to work closely with our Mexican neighbors instead of attacking them,” Mr. Biden said. He said he would never refer to immigrants as “ poisoning the blood ” of the country, as Mr. Trump has done.

Still, the move shows how drastically the politics of immigration have shifted to the right in the United States. Polls suggest there is support in both parties for border measures once denounced by Democrats and championed by Mr. Trump as the number of people crossing into the country has reached record levels in recent years.

Mr. Biden’s executive action was set to go into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, at which point border officers could return migrants across the border into Mexico or to their home countries within hours or days.

The American Civil Liberties Union said it planned to challenge the executive action in court.

“The administration has left us little choice but to sue,” said Lee Gelernt, a lawyer at the A.C.L.U, which led the charge against the Trump administration’s attempt to block asylum in 2018 and resulted in the policy being stopped by federal courts. “It was unlawful under Trump and is no less illegal now.”

Assuming it survives legal challenges, the policy kicks in once the seven-day average for daily illegal crossings hits 2,500 — a regular occurrence now. The border would reopen only after the figure drops to 1,500 for seven days in a row and stays that way for two weeks.

That is a significant shift in how asylum has worked for years.

Typically, migrants who cross illegally and claim asylum are released into the United States to wait for court appearances, where they can plead their cases. But a huge backlog means those cases can take years to come up.

The new system is designed to deter those illegal crossings.

There would be limited exceptions to the restrictions announced Tuesday, including for minors who cross the border alone, victims of human trafficking and those who use a Customs and Border Protection app to schedule an appointment with a border officer to request asylum.

But for the most part, the order suspends longtime guarantees that give anyone who steps onto U.S. soil the right to seek a safe haven.

The executive action mirrors the legislation that Republicans blocked in February, saying it was not strong enough. Many of them, egged on by Mr. Trump, were loath to give Mr. Biden a legislative victory in an election year.

“Donald Trump begged them to vote ‘no’ because he was worried that more border enforcement would hurt him politically,” Andrew Bates, a White House spokesman, said in a statement on Tuesday. He added: “The American people want bipartisan solutions to border security — not cynical politics.”

Immigration advocates and some progressive Democrats have expressed concern that Mr. Biden was abandoning his promise to rebuild the asylum system.

“By reviving Trump’s asylum ban, President Biden has undermined American values and abandoned our nation’s obligations to provide people fleeing persecution, violence, and authoritarianism with an opportunity to seek refuge in the U.S.,” said Senator Alex Padilla, Democrat of California.

Mr. Biden said that those who believe his latest restrictions are too strict should be “patient.” He said in the coming weeks he would speak about “how we can make our immigration system more fair and more just.”

Tuesday’s decision is a stark turnaround for Mr. Biden, who came into office attacking Mr. Trump for his efforts to restrict asylum. During a 2019 debate, Mr. Biden, then a candidate running against Mr. Trump for the first time, excoriated his rival’s policies.

“This is the first president in the history of the United States of America that anybody seeking asylum has to do it in another country,” Mr. Biden said at the time.

Mr. Trump tried several times to close the U.S. border to asylum seekers, succeeding only in 2020 when he used a Covid-era emergency rule to seal the border to most migrants.

Immigration has proved to be a huge political vulnerability for Mr. Biden, reaching a crisis in December, when about 10,000 people a day were making their way into the United States.

Biden administration officials, panicked over those numbers, pressed Mexico to do more to curb migration. Mexican officials have since used charter flights and buses to move migrants deeper south and away from the United States.

The number of people crossing has plunged since then, though the numbers are still historically high. On Sunday, more than 3,500 people crossed without authorization, in line with the trends of recent weeks, according to a person with knowledge of the data.

Even with the executive order in place, migrants could still apply for other protections designed for those who can prove they will be tortured in their home country. But that screening has a much higher bar than asylum and as a result, administration officials said they do not expect many migrants to be screened into the United States.

People who cross illegally and do not qualify for those other protections would be subject to a five-year prohibition on entering the United States.

White House officials believe the order provides Mr. Biden an opportunity to take Republicans to task for dooming the bipartisan bill. That legislation also would have provided billions to the Homeland Security Department for more border officers and immigration judges.

Mr. Biden cannot provide those resources through executive action. White House officials for weeks said they preferred legislation over presidential proclamation because it would be more lasting and less exposed to a court challenge.

The order also comes with some political risks. Republicans have questioned why Mr. Biden did not take unilateral action at the border sooner. In January, he told reporters that he had “done all I can do” at the border and that he needed help from Congress.

“It’s all about show, because he knows we have a debate coming up in three weeks,” Mr. Trump said Tuesday on social media.

As Mr. Biden considered whether to take executive action in recent months, his administration has taken smaller steps to try to control those backlogs.

In May, the administration proposed a rule change that would allow officers to quickly identify people who are ineligible for asylum, such as those who have been convicted of serious crimes. Currently, they may be allowed to enter the country and wait months, or often years, for asylum proceedings. The proposal must go through a 30-day public comment period.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services also issued a new policy in May instructing asylum officers to consider whether applicants could find refuge in their own countries before coming to the United States.

Zolan Kanno-Youngs is a White House correspondent, covering President Biden and his administration. More about Zolan Kanno-Youngs

Hamed Aleaziz covers the Department of Homeland Security and immigration policy. More about Hamed Aleaziz

Trump calls trial a ‘scam,’ vows to appeal historic guilty verdict

Former president Donald Trump, speaking at a rambling news conference Friday in New York, vowed to appeal his conviction on all counts in his hush money trial, calling it “a scam.” On Thursday, a New York jury found Trump guilty on 34 counts of falsifying business records to conceal a hush money payment to an adult-film actress. During Friday’s remarks, Trump renewed his attacks on the judge and prosecutor and aired other grievances about the process, making multiple false and misleading claims. He took no questions from reporters.

  • Trump and his allies believe that criminal convictions will work in his favor
  • Biden: It’s reckless and irresponsible to say Trump verdict was rigged
  • House GOP wants Bragg to testify on Trump hush money prosecution

Here's what to know:

Here's what to know, live coverage contributors 32.

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reported speech here there

IMAGES

  1. Reported Speech: How to Use Reported Speech

    reported speech here there

  2. ESL Teachers: REPORTED SPEECH

    reported speech here there

  3. Unit 10. Reported speech

    reported speech here there

  4. Reported Speech: Important Grammar Rules and Examples

    reported speech here there

  5. Reported Speech: How to Use Reported Speech

    reported speech here there

  6. Reported Speech

    reported speech here there

VIDEO

  1. Reported speech|Direct or indirect speech in English

  2. Grammar

  3. Reported Speech 2

  4. " Basic rules to understand reported speech "

  5. Reported Speech

  6. Reported Speech [ Present Simple]

COMMENTS

  1. Time and Place in Reported Speech

    Here are some common place words, showing how you change them for reported speech: direct speech indirect speech; here: there, in Starbucks: this: that: this book: the book, that book, War and Peace: in this room: in the room, in that room, in the kitchen:

  2. Reported Speech

    Here - there. Tomorrow - the next/following day. Two weeks ago - two weeks before. Yesterday - the day before. Here are some examples. Direct speech: "I am baking cookies now." Indirect speech: He said he was baking cookies then. Direct speech: "Myra went here yesterday." Indirect speech: She said Myra went there the day before.

  3. Reported Speech: Important Grammar Rules and Examples • 7ESL

    Here -> There; This -> That; Tomorrow -> The following day/ The next day/ The day after; ... No Change in Verb Tenses in Reported Speech. There is no change in verb tenses in Indirect Speech when: The introductory verb is in the Present, Present Perfect or Future. If the reported sentence deals with a fact or general truth.

  4. Reported Speech

    Watch my reported speech video: Here's how it works: We use a 'reporting verb' like 'say' or 'tell'. ( Click here for more about using 'say' and 'tell' .) If this verb is in the present tense, it's easy. We just put 'she says' and then the sentence: Direct speech: I like ice cream. Reported speech: She says (that) she likes ice cream.

  5. Reported speech: indirect speech

    Reported speech: indirect speech - English Grammar Today - a reference to written and spoken English grammar and usage - Cambridge Dictionary

  6. Reported Speech

    Reported speech is the form in which one can convey a message said by oneself or someone else, mostly in the past. It can also be said to be the third person view of what someone has said. In this form of speech, you need not use quotation marks as you are not quoting the exact words spoken by the speaker, but just conveying the message. Q2.

  7. Reported Speech in English

    Here, the speech is reported as though it's in the present tense ("she says") instead of in the past ("she said"). In writing of all kinds, direct reported speech is often split into two or more parts, as it is above. Here's an example from Lewis Carroll's "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland," where the speech is even more ...

  8. Reported Speech in English Grammar

    Introduction. In English grammar, we use reported speech to say what another person has said. We can use their exact words with quotation marks, this is known as direct speech, or we can use indirect speech. In indirect speech, we change the tense and pronouns to show that some time has passed. Indirect speech is often introduced by a reporting ...

  9. What is Reported Speech and How to Use It? with Examples

    Reported speech: She said she was going to the store then. In this example, the pronoun "I" is changed to "she" and the adverb "now" is changed to "then." 2. Change the tense: In reported speech, you usually need to change the tense of the verb to reflect the change from direct to indirect speech. Here's an example:

  10. Changing time and place in reported speech| reported speech| English EFL

    Place. If we are in the same place when we report something, then we do not need to make any changes to place words. But if we are in a different place when we report something, then we need to change the place words. Look at these example sentences: He said: "It is cold in here ." → He said that it was cold in there.

  11. Reported Speech

    transform the question into an indirect question. use the interrogative or if / whether. Type. Example. with interrogative. direct speech. "Why don't you speak English?". reported speech. He asked me why I didn't speak English.

  12. Reported Speech: Rules, Examples, Exceptions

    When we use reported speech, we often change the verb tense backwards in time. This can be called "backshift.". Here are some examples in different verb tenses: "I want to go home.". She said she wanted to go home. "I 'm reading a good book.". She said she was reading a good book. "I ate pasta for dinner last night.".

  13. Reported speech

    Reported speech. Daisy has just had an interview for a summer job. Instructions. 0:00 / 2:20. 720p. Transcript. We use reported speech when we want to tell someone what someone said. We usually use a reporting verb (e.g. say, tell, ask, etc.) and then change the tense of what was actually said in direct speech.

  14. Reported Speech In English: The Ultimate Guide

    Reported Speech In English: Place And Time Expressions When you're reporting someone's words, there is often a change of place and time. This may mean that you will need to change or remove words that are used to refer to places and time like "here," "this," "now," "today," "next," "last," "yesterday ...

  15. PDF Unit 12A Grammar: Reported Speech(1

    Reported Speech. Greg: "I am cooking dinner Maya.". Maya: "Greg said he was cooking dinner.". So most often, the reported speech is going to be in the past tense, because the original statement, will now be in the past! *We will learn about reporting verbs in part 2 of this lesson, but for now we will just use said/told.

  16. Reported speech

    Reported speech - English Grammar Today - a reference to written and spoken English grammar and usage - Cambridge Dictionary

  17. 100 Reported Speech Examples: How To Change Direct Speech ...

    Direct: "I will help you," she promised. Reported: She promised that she would help me. Direct: "You should study harder," he advised. Reported: He advised that I should study harder. Direct: "I didn't take your book," he denied. Reported: He denied taking my book. Direct: "Let's go to the cinema," she suggested.

  18. Indirect speech

    What is indirect speech or reported speech? When we tell people what another person said or thought, we often use reported speech or indirect speech. To do that, we need to change verb tenses (present, past, etc.) and pronouns (I, you, my, your, etc.) if the time and speaker are different.For example, present tenses become past, I becomes he or she, and my becomes his or her, etc.

  19. Reported or indirect speech

    Reported or indirect speech. The first section mostly reiterates material in the initial training section and is here as a reminder of the basics. You can skip this if you are already aware of the basic issues or have recently worked through the initial training section for this area. If that is the case, skim through what follows, and/or do ...

  20. Biden signs executive action drastically tightening border

    Facing mounting political pressure over the migrant influx at the U.S. southern border, President Joe Biden on Tuesday signed an executive order that will temporarily shut down asylum requests ...

  21. Live updates: D-Day 80th anniversary in Normandy, Biden, Macron

    France's President Emmanuel Macron delivers a speech during the International commemorative ceremony at Omaha Beach marking the 80th anniversary of the World War II "D-Day" Allied landings in ...

  22. All Things Considered for June, 1 2024 : NPR

    Hear the All Things Considered program for Jun 01, 2024

  23. Biden Issues Executive Order to Temporarily Close Border to Migrants

    Aware that the policy raised uncomfortable comparisons, Mr. Biden took pains to distinguish his actions from those of Mr. Trump. "We continue to work closely with our Mexican neighbors instead ...

  24. Melania Trump and Barron at Trump Tower after guilty verdict

    Melania Trump and son Barron were at Trump Tower, sources tell Page Six, in the wake of the guilty verdict against former president Donald Trump.

  25. Reagan's D-Day speech 40 years ago shows how lame Biden is

    Two hundred and twenty-five came here. After two days of fighting, only 90 could still bear arms." Some of the men who had fought that day were there 40 years later to hear Reagan, who said:

  26. Trump calls trial a 'scam,' vows to appeal historic guilty verdict

    Live updates, reaction and the latest news from the 2024 election campaign trail after Donald Trump was found guilty on 34 counts in the hush money trial in New York.