Reported speech

Урок 49. Английский язык 9 класс ФГОС

Французский философ Люк де Клапье де Вовенарг утверждал: «Каждый человек рождается честным, а умирает лжецом». Этой фразой заканчивается статья о лжи в одном из журналов, которые Гарри решил пролистать. На предложениях из этой статьи Гарри объясняет разницу между прямой и косвенной речью, а также правила преобразования утвердительных предложений из прямой речи в косвенную. В практической части учащиеся должны переделать предложения из прямой речи в косвенную.

Конспект урока "Reported speech"

Harry: Hello guys! Welcome to Grammar Zone!

Is it ever all right to tell a lie? If so, in what situations?

Read the magazine article about lying.

The Truth about Lying

At 9.00, a manager from Rick’s bank telephoned and said Rick’s credit card payment was late. “The check is in the mail,” Rick replied quickly. At 11.45 Rick was late for a 12 o’clock meeting. Arriving late, he told his boss that the traffic had been terrible.

That evening, his girlfriend, Emma, came home with a new haircut. Rick hated it. “It looks great,” he said.

Three lies in one day! Does he have a problem? Or is he just an ordinary guy? Each time, he told himself that sometimes the truth causes too many problems. Most of us tell white lies that help us to avoid trouble.

These are our four most common reasons:

·                   To get something more quickly or to avoid unpleasant situations: “I tried to call you but your cell phone was turned off.”

·                   To appear nicer or more interesting to a new friend or to feel better about yourself: “I do exercises every day,” or “I’m looking better these days.”

·                   To make a polite excuse: “I’d love to go to your party, but I have to revise for my exam.”

·                   To protect someone else’s feelings: “Your hair looks great that way!”

Is telling lies a new trend? In one survey the majority of people said that people were more honest in the past. But lying wasn’t really born yesterday. The French philosopher wrote, “All men are born truthful and die liars.”

Harry: Look! What do you call the highlighted sentences?

They are Direct or Indirect Speech.

In today’s video we’ll tell you the truth and nothing but truth about it.

Direct Speech (sometimes called quoted speech) states the exact words that a speaker used.

“The check is in the mail,” he said.

Here what a person says appears within quotation marks ("...") and should be word for word.

“I like your perfume,” she told her.

The quotation can go at the beginning or at the end of the sentence.

He said, “The traffic is bad.” or “The traffic is bad,” he said.

Indirect Speech (also called Reported Speech) reports what the speaker said but without using the exact words.

He said the check was in the mail.

She told her she liked her perfume.

We don’t use quotation marks in Reported Speech.

She said she had to work.

NOT She said “she had to work.”

The word that can introduce indirect speech.

In spoken English you can use that or leave it out, as you prefer.

He said that the check was in the mail.

She told that her she liked her perfume.

Said and told are the most common reporting verbs used in reported speech.

We normally use told when we mention the listener.

E.g. He told her that it was a great haircut. (Here her is the object.)

We usually use said when we don’t mention the listener.

E.g. He said that it was a great haircut.

If we mention the listener after said we must add to;

E.g. He said to Ann that it was a great haircut.

There are many other verbs we can use apart from said and told.

These include: -

accused, admitted, advised, alleged, agreed, apologized, boasted, complained, denied, explained, invited, offered, ordered, promised, replied, suggested etc.

Using them properly makes your speech much more interesting and informative.

For example:

He told me to keep to a diet.

He begged me to keep to a diet.

He ordered me to keep to a diet.

He advised me to keep to a diet.

When you report a statement (tell it in your own words), there are some necessary changes.

Pronoun Change

Personal and possessive pronouns change according to their meaning.

For example:

She says, "I like chocolate."

She says she likes chocolate.

They say, "You are right."

They say I am right.

He says, "My name is George."

He says his name is George.

Time Change

In many cases, when you report someone's speech you are almost always in a different place. So we need to change the place and time expressions accordingly.

Changes to common time words.




that day


the day before / the previous day

a week ago

a week before / the previous week

last week/month/year

the week/month/year before / the previous week/month/year

next week/month/year

the following week/month/year

in three years

three years from then


the next / the following day


that night

Changes to demonstrative pronouns.







For example:

I love it here. This climate is great.

Jack said he loved it there. He told me that that the climate was great.

Tense Change

When reporting what somebody said in the past, the tenses of the verbs in the reported statement go one step backwards.

Here is how the tense backshift works:

Direct Speech

Reported Speech

Present Simple (do/does)

She said, “I only buy shoes on sales.”

Past Simple (did)

She said she only bought shoes on sales.

Present Continuous (am/is/are doing)

He said, “A storm is coming.”

Past Continuous (was/were doing)

He said the storm was coming.

Present Perfect (have/has done)

She said, “I have bought a new car”

Past Perfect (had done)

She said she had bought a new car”

Past Simple (did)

Alex said, “I finished my homework”

Past Perfect (had done)

Alex said he had finished his homework”

Future Simple (will do)

She said, “I will help you later”

Future in the past (would do)

She said she would help me later

You do not have to change the tense when you are reporting:

·                   something that was just said:

A: I’m tired from all this shopping.

B: What did you say?

A: I said I am tired. OR I said I was tired.

·                   a general truth or scientific law:

Mrs. Smith told her students that water freezes at 0 Celsius. OR

Mrs. Smith told her students that water froze at 0 Celsius.

·                   when a reporting verb is in the Simple Present:

Ann: I run a mile every day.

Ann says that she runs a mile every day.

Certain modal verbs also take changes:

can changes to could

will changes to would

may changes to might

must changes to had to

could, would, should, might do not change in the Reported Speech.


“You can stay with us,” the told us.

They told us we could stay with them.

“You must leave,” he told us.

He told us that we had to leave.

Now it’s time to practice the rule.

Look at the pictures. Rewrite the statements as indirect speech. Use said as the reporting verb and make necessary changes in the verbs and pronouns.

1. It’s my own recipe.

She said it was her own recipe.

2. My car broke down.

He said that his car had broken down.

3. I have to drive my aunt to the airport.

He said that he had to drive his aunt to the airport.

4. I exercise every day.

She said she exercised every day.

5. I’ve just mailed the check.

He said that he has just mailed the check. OR He said that he had just mailed the check.

6. I’m 30.

He said he was thirty.

That`s all for today.

I can’t stand telling you that you should join us at our grammar lessons at videouroki.net.


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