Tamilnadu State Board Class 10 English Grammar Reported Speech
♦ Reported Speech (Text Book Page No.: 145-147)
Direct speech is speech inside quotation marks. It is used to repeat the exact words that somebody said: My mother told me, “You have to work hard” (This is reported as)
My mother told me that I had to work hard.
1. When reporting a statement (not a question), we generally use that:
She said that he was hungry and that he wanted to eat soon.
He told me that he had never been to Kerala but that he wanted to go. They promised us that they would tell the truth.
2. When reporting a question, we use if for yes / no questions or the appropriate question words (who, what, where, when, how, why) for information questions:
NOTE: You never use that when reporting a question!
He asked me if I was going to the office party. (“Are you going to the…”)
He asked me when I would call him. (“When will you call me?”)
He asked me how much my fee was. (“How much is your fee?”)
3a. The following verbs must be used with an indirect object:
told – He told me that he was hungry,
informed – We informed her that the store was closed,
reminded – He reminded the students that the meeting was at 3 PM.
3b. The following verbs may be used with an indirect object, but the indirect object is optional (up to you).
asked – We asked [her] where her mother was.
answered – He answered [me] that he couldn’t help,
promised – She promised [him] that she would stay.
3c. The following verbs need to before the indirect object. For any verb that needs to before the indirect object, the indirect object is optional:
He said to me – that he was the chief of police. (OR)
He said – that he was the chief of police,
said – He said [to his sister] that he was hungry,
explained – We explained [to her] why we had been late,
exclaimed – She exclaimed [to the boy] that she was furious,
complained – They complained [to us] that the room was too cold.
4. In English we report commands, orders, requests and suggestions to other people in a five-part format:
5. If the direct speech was in the present tense, the reported speech must be in the past tense:
She said, “I am an actress, and I also sing.”
She said that she was an actress and that she also sang.
6. If the direct speech was in the past tense, the reported speech must be in the past perfect (the “past before a past” form, had + past participle):
He said, “I was scared when I fell down the stairs.”
He said that he had been scared when he had fallen down the stairs.
7. Some x-words change from direct to reported speech:
I asked him, “Can I see your sister?”
I asked him if I could see his sister.
She asked, “Shall I call you later?”
She asked if she should call me later.
He told them, “I’ll help you tomorrow.”
He told them that he would help them the following day.
She said, “I may study tonight.”
She said that she might study that night.
He said, “I must see a doctor soon.”
He said that he had to see a doctor soon.
8. Sorne verbs and verb combinations have no change in the reported form. Don’t change the perfect (had + p.p.), the unreal (present or past), or any combination with could, should, would, or might.
He said, “My father had already died before I graduated.
He said that his father had already died before he had graduated.
He said, “I would help the homeless if I were mayor.”
He said that he would help the homeless if he were mayor.
She said, “I would have given the answer if I had known it.”
She said that she would have given the answer if she had known it.
I said, “I could run faster when I was young.”
I said that I could run faster when he had been young.
He said, “You should get married.”
He said that I should get married.
She said, “I should have worn a better dress yesterday.”
She said that she should have worn a better dress the day before.
I said, “I might go to the Statue of Liberty.”
“ I said that I might go to the Statue of Liberty.
Expressions That Change in Reported Speech
9. Certain expressions must change in the reported form of speech:
|tomorrow||the following day (or) the next day|
|next month||the following month (or) the next month|
|this afternoon||that afternoon|
|yesterday||the day before (or) the previous day|
|last year||the year before (or) the previous year|
|last night||the night before (or) the previous night|
Reported Speech Verbs:
ask – to get information or to make a request for someone to do something (He asked her…)
beg – to ask strongly and emotionally for someone to do something (She begged him…)
tell – to give information or to give a command (He told us….)
order – to give somebody a strong command (She ordered them….)
answer – to respond (We answered [him]…)
respond – to answer (He responded [to her]…)
remind – to tell somebody something that he or she might have forgotten (He reminded me…)
exclaim – to state information with great emotion (not used for giving commands) (He exclaimed [to her]…)
explain – to state information that will help somebody understand something (She explained [to him…)
Reported Speech Action Verbs (These verbs are often used to report short exchanges.)
thank – He thanked her. (He said thank you to her.)
greet – She greeted him. (She said hello to him.)
agree – He agreed. (He said that somebody was right or that he would do what somebody wanted.)
refuse – She refused. (She said that she wouldn’t obey somebody or that she wouldn’t do somebody a favor.)
Exercises: Type -1
Rewrite the sentences in reported speech. Change pronouns and time expressions where necessary.
She said, “I am reading.”
She said that she was reading.
They said, “We are busy.”
They said that they were busy.
He said, “I know a better restaurant.”
He said that he knew a better restaurant.
She said, “I woke up early.”
She said that she had woken up early.
He said, “I will ring her.”
He said that he would ring her.
They said, “We have just arrived.”
They said that they had just arrived.
He said, “I will clean the car.”
He said that he would clean the car.
She said, “I did not say that.”
SheShe said that she had not said that.
She said, “I don’t know where my shoes are.”
She said that she did not know where her shoes were.
He said: “I won’t tell anyone.”
He said that he would not tell anyone.
Exercises: Type – 2
Complete the sentences in reported speech. Note whether the sentence is a request, a statement or a question and whether you have to change the tenses or not.
“I was very tired,” she said.
She said that she had been very tired.
“Be careful, Ben,” she said.
She told Ben to be careful.
“I will get myself a drink,” she says.
She says that she will get herself a drink.
“Why haven’t you phoned me?” he asked me.
He wondered why I hadn’t phoned him.
“I cannot drive them home,” he said.
He said that he could not drive them home.
“Peter, do you prefer tea or coffee?” she says.
She asks Peter if he prefers tea or coffee.
“Where did you spend your holidays last year?” she asked me.
She asked me where I had spent my holidays the year before.
He said, “Don’t go too far.”
He advised her not to go too far.
“Have you been shopping?” he asked us.
He wanted to know if we had been shopping.
“Don’t make so much noise,” he says.
He asks us not to make so much noise.