We can report people’s words by using direct speech or reported speech. ‘I’m tired!’, Helen said.Helen said (that) she was tired.
The main verb of the sentence is usually past ( Tom said that... / I told her that...) and the rest of the sentence is usually past too.Sequence of tenses – if the verb in the main sentence is in the past tense - the other verbs are usually in one of the past tense too.
Read the sentences and turn them in the indirect form. 1. Ralph said, "We have been in the mountains this summer." 2. "We were very happy to spend the weekend at the seaside," said Donald. 3. "We have left the school," said the children. 4. "In 1991 I entered Oxford University," said Henry.
NOTE: modal verbs - could, would, might and should do not change.
Changes in reported speech
Differences between TELL and SAY TELL is always followed by a personal direct object or someone’s name.Harry told me (that) he was hungry.Harry told Sarah (that) he was cold.SAY is immediately followed by a noun clause.She said (that) she was hungry.He said (that) he was feeling tired.
Reporting special questions
Read the sentences and write them in the indirect form.1. Nancy asked her mother, "What is the weather going to be, rainy or sunny?" 2. The teacher asked her class, "Who will take part in the competition?". 3. Mary asked her friend, "What did you do during your winter holidays?".4. Lucy asked her new friend, "When were you born?"5. The tourist asked a policeman, "How can I get to the centre of the city?" 6. Wife asked her husband, "When will you come home from work?" 7. The mother asked her children, "Who will help me to lay the table?"
Reporting general questions
Read the sentences and turn them in the indirect form: 1. Kate asked her little brother, "Have you washed your face and hands, Jimmy?" 2. The mother asked her daughter, "Do you want to have tea, Dolly?" 3. The man asked a policeman, "Shall I turn to the right or to the left to get to the museum, officer?" 4. Robert asked his friend, "Is the wind strong?" 5. Ann asked her grandmother, "Will you take me to my Aunt, Granny?"
Reporting imperative sentences
‘Press the red button!’ ► He told me to press the red button.‘Don’t answer the phone now!’ ► He asked me not to answer the phone then.
Read the sentences and turn them in the indirect form:1. Mrs. Roberts said, "Look after your sister, Ann."'2. The parents said to their little daughter, "Don't cross the street when the light is red." 3. The teacher said, "Please, hand in your exercise-book." 4. The boy said to his friend, "Come to see me on Sunday, will you?" 5. The mother said to her son, "Write down a list of the things you will have to buy." 6. The teacher said, "Go on reading, Ann."