where is my umbrella she asked

REPORTED SPEECH

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

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Statements

When transforming statements, kiểm tra whether you have to tướng change:

  • pronouns

  • present tense verbs (3rd person singular)

  • place and time expressions

  • tenses (backshift)

TypeExample
direct speech“I speak English.”
reported speech
(no backshift)
He says that he speaks English.
reported speech
(backshift)
He said that he spoke English.

Questions

When transforming questions, kiểm tra whether you have to tướng change:

  • pronouns

  • present tense verbs (3rd person singular)

  • place and time expressions

  • tenses (backshift)

Also note that you have to:

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  • transform the question into an indirect question

  • use the interrogative or if / whether

TypeExample
with interrogativedirect speech“Why don’t you speak English?”
reported speechHe asked bu why I didn’t speak English.
without interrogativedirect speech“Do you speak English?”
reported speechHe asked bu whether / if I spoke English.

Requests

When transforming questions, kiểm tra whether you have to tướng change:

  • pronouns

  • place and time expressions

TypeExample
direct speech“Carol, speak English.“
reported speechHe told Carol to tướng speak English.

Additional Information and Exeptions

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

  • main clauses connected with and / but

  • tense of the introductory clause

  • reported speech for difficult tenses

  • exeptions for backshift

  • requests with must, should, ought to and let’s

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Exercise on Reported Speech


Questions - Exercise 1

Complete the sentences in reported speech. Note the change of pronouns and tenses.

  1. "Where is my umbrella?" she asked.
    → She askedwhere her umbrella was.
  2. "How are you?" Martin asked us.
    → Martin asked ushow we were.
  3. He asked, "Do I have to tướng vì thế it?"
    → He askedif he had to tướng vì thế it.
  4. "Where have you been?" the mother asked her daughter.
    → The mother asked her daughterwhere she had been.
  5. "Which dress vì thế you lượt thích best?" she asked her boyfriend.
    → She asked her boyfriendwhich dress he liked best.
  6. "What are they doing?" she asked.
    → She wanted to tướng knowwhat they were doing.
  7. "Are you going to tướng the cinema?" he asked bu.
    → He wanted to tướng knowif I was going to tướng the cinema.
  8. The teacher asked, "Who speaks English?"
    → The teacher wanted to tướng knowwho spoke English.
  9. "How vì thế you know that?" she asked bu.
    → She asked mehow I knew that.
  10. "Has Caron talked to tướng Kevin?" my friend asked bu.
    → My friend asked meif Caron had talked to tướng Kevin.