martes, 21 de octubre de 2014

ISE II (B2): Reported Speech

It is used to tell something that someone has told before without quoting his words.

Example: Direct speech: “I am tired”

           Indirect speech: He said he was tired



The most usual verbs to introduce reported speech are SAY / TELL.
If we want to communicate the speaker’s intention or the tone which was used, we can used the following verbs:
Affirmations: admit, announce, answer, apologize, boast, claim, complain, declare, explain, inform, insist, mention, offer, remind, reply, state. 

Questions: enquire, request, want to known, wonder.
Orders: ask, demand, order, shout, warn.
Pleas: beg.
Suggestions: advise, invite, recommend, suggest.

Two types of questions in English:

YES/NO QUESTIONS: are the ones that can be answered with “yes” or “no”. to put these question in reported speech, we used the verb ASK followed by IF or WHETHER. Then, as the question turns into an affirmative, THERE IS NEITHER INVERSION SUBJECT – VERB NOR QUESTION MARK.


Direct speech: “Did the contestant win a lot of money?” She said.
Indirect speech: She ASKED IF / WHETHER the contestant had won a lot of money.

: are the ones that cannot be answered with “yes” or “no”. They begin with an interrogative particle (what, whom where, when, how). To put them these questions in reported speech, we put the INTERROGATIVE PARTICLE instead of if/whether. Then, we put the SUBJECT and the VERB and we do NOT USE QUESTION MARKS.


Direct speech: “What is the name of the new show?” Sue asked.
Indirect speech: Sue asked what the name of the new show was.


To put an order, a suggestion or a request in reported speech, we change use an infinitive with to. If we have to use the negative, we put NOT BEFORE THE INFINITIVE.


Direct speech: “Stop driving so fast”
Indirect speech: My mother ordered me (not) to stop driving.

If you click on the following link, you can have access to several exercises to practise reported speech:

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