Direct and Indirect Speech
Direct Speech | Indirect Speech
Tense Change | Time Change | Pronoun Change
Reporting Verbs | Use of 'That'
We often have to give information about what people say or think. In
order to do this you can use direct or quoted speech, or indirect or
Direct Speech / Quoted Speech
Saying exactly what someone has said is called direct speech (sometimes called quoted speech)
Here what a person says appears
within quotation marks ("...") and should be word for word.
She said, "Today's lesson is on presentations."
"Today's lesson is on presentations", she said.
Indirect Speech / Reported Speech
Indirect speech (sometimes called reported speech), doesn't use
quotation marks to enclose what the person said and it doesn't have to
be word for word.
When reporting speech the tense usually changes. This is because when
we use reported speech, we are usually talking about a time in the past
(because obviously the person who spoke originally spoke in the past).
The verbs therefore usually have to be in the past too.
"I'm going to the cinema", he said.
He said he was going to the cinema.
As a rule when you report something someone has said you go back a
tense: (the tense on the left changes to the tense on the right):