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Unit 2: Reported speech in 90 seconds! Move the tense back

Select a unit

  • 1 Go beyond intermediate with our new video course
  • 2 Reported speech in 90 seconds!
  • 3 If or whether?
  • 4 5 ways to use 'would'
  • 5 Let and allow
  • 6 Passive voice
  • 8 Mixed conditionals
  • 9 The zero article - in 90 seconds
  • 10 The indefinite article - in 90 seconds
  • 11 The. That's right - the! Learn all about it in 90 seconds
  • 12 The continuous passive
  • 13 Future perfect
  • 14 Need + verb-ing
  • 15 Have something done
  • 17 Word stress
  • 18 Different ways of saying 'if'
  • 19 Passive reporting structures
  • 20 The subjunctive
  • 21 When and if
  • 22 Inversion
  • 23 Phrasal verbs
  • 24 The future
  • 25 Modals in the past
  • 26 Narrative tenses
  • 27 Phrasal verb myths
  • 28 Conditionals review
  • 29 Used to - review
  • 30 Linking words of contrast
  • Vocabulary reference
  • Grammar reference

Do you have 90 seconds? Do you want to learn something useful about reported speech? Then join Finn as he attempts to give you one useful tip against the clock!

Sessions in this unit

Session 1 score.

  • 0 / 5 Activity 1

BBC English Class: Reported speech

Welcome to another BBC English Class video. This is the programme where one of our presenters tries to give you a top grammar tip in just 90 seconds.

This time Finn looks at reported speech . But can he do it in time?

Watch the video and complete the activity

reported speech youtube video

You are a busy person. I'm a busy person. English grammar takes a long time to learn.

Today we're going to look at reported speech. But we're not going to go through a whole book. We're not going to learn everything. We're going to learn one point that you need to remember when you forget everything else. This is the one most important thing. And we're going to do it in 90 seconds because I know how busy you are.

This clock is going to start now.

Reported speech - what's the tip? What is the secret? Just four words: Move the tense back .

Now what does that mean? That means, for example:

We're at a party, we're having a great time. You come and ask me, "Finn would you like a cigarette?" And I say, "No, I don't want a cigarette, in fact, I've never smoked a cigarette in my life." Wow, that's quite interesting, you think. I'm going to tell my friend. Right, OK, there's your friend. How do you tell them? You use reported speech.

OK, so if I said, "I've never smoked a cigarette in my life," what tense is that? I've never smoked is present perfect. Right, if you want to tell your friend what do you do? Using reported speech? You move the tense back.

So you say: Finn said he had never smoked a cigarette in his life.

There it is. I've still got 20 seconds... what about that? We moved the tense back.

So if the sentence is in the present simple, move it to the past simple. Easy.

Remember that, you won't go far wrong in life. We're really busy, but hey - six seconds to go, you're looking great - remember my point - move the tense back. See you.

The main point

  • So - what was Finn's tip? Simple: Move the tense back .

What do we mean by that? Well, if the original statement was in the present perfect tense, the reported statement goes one tense back in time - to the past perfect tense, like this:

Finn: I have never smoked a cigarette in my life.

Reported speech: Finn said he had never smoked a cigarette in his life.

And if the original statement was in the present continuous, the reported statement would be in the... past continuous.

Finn: I am writing a novel.

Reported speech: Finn said he was writing a novel.

Which tense should this sentence change to in reported speech?

Kim: I'm planning to meet Jin in Berlin.

The answer is past continuous:

Reported speech: Kim said she was planning to meet Jin in Berlin.

There are a few exceptions to this rule. For more information, check out our Grammar Reference .

Now - time for a quick test to see if you've understood this point.

Finn said it was easy...

5 Questions

So, how confident do you feel at moving the tense back? Test yourself with this quiz! Each question has a statement - you have to change it into reported speech by moving the tense back.

Question 1 of 5

Question 2 of 5

Question 3 of 5

Question 4 of 5

Question 5 of 5

End of Session 1

That's the end of our BBC English Class activity. Next, join us as we explore the language of the news, in News Review.

Session Grammar

Reported speech.

One thing to remember: Move the tense back!

1)   Present simple -> past simple

"I know you." -> She said she knew him.

2)   Present continuous -> past continuous

"I am having coffee" -> He said he was having coffee.

3)   Present perfect -> past perfect

"I have finished my homework" -> He said he had finished his homework.

4)   Present perfect continuous -> past perfect continuous

"I have been studying Chinese" -> She said she had been studying Chinese.

5)   Is going to - > was going to

"I am going to go home" -> She said she was going to go home.

6)   Future simple - > would

"I will go to the bank later" -> He said he would go to the bank later.

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  • English Grammar
  • Clause structure and verb patterns

Reported speech

Level: intermediate

Reporting and summarising

When we want to report what people say, we don't usually try to report their exact words. We usually give a  summary , for example:

Direct speech (exact words) :

Mary :  Oh dear. We've been walking for hours! I'm exhausted. I don't think I can go any further. I really need to stop for a rest. Peter :  Don't worry. I'm not surprised you're tired. I'm tired too. I'll tell you what, let's see if we can find a place to sit down, and then we can stop and have our picnic.

Reported speech (summary) :

When Mary complained that she was tired out after walking so far, Peter said they could stop for a picnic.

Reporting verbs

When we want to report what people say, we use reporting verbs . Different reporting verbs have different patterns, for example:

Mary complained (that) she was tired . (verb + that clause) She asked if they could stop for a rest . (verb + if clause) Peter told her not to worry . (verb + to -infinitive) He suggested stopping and having a picnic . (verb + - ing form) 

See reporting verbs with that , wh-  and if clauses , verbs followed by the infinitive , verbs followed by the -ing form .

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Tenses in reported speech

When reporting what people say or think in English, we need to remember that the rules for tense forms in reported speech are exactly the same as in the rest of the language.

This is a letter that Andrew wrote ten years ago:

If we wanted to report what Andrew said in his letter, we might say something like this: 

Andrew said that when he  was  22, he was an engineering student in his last month at university. He wanted  to travel abroad after he  had finished  his course at the university, but he would need to earn some money while he was abroad so he wanted  to learn to teach English as a foreign language. A friend  had recommended  a course but Andrew needed more information, so he wrote to the school and asked them when their courses started  and how much they were . He also wanted to know if there was  an examination at the end of the course.

We would naturally use past tense forms to talk about things which happened ten years ago. So, tenses in reports and summaries in English are the same as in the rest of the language.

Sometimes we can choose between a past tense form and a  present tense  form. If we're talking about the past but we mention something that's still true , we can use the present tense:

John said he'd stayed at the Shangri-la because it' s the best hotel in town. Mary said she enjoyed the film because Robert de Niro is her favourite actor. Helen said she  loves visiting New York.

or the past tense:

John said he'd stayed at the Shangri-la because it was the best hotel in town. Mary said she enjoyed the film because Robert de Niro was her favourite actor. Helen said she  loved visiting New York.

If we're talking about something that  everybody knows is true , we normally use the present tense :

Michael said he'd always wanted to climb Everest because it' s the highest mountain in the world. Mary said she loved visiting New York because it' s such an exciting city.

Hi! I found the following paragraph from a grammar site while I was studying the reported speech. Can you help me? It says; --> We can use a perfect form with have + -ed form after modal verbs, especially where the report looks back to a hypothetical event in the past: He said the noise might have been the postman delivering letters. (original statement: ‘The noise might be the postman delivering letters.’)

And my question is: How do we understand if it is a hypothetical event in the past or not? We normally don't change 'might' in reported speech. (e.g. ‘It might snow tonight,’ he warned. --> He warned that it might snow that night.) But why do we say 'He said the noise might have been the postman delivering letters.' instead of 'He said that the noise might be the postman delivering letters.’ What's the difference between these two indirect reported speeches? Could you please explain the difference? And I also found this example which is about the same rule above: --> He said he would have helped us if we’d needed a volunteer. (original statement: a) ‘I’ll help you if you need a volunteer’ or b) ‘I’d help you if you needed a volunteer.’) Can you also explain why we report this sentence like that. How can we both change a) and b) into the same indirect reported speech? Thank you very much!

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Hello Melis_06,

1. He said the noise might have been the postman delivering letters. 2. He said that the noise might be the postman delivering letters.

In sentence 1 it is clear that the noise has ended; it is a noise that 'he' could hear but it is not a noise that you can hear now. In sentence 2 the noise could have ended or it could be a noise that you can still hear now. For example, if the noise is one which is constant, such as a noise that comes from your car engine that you are still trying to identify, then you would use sentence 2. In other words, sentence 2 allows for a wider range of time possibilities - both past (ended) and present (still current).

Your second question is similar:

He said he would have helped us if we needed a volunteer - you no longer need a volunteer

He said he would help us if we needed a volunteer - this could still be relevant; you may still need a volunteer.

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello my friend : what are you doing now? me : I'm eating an apple now and My friend repeated his question now

my question

Can I repeat the sentence in the past ( I was eating an apple) and mean( I'm eating an apple now) ?

You can but it is unusual. If you say  I was eating an apple  (past continuous), it means that it was in the past. You already finished eating the apple and you are not eating it now. But if your friend asked you just a moment ago, I guess you are still eating the apple when she/he asks the second question, so I would say  I'm eating an apple  (because you are still doing it).

Alternatively, you can use a past tense reporting verb e.g. I said I was eating an apple  (referring to the time of the first question), or  I said I 'm eating an apple  (to show that you are still eating it now, at the moment of speaking).

LearnEnglish team

Am I correct then? When someone wants us to repeat the sentence we have just said a moment ago we say 'I said I am doing...' if we are still doing that action. But if we are done with that action, then we say 'I said I was doing...' Did I get it right? Thanks!

Hello Meldo,

Yes, that's correct. Well done!

Hi. I wish to enquire if the verb tense used after a conjunction also changes in complex sentences as per tense transition rules, especially if it is already in simple past tense. In order to explain, could you please solve the following for me: 1. It has been quite a while since I last saw you. 2. Nevertheless, she has been quite desensitized to such perverse actions to the extent that it seldom ever seems obnoxious to her. 3. Let me keep this in my cupboard lest I misplace this. 4. I had arrived at the station before you even left your house. 5. I met my grandfather before he died.

Hi Aamna bluemoon,

The verb may or may not be backshifted, depending on whether the original speaker's point of view and the reporter's point of view are the same or not. For example:

  • She said it had been quite a while since she last saw me . (it seems relatively recent, for both the original speaker and the reporter)
  • She said it had been quite a while since she had last seen us . (a lot of time has passed between speaking and reporting this, or the situation has changed a lot since then e.g. they have met frequently since then)
  • She said she had met her grandfather before he died . (seems quite recent)
  • She said she had met her grandfather before he'd died . (a lot of time has passed between speaking and reporting this)

I hope that helps.

Hi, can you help me, please? How could I report this famous quotation: 'There's no such things as good news in America'.

Hi bri.q630,

First of all, the sentence is not grammatically correct. The phrase is 'no such thing' (singular), not 'things'.

How you report it depends. Using 'said' as the reporting verb we have two possibilities:

1. They said (that) there's no such thing as good news in America. 2. They said (that) there was no such thing as good news in America.

Sentence 2 tells that only about the time when 'they' said it. It does not tell us if it is still true or not.

Sentence 1 tells us that what 'they' said is still relevant today. In other words there was no good news (in their opinion) when they spoke, and there is still no good news now.

Thank you Peter,

All things are getting clear to me.

So, you mean, I can use both sentences depending on what I want to indicate, can't I?

then the possible indications are bellow, are those correct?

1-a I remembered the World War 2 ended in 1945. (This would be indicated the statement is still ture.)

1-b I remembered the World War 2 had ended in 1945. (This would be indicated I might missunderstand.)

2-a I felt time is money. (This would be indicated the statement is still ture.)

2-b I felf time was money. (This would be indicated I might not feel any more.)

3-a I knew the sun rises in the east. (This would be indicated the statement is still true.)

3-b I knew the sun rase in the east. (This would be indicated I might misunderstand or forget.)

4-a I guessed* that Darth Vader is Luke's father. (This would be indicated I still believe he is.*sorry for the typo)

4-2 I guessed that Darth Vader was Luke's father. (This would be indicated I might know he is not.)

Thank you in advance.

Hello again Nobori,

1-a I remembered the World War 2 ended in 1945. (This would be indicated the statement is still ture.) 1-b I remembered the World War 2 had ended in 1945. (This would be indicated I might missunderstand.)

Both forms are possible here. The 'ending' is a moment in the past; after this there is no war. By the way, we treat 'World War 2' as a name so there is no article before it.

2-a I felt time is money. (This would be indicated the statement is still ture.) 2-b I felf time was money. (This would be indicated I might not feel any more.)

That's correct. Remember that backshifting the verb does not mean something is no longer true; it simply does not tell us anything about the present. Here, it tells the reader how you felt at a given moment in time; you may 

3-a I knew the sun rises in the east. (This would be indicated the statement is still true.) 3-b I knew the sun rase in the east. (This would be indicated I might misunderstand or forget.)

That's also correct. Again, remember that backshifting the verb does not mean something is no longer true; it simply does not tell us anything about the present.

4-a I guessed* that Darth Vader is Luke's father. (This would be indicated I still believe he is.*sorry for the typo) 4-2 I guessed that Darth Vader was Luke's father. (This would be indicated I might know he is not.)

Again, correct. In the second example it might still be true that he is Luke's father, or it might have turned out to be not true. The sentence does not tell us.

Hi Peter, Thank you for your thoughtful answer. Allthing is now very clear to me. Best

Hi, I am translating a fiction novel into English and need your help regarding the reporting speech as for few things I am not getting any clear understanding over the internet. As you know in fiction, we need to write in non-ordinary way to create unique impressions of the word and academic writing is different than speaking. Will be grateful if you could give your insight below, especially considering in the context of fiction/academic writing.

1) Let’s say If someone is giving a speech or presentation, I want to mix their speech, indirect-direct and past tense- present tense. Below are three examples:

-He said, their company makes excellent profit every year OR their company made excellent profit every year ( can both be correct? As the sentence)

- Roger had given his speech yesterday. He said, their company makes excellent profit every year and your company will sustain for next hundred years.(Can YOUR be used in the sentence)

- Roger said people wants to feel important OR Roger said people wanted to feel important (which will be correct as this is a trait which is true in past and present)

2) He thought why he is talking to her OR He thought why he was talking to her (are both write? As usually I see in novels the second example with WAS)

3) Gia was sitting with Jake and she told him she had met with her last year. Her mother had taken her to the dinner. Her mother had told her about her future plans. Her mother also had paid the bill for the dinner. (Do I need to use every time past perfect in this example though it doesn’t feel natural? As a rule of thumb I think past perfect needs to be used when we talk about another past event in the past )

Hello Alamgir3,

We're happy to help with a few specific grammar questions, but I'm afraid we can't help you with your translation -- I'd suggest you find an editor for that.

1) In the second clause, you can use present or past. We often use the present when it's still true now, but the past is not wrong. FYI we don't normally use a comma after 'said' in reported speech.

2) 'Why was he talking to her?' he thought.

3) This is really more of a question of style than grammar. Here I would suggest doing something like combining the four sentences into two and then leaving out 'had' in the second verb in each sentence. Even if it isn't written, it's understood to be past perfect.

All the best, Kirk LearnEnglish team

Hello teachers, I'm sorry, I could not find where to new post. Could you tell me about the back-sifting of thoughts bellow? Which forms are correct?

1-a I remembered the World War 2 ended in 1945. 1-b I remembered the World War 2 had ended in 1945.

2-a I felt time is money. 2-b I felf time was money.

3-a I knew the sun rises in the east. 3-b I knew the sun rase in the east.

4-a I guess that Darth Vader is Luke's father. 4-2 I guessed that Darth Vader was Luke's father.

Do those questions have the same conclusion as indirect speech, such as say and tell?

Hello Nobori,

The verb form remains the same when we want to make it clear that the situation described by the verb is still true, and this works in the same way as indirect speech. For example:

She said she loves me. [she loved me then and she loves me still] She said she loved me. [she loved me then; no information on how she feels now]

Other than this rule, the choice is really contextual and stylistic (up to the speaker). Sometimes a choice implies something. For example, the saying 'time is money' is a general statement, so if you choose to backshift here the listener will know it is an intentional choice and suspect that something has changed (you no longer believe it).

Hi teachers, I've read almost the section of comments below and my summarize is the present tense only can be used if the statement is still true now and past simple only tells the statement was true in the past and doesn't tell the statement is true or not now. Just to make sure, I wanna ask, If I'm not sure whether the statement is still true or not now, can I choose backshift instead (this is still apply to past tense become past perfect)? Thank you

Hello rahmanagustiansyah,

It sounds to me as if you've got the right general idea. Could you please give a couple of example sentences that illustrate your question?

Thanks in advance, Kirk The LearnEnglish Team

For example, Steve said "Anna hates you." Then I wanna tell about that to my friend, but I'm not sure whether Anna still hates me or not now. What should I choose between these two options. Answer 1:Steve said Anna hates me or Answer 2 : Steve said Anna hated me. Thank you

Hi rahmanagustiansyah,

In that case, I would choose answer 2. I might even add "... but I don't know if she still does" to the sentence to clarify, if that is the key point you want to communicate.

Jonathan The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Natasa Tanasa,

Both sentences are grammatically possible.

The first sentence is only possible if when the person asks the original question the woman is no longer there (she has already gone). The second sentence can be used in this situation too, or in a situation in which the woman was still there when the original question was asked. As the past tense is used in the original question ( Who was... ), both sentences are possible.

Hello Ahmed Imam,

When the situation is still true at the time of reporting, we can leave the verb form unchanged. For example:

1. She told me she loved me.
2. She told me she loves me.

In sentence 1 we know she loved me when she told me but we don't know whether or not she loves me now. In sentence 2, we know she loved me when she told me and we know that she loves me now.

In your example, if the supermarket is still in the same place then we can use either form. If the supermarket has been closed down or moved to another location then we need to use was .

As for which is 'safer', you'll need to make your own mind up! Keeping the verb in the same form carries more specific information and that may be appropriate or even important.

Hello eugelatina87,

I'll give you a hint: a verb is missing from the question.

Does that help you complete it?

All the best,

The first two sentences are possible and they can both mean that he is still Mary's boyfriend now. The first one makes this more clear, but the second one doesn't only refer to the past.

Hello magnuslin

Regarding your first question, the most common way of saying it is the second one. In some very specific situation, perhaps the first option would be possible.

This also answers your second question. It is not necessary to always backshift using the tenses you mention.

As for your third question, no, it is not necessary. In fact, it is probably more common to use the past simple in the reported speech as well. 

All the best

Hello manu,

Both forms are possible. If you use  had been  then we understand that he was there earlier but not when he said it - in other words, when he said it he had already left. If you use was then he may have left at the time of speaking, or he may have still been there.

Hello _princess_

I would recommend using answer a) because this is the general pattern used in reported speech. Sometimes the verb in the reported clause can be in the present tense when we are speaking about a situation that is still true, but the reported verb in the past tense can also have the same meaning. Since here the time referred to could be either past or present, I'd recommend using the past form.

Hello mwright,

This is an example of an indirect question. An indirect question reports a question, but is not a question itself, which is why we do not use a question mark at the end. Since it is not a question, we use the normal word order without inversion or auxiliary verbs. For example:

Indicative: He lives in Rome. Interrogative: Does he live in Rome? (Where does he live?) Reported: She asked if he lives in Rome. (She asked where he lives.)  

Hello ahlinthit

There are different styles of punctuating direct speech -- in other words, you might find other sources that will disagree with me -- but what I would use here is something different: "The boss is dead!" said the doctor.

Hope this helps.

Best wishes

Hello Timmosky,

The form that comes after the auxiliary verb 'do' (or 'does' or 'did') is not the plural present simple verb, but rather the bare infinitive (also known as 'base form' or 'first form') of the verb. Does that make sense?

All the best, Kirk The LearnEnglish Team

Hello sky-high,

This is very formal language. The phrase 'to the effect that' means 'with the meaning that'. In this context it can be understood to mean 'with the result that'.

Best wishes,

The difference is quite logical. If we use 'said' then we are talking about a claim by Peter in the past which he may or may not still maintain. If we use 'says' then we are talking about an opinion expressed by Peter which he still holds.

The reported information (whether or not Rooney is in good shape) can refer to only the past or to the present as well and the statement (what Peter thinks) can separately refer to only the past or the present as well. Of course, all of this is from the point of view of the person reporting Peter's opinion, and whether or not they think that Peter still thinks now what he thought then.

Both are possible. If you use the present tense then it is clear that the statement is still true (i.e. the business was not growing when Mary spoke and is still not growing now). If you use the past tense then no information is given regarding the present (i.e. the business was growing when Mary spoke and may or may not be growing now).

Hello aseel aftab,

It should be 'if they had'. This is not from this page, is it? I don't see it anywhere here, but if I've missed it please let me know.

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7 Musical Hits to Get You Teaching Reported Speech Through Song

Mama said, there’ll be days like this.

There’ll be days like this, mama said.

As you can see from the above example, reported speech is used to summarize or convey what was said in the past.

An important part of conversational English, reported speech can be difficult for some students to learn if they don’t already have a grasp on verb tenses.

But with the help of reported speech songs, you can teach your students how to use reported speech while rocking out to some of their favorite music .

Songs to Practice Reported Speech

  • 1. “She Has No Time” by Keane

2. “Norwegian Wood” by The Beatles

3. “what goes around… comes around” by justin timberlake, 4. “apologize” by timbaland featuring onerepublic, 5. “can’t help falling in love” by elvis presley, 6. “somebody that i used to know” by gotye, 7. “photograph” by nickelback, direct speech vs. reported speech, activities to teach your students reported speech, listen and fill in the blanks, change reported speech into direct speech, change direct speech to the correct version of reported speech.

Download: This blog post is available as a convenient and portable PDF that you can take anywhere. Click here to get a copy. (Download)

1.  “She Has No Time” by Keane

This song is useful because of its simple and uncomplicated lyrics. Also, there are a few nice idiomatic phrases in the song, like “goes her own way.”

The use of reported speech in this song is a little atypical. Instead of being in the past tense, it’s in present simple and “that” is omitted from the phrases. Still, the song is great for showing students that there are always exceptions to grammar rules.

Reported speech:

She says she has no time for you now;

She says she has no time

This song is chock-full of examples of reported speech. It’s also fairly short and easy to understand.

“Norwegian Wood” provides an example of direct speech ( We talked until two and then she said, “it’s time for bed” ), which is a nice contrast to the instances of reported speech. The song includes important words, like  asked, told and said.

She asked me to stay; 

And she told me to sit anywhere. 

She told me she worked in the morning…

I told her I didn’t.

A typical, angst-filled love song which most students will probably be able to relate to on some level.

“What Goes Around… Comes Around” is a song with many examples of direct speech. As a result, this will make your students work extra hard to identify the true examples of reported speech.

You said that you were moving on now;

And maybe I should do the same.

“Apologize” has some great examples of reported speech, as well as some  nice metaphors , like: “I’m holding on a rope; got me ten feet off the ground.”  You can use this song to dive deeper into metaphors and similes with your more advanced students.

As with many of the songs on this list, “Apologize” has a lot of repetition in the lyrics and chorus. This gives your students several chances to pick up on the reported speech.

You tell me that you need me; 

Then you go and cut me down;

You tell me that you’re sorry; 

Didn’t think I’d turn around 

That it’s too late to apologize; 

It’s too late.

I said it’s too late to apologize. 

This song only has one example of reported speech, but it’s a short and very sweet tune.

This song also provides some nice examples of direct speech, like when the singer asks the listener,  “Shall I stay? Would it be a sin, if I can’t help falling in love with you?”

Reported speech: 

Wise men say; 

Only fools rush in.

Gotye uses a lot of reported speech in his hit song, “Somebody That I Used to Know.”

The lyrics may be a little advanced for beginners, as they tell a rather elaborate and involved story, but your students may enjoy the challenge. I recommend playing the song several times for them, so they can catch all the instances of reported speech.

Like when you said you felt so happy you could die; 

Told myself that you were right for me…

Well, you said that we would still be friends…

You said that you could let it go; 

And I wouldn’t catch you hung up on somebody that you used to know.

Again, this song tells a fairly detailed story by relating to the memories of the singer’s childhood.

In a way, the whole song is an example of direct speech to the listener. However, there are some useful examples of reported speech sprinkled throughout the lyrics, too.

The cops hated us hangin’ out; 

They say somebody went and burned it down. 

We said someday we’d find out how it feels; 

To sing to more than just the steering wheel. 

It’s important to remind your students that English has direct speech and reported speech, also known as “indirect speech.”

Explain to your students that direct speech is often indicated with quotation marks.

Direct speech example:   The teacher said,  “You must learn proper grammar.”

Reported speech, in contrast, is typically used for describing things people said in the past. Words such as tell, say  and  ask are used to report what was said to the listener.

Reported speech example:   The teacher said  that   we  must learn proper grammar. 

In reported speech, the personal pronouns often change and you typically add “that”  after the verb.

Maximize the learning experience by carefully considering what songs you’ll be using, then adjust the activities accordingly. For example, if your class is lower-level students, you may want to pick a song with simple, easy-to-understand lyrics to make these activities more accessible.

Below are some exciting activities using music to teach reported speech.

This activity is great for warming up your class.

Pick a song that includes reported speech, then create a worksheet using the lyrics from that song by removing all uses of reported speech from the lyrics and replacing them with blanks.

For example, the song “Norwegian Wood” by The Beatles would look like this:

_______ to stay; 

And ______ to sit anywhere. 

_____ she worked in the morning…

_____ I didn’t.

Before beginning the activity, spend some time in class going over the general rules of reported speech with your students. When ready, pass out the worksheet to the class and give them a moment to read over the lyrics.

Tell the class that you’re going to play the song one time as a warm-up and that they shouldn’t write on the worksheet yet. Instead, they should carefully listen to the song and make note of any words they don’t understand. Once the song has finished, go over any new words and expressions with the class.

The second time, play the song again and have your students listen while completing their worksheets. Once the music has finished, let your students share their findings. Make any corrections needed.

You can pair this activity with a session on FluentU , where students can watch music videos (and other authentic English videos like movie trailers, news segments and inspirational talks). Once students have heard the chosen song a few times, you can ask them to watch it in the FluentU program, where they’ll be able to check the meaning of any word by clicking on it in the subtitles.

Students can also compare their attempts to fill out the reported speech lyrics with the transcript that accompanies every FluentU video. While they watch, they can add unfamiliar words to their flashcard decks directly from the video player. For homework, they can study these flashcards with practice exercises that adapt to every individual student’s learning speed.

reported speech youtube video

This is a good activity for testing student’s recognition of reported speech, as well as highlighting the differences between reported and direct speech.

Pick a song to play for the class, instructing them to identify and write down all of the examples of reported speech they hear in the song. At the end of the song, ask students to share their results. Make sure they correctly identify all samples of reported speech from the song, and write the answers on the whiteboard so everyone can check their answers and correct their mistakes.

Once finished, have your students work individually or in pairs to change reported phrases into direct speech. Don’t forget to save time at the end of class for students to share their results and make any necessary corrections.

This activity will require a little bit of prep time before class.

First, decide on the songs you’ll use for the lesson. Then, convert the speech in each song into direct speech and create a worksheet listing all of the direct speech conversions.

Determine whether you want students to work in pairs or as individuals, then hand out the worksheets. Instruct the class to change the direct speech back to reported speech while listening to the song.

Begin by playing the song (or songs) for your class. I recommend playing it more than once so they can hear the reported speech in the song. At the end of each song, have the students rewrite their sentences—be sure to give them ample time to complete the exercise. After finishing, go over the results in class, correcting any mistakes you come across.

Another option is to have the students complete the worksheet before listening to the songs. Once they’ve finished writing, play the songs so they can check their answers. The benefit of performing the activity this way is that it gives your students extra listening practice as they’re checking their answers.

As you can see, music is a great tool for teaching English! These are just some of the many songs that make use of reported speech, too.

Add these popular tunes to your next lesson on reported speech, or find some other songs to use in the classroom . Your students will surely remember learning more about reported speech through music!

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reported speech youtube video

Reported Speech – Rules, Examples & Worksheet

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| Candace Osmond

Photo of author

Candace Osmond

Candace Osmond studied Advanced Writing & Editing Essentials at MHC. She’s been an International and USA TODAY Bestselling Author for over a decade. And she’s worked as an Editor for several mid-sized publications. Candace has a keen eye for content editing and a high degree of expertise in Fiction.

They say gossip is a natural part of human life. That’s why language has evolved to develop grammatical rules about the “he said” and “she said” statements. We call them reported speech.

Every time we use reported speech in English, we are talking about something said by someone else in the past. Thinking about it brings me back to high school, when reported speech was the main form of language!

Learn all about the definition, rules, and examples of reported speech as I go over everything. I also included a worksheet at the end of the article so you can test your knowledge of the topic.

What Does Reported Speech Mean?

Grammarist Article Graphic V3 2022 10 25T162134.388

Reported speech is a term we use when telling someone what another person said. You can do this while speaking or writing.

There are two kinds of reported speech you can use: direct speech and indirect speech. I’ll break each down for you.

A direct speech sentence mentions the exact words the other person said. For example:

  • Kryz said, “These are all my necklaces.”

Indirect speech changes the original speaker’s words. For example:

  • Kryz said those were all her necklaces.

When we tell someone what another individual said, we use reporting verbs like told, asked, convinced, persuaded, and said. We also change the first-person figure in the quotation into the third-person speaker.

Reported Speech Examples

We usually talk about the past every time we use reported speech. That’s because the time of speaking is already done. For example:

  • Direct speech: The employer asked me, “Do you have experience with people in the corporate setting?”

Indirect speech: The employer asked me if I had experience with people in the corporate setting.

  • Direct speech: “I’m working on my thesis,” I told James.

Indirect speech: I told James that I was working on my thesis.

Reported Speech Structure

A speech report has two parts: the reporting clause and the reported clause. Read the example below:

  • Harry said, “You need to help me.”

The reporting clause here is William said. Meanwhile, the reported clause is the 2nd clause, which is I need your help.

What are the 4 Types of Reported Speech?

Aside from direct and indirect, reported speech can also be divided into four. The four types of reported speech are similar to the kinds of sentences: imperative, interrogative, exclamatory, and declarative.

Reported Speech Rules

The rules for reported speech can be complex. But with enough practice, you’ll be able to master them all.

Choose Whether to Use That or If

The most common conjunction in reported speech is that. You can say, “My aunt says she’s outside,” or “My aunt says that she’s outside.”

Use if when you’re reporting a yes-no question. For example:

  • Direct speech: “Are you coming with us?”

Indirect speech: She asked if she was coming with them.

Verb Tense Changes

Change the reporting verb into its past form if the statement is irrelevant now. Remember that some of these words are irregular verbs, meaning they don’t follow the typical -d or -ed pattern. For example:

  • Direct speech: I dislike fried chicken.

Reported speech: She said she disliked fried chicken.

Note how the main verb in the reported statement is also in the past tense verb form.

Use the simple present tense in your indirect speech if the initial words remain relevant at the time of reporting. This verb tense also works if the report is something someone would repeat. For example:

  • Slater says they’re opening a restaurant soon.
  • Maya says she likes dogs.

This rule proves that the choice of verb tense is not a black-and-white question. The reporter needs to analyze the context of the action.

Move the tense backward when the reporting verb is in the past tense. That means:

  • Present simple becomes past simple.
  • Present perfect becomes past perfect.
  • Present continuous becomes past continuous.
  • Past simple becomes past perfect.
  • Past continuous becomes past perfect continuous.

Here are some examples:

  • The singer has left the building. (present perfect)

He said that the singers had left the building. (past perfect)

  • Her sister gave her new shows. (past simple)
  • She said that her sister had given her new shoes. (past perfect)

If the original speaker is discussing the future, change the tense of the reporting verb into the past form. There’ll also be a change in the auxiliary verbs.

  • Will or shall becomes would.
  • Will be becomes would be.
  • Will have been becomes would have been.
  • Will have becomes would have.

For example:

  • Direct speech: “I will be there in a moment.”

Indirect speech: She said that she would be there in a moment.

Do not change the verb tenses in indirect speech when the sentence has a time clause. This rule applies when the introductory verb is in the future, present, and present perfect. Here are other conditions where you must not change the tense:

  • If the sentence is a fact or generally true.
  • If the sentence’s verb is in the unreal past (using second or third conditional).
  • If the original speaker reports something right away.
  • Do not change had better, would, used to, could, might, etc.

Changes in Place and Time Reference

Changing the place and time adverb when using indirect speech is essential. For example, now becomes then and today becomes that day. Here are more transformations in adverbs of time and places.

  • This – that.
  • These – those.
  • Now – then.
  • Here – there.
  • Tomorrow – the next/following day.
  • Two weeks ago – two weeks before.
  • Yesterday – the day before.

Here are some examples.

  • Direct speech: “I am baking cookies now.”

Indirect speech: He said he was baking cookies then.

  • Direct speech: “Myra went here yesterday.”

Indirect speech: She said Myra went there the day before.

  • Direct speech: “I will go to the market tomorrow.”

Indirect speech: She said she would go to the market the next day.

Using Modals

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If the direct speech contains a modal verb, make sure to change them accordingly.

  • Will becomes would
  • Can becomes could
  • Shall becomes should or would.
  • Direct speech: “Will you come to the ball with me?”

Indirect speech: He asked if he would come to the ball with me.

  • Direct speech: “Gina can inspect the room tomorrow because she’s free.”

Indirect speech: He said Gina could inspect the room the next day because she’s free.

However, sometimes, the modal verb should does not change grammatically. For example:

  • Direct speech: “He should go to the park.”

Indirect speech: She said that he should go to the park.

Imperative Sentences

To change an imperative sentence into a reported indirect sentence, use to for imperative and not to for negative sentences. Never use the word that in your indirect speech. Another rule is to remove the word please . Instead, say request or say. For example:

  • “Please don’t interrupt the event,” said the host.

The host requested them not to interrupt the event.

  • Jonah told her, “Be careful.”
  • Jonah ordered her to be careful.

Reported Questions

When reporting a direct question, I would use verbs like inquire, wonder, ask, etc. Remember that we don’t use a question mark or exclamation mark for reports of questions. Below is an example I made of how to change question forms.

  • Incorrect: He asked me where I live?

Correct: He asked me where I live.

Here’s another example. The first sentence uses direct speech in a present simple question form, while the second is the reported speech.

  • Where do you live?

She asked me where I live.

Wrapping Up Reported Speech

My guide has shown you an explanation of reported statements in English. Do you have a better grasp on how to use it now?

Reported speech refers to something that someone else said. It contains a subject, reporting verb, and a reported cause.

Don’t forget my rules for using reported speech. Practice the correct verb tense, modal verbs, time expressions, and place references.

Grammarist is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. When you buy via the links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you.

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Arnel's Everyday English

REPORTED SPEECH – How can I use it correctly?

reported speech youtube video

In today’s blog we are going to look at how you can use this correctly. Below I’ve broken down everything for you in a step by step manner. There are examples with info graphics, and I’ve included my YouTube video lesson for all my visual learners as well. Let’s get started! Reported Speech comes from Direct Speech.

Direct Speech is exactly what someone says . Reported Speech is repeating someone else’s words .

Let’s look at 2 examples:

reported speech

Professor Albert: Direct Speech

Students : Reported Speech. They are reporting Professor Albert’s words.

reported speech youtube video

Trainer: Direct Speech.

Student: Reported Speech. Brenda is reporting her trainer’s words.

SAY and TELL are reporting verbs. We need these two verbs to report other people’s words.

SAY + (that): Amy said (that) she loved horses.

SAY + to + object + (that): Amy said to me (that) she loved horses.

TELL + object + (that): Amy told me (that) she loved horses.

(that) is optional.

COMMON MISTAKES!

Amy said me that she loved horses.

☑Amy told me that she loved horses.

Eric said Jack about his holiday.

☑Eric told Jack about his holiday.

My dad told to me that he was going to visit next week.

☑My dad said to me that he was going to visit next week.

SAY or TELL? How can I use these verbs correctly?

Tense Change in Reported Speech

When you use reported speech, many times the verb from direct speech changes. Think about the verb going one step backwards.

Present Simple → Past Simple

Direct Speech: I eat a lot of fruit. Reported Speech: Mary said that she ate a lot of fruit. / Mary told me that she ate a lot of fruit.

Present Continuous → Past Continuous 

Direct Speech: Our English is improving . Reported Speech: My students said that their English was improving . / My students told me that their English was improving. 

Present Perfect → Past Perfect

Direct Speech: I have been to France many times. Reported Speech: Gary said that he had been to France many times. / Gary told me that he had been to France many times.

Present Perfect Continuous → Past Perfect Continuous

Direct Speech: I’ ve been working out a lot lately. Reported Speech: My sister said that she had been working out  a lot lately. / My sister told me that she had been working out a lot lately.

Past Simple → Past Perfect 

Direct Speech: I bought a new car. Reported Speech: Jessica said that she that she had bought a new car. / Jessica told me that she had bought a new car.

Past Continuous → Past Perfect Continuous

Direct Speech: I was working as a chef. Reported Speech: Max said that he had been working as a chef. / Max told me that he had been working as a chef.

Past Perfect → Past Perfect (It stays the same!)

Direct Speech: I had gone to work. Reported Speech: Carla said that she had gone to work. / Carla told me that she had gone to work.

Past Perfect Continuous → Past Perfect Continuous (It stays the same!) 

Direct Speech: We had been agonizing over our mortgage for months. Reported Speech: Our neighbours said that they had been agonizing over their mortgage for months. / My neighbours told us that they had been agonizing over their mortgage for months.

Future Simple (WILL) → Would 

Direct Speech: You will be famous one day. Reported Speech: Rebecca said that I would be famous one day. / Rebecca told me that I would be famous one day.

Modal Verb Tense Change

Can → could .

Direct Speech: I can help you later. Reported Speech: My teacher said that she could help me later. / My teacher told me that she could help me later.

(Possibility) May → Might 

Direct Speech: I may go out later. I’m not sure. Reported Speech: George said that he might go out later. / George told me that he might go out later.

(Possibility) Might → Might (It stays the same!) 

Direct Speech: I might watch a Star Wars film later. Reported Speech: My flatmate said that she might watch a Star Wars film later. / My flatmate told me that she might watch a Star Wars film later.

(Obligation) Must → Had to

Direct Speech: Everyone must be here by 7 a.m. tomorrow. Reported Speech: Our boss said that we had to be here by 7 a.m. tomorrow. / Our boss told us that we had to be here by 7 a.m. tomorrow.

Should → Should (It stays the same!)

Direct Speech: You look tired Ramiro. You should sleep. Reported Speech: My girlfriend said that I should sleep. / My girlfriend told me that I should sleep.

Would → Would (It stays the same!)

Direct Speech: It would be nice to see you later. Reported Speech: Sarah said that it would be nice to see me later. / Sarah told me that it would be nice to see me later.

reported speech youtube video

We DO NOT need to change the verb form if the information is STILL TRUE NOW.

So, remember earlier:

You can also say: Mary said that she eats a lot of fruit. (This information is still true now.) 

Direct Speech: Our English is improving. Reported Speech: My students said that their English was improving. / My students told me that their English was improving.

You can also say: My students said that their English is improving. (This information is still true now.) 

This is a lot of information to remember. This list is in my Free Library! Subscribe for the password: 

Yes, I want a list of this grammar

Thank you so much for reading! I hope you found it helpful.

Don’t forget to check out my youtube channel ,  instagram ,   facebook  and  other blogs., see you next time arnel , related posts.

reported speech youtube video

How To Use Comparative and Superlative Adjectives

reported speech youtube video

MUST or HAVE TO? modals of obligation, probability, deductions

reported speech youtube video

ON the weekend? AT the weekend? – Which preposition is correct?

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Biden attacked Hur for asking him when Beau died. That didn't happen, sources say.

President Joe Biden responds to a question

President Joe Biden lashed out at Robert Hur last week over one particular line in the special counsel's report on his handling of classified documents : that Biden "did not remember, even within several years, when his son Beau died."

“How in the hell dare he raise that?” Biden told reporters in an impromptu White House press conference. “Frankly, when I was asked the question, I thought to myself, it wasn’t any of their damn business.”

But Hur never asked that question, according to two people familiar with Hur’s five-hour interview with the president over two days last October. It was the president, not Hur or his team, who first introduced Beau Biden’s death, they said.

Biden raised his son’s death after being asked about his workflow at a Virginia rental home from 2016 to 2018, the sources said, when a ghost writer was helping him write a memoir about losing Beau to brain cancer in 2015. Investigators had a 2017 recording showing that Biden had told the ghost writer he had found “classified stuff” in that home, the report says.

Biden began trying to recall that period by discussing what else was happening in his life, and it was at that point in the interview that he appeared confused about when Beau died, the sources said. Biden got the date — May 30 — correct, but not the year.

Hur's 345-page report absolved Biden of criminal wrongdoing while pointing to evidence that he took home and kept highly classified material. Even though Biden was found to have disclosed classified information to the ghost writer on three occasions, prosecutors concluded that they could not prove that the president knew it was classified information at the time.

Fiery criticism of the report from Biden supporters, though, has focused on Hur’s characterizations of  the president’s memory. They say the report was filled with gratuitous details about Biden’s memory issues, including that the president misremembered the year Beau died. They have also seized on Biden’s statement that the special counsel asked him about the date of Beau’s death.

“Why in the hell are you asking that question?” former Attorney General Eric Holder, a Democrat,  said Monday on MSNBC , suggesting that Hur was "a rube, perhaps," who had "shaded" what he put in the report. “What does that have to do with the retention of classified documents?”

First lady Jill Biden questioned in a fundraising letter whether Hur was using “our son’s death to score political points.”

Sources familiar with Biden's view of the interview say Hur induced the president to bring up his son by asking a series of personal questions related to Beau. They included questions about Biden's memoir, “Promise Me, Dad,” in which he writes about his son’s battle with cancer and death in 2015. Hur also asked about Biden’s work for the Biden Cancer Initiative, founded in Beau’s memory.

These sources did not dispute that it was Biden, not Hur, who first mentioned a date for Beau’s death. But they said Biden felt betrayed by the comments in Hur's report about his memory and mental state. During the interview, Hur asked him to recall events years in the past as best he could, and Biden agreed to speak freely and expansively, rather than in the clipped and careful manner of a typical witness.

Exactly what Biden said about his son’s death and other issues may ultimately become public. The two-day interview was audio-recorded and transcribed, and congressional committees are expected to push for its release.

The Justice Department, the special counsel’s office and the White House declined to comment for this article.  

Two people who know Hur well said that he had set out to write a balanced and thorough narrative that would explain why, despite significant evidence, he had concluded that no criminal charges would be warranted for Biden. Over the course of a yearlong investigation, Hur's team examined 7 million documents and spoke with 147 witnesses, according to his report.  

Associates of Hur say that Biden 's claim that the special counsel quizzed the president, unprompted, about his son’s death from cancer is an effort to take the focus off the special counsel's findings regarding how Biden handled classified documents and his struggle to recall certain facts.

The line of questioning about the memoir was directly relevant to the central issue of the investigation, the people familiar with the interview said. Hur’s team had learned that Biden was recorded in 2017 telling the ghost writer that he “found all the classified stuff downstairs,” at the Virginia rental home where the two were working on the book.

In the interview, Biden told Hur that he didn’t remember saying in 2017 that he had found classified documents in the home.

Hur’s investigation determined that the documents Biden mentioned in 2017 were never turned over to the FBI and, in fact, were likely the same ones found in Biden’s Delaware garage in 2022.

Biden’s struggle to recall the period when he worked with the ghost writer were among several exchanges during the two-day interview where he appeared to forget important facts, according to the report. Hur's report also states that Biden’s memory appeared to be significantly limited in the 30 hours of recorded interviews he conducted with the ghost writer in 2017.

Hur stated that those memory lapses were one reason he concluded that it would be difficult to convince a jury to convict Biden of intentionally mishandling classified information.

But Hur has come under criticism for his descriptions of what he viewed as Biden’s “diminished facilities.” Holder said on X that there were too many "gratuitous remarks" in Hur's report that were "flatly inconsistent with long standing DOJ traditions.”

Attorney General Merrick Garland has also been criticized by Democrats for releasing the full, unredacted version of the report. Special counsel rules require them to write confidential reports to the attorney general detailing and explaining their decisions on whether to file criminal charges in a case.

In an effort at transparency, Garland has pledged to make all special counsel reports public, consistent with the Justice Department track record of releasing most special counsel reports since the office came into being in 1999.

William Barr, who was attorney general in the Trump administration, was harshly criticized for initially releasing his own two-page summary of special counsel Robert Mueller's Trump-Russia report in 2018. Several weeks later, Barr released the full document.

People familiar with the matter say Garland first saw Hur's report Feb. 5, three days before its release. Had the attorney general ordered any changes, he would have had to disclose those to Congress, as required by the special counsel regulations.  

In a letter to Congress when he released the report, Garland said that he took no action to block any investigative steps by Hur, because nothing the special counsel did was “so inappropriate or unwarranted under established Departmental practices that it should not be pursued.”

Asked whether Garland has confidence in Biden’s fitness for office, a DOJ spokeswoman replied, “Of course.”

It was Garland who selected Hur, a longtime Republican and former federal prosecutor, as Biden special counsel. After graduating from Harvard University and Stanford Law School, Hur held multiple positions in the Justice Department, including serving as counsel to Christopher Wray, now the director of the FBI, when Wray was in charge of the department’s criminal division. 

During the Trump administration, Hur was a top adviser to then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who was overseeing Mueller’s Trump-Russia investigation. Rosenstein said Hur is neither an ardent Trump supporter nor a partisan activist

“Rob plays it straight,” Rosenstein said in an interview. “I think he wrote in that report what he believed to be the relevant facts in play as to whether or not to bring criminal charges.”

From 2018 to 2021, Hur served as the U.S. attorney for Maryland, and won plaudits from the state's Democratic senators, Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, who praised his “excellent service” and said he "faithfully followed the facts and the law.”

According to federal campaign filings, Hur has donated to at least three Republican political campaigns, including $500 to former U.S. Attorney Christina Nolan, a Republican, in January 2022, when she was in the GOP Senate primary in Vermont, which she later lost.

Public records show Hur also donated $200 to Maryland GOP Gov. Larry Hogan in 2017 and $201 to GOP Sen. John McCain of Arizona during his presidential campaign in 2008. All three of those politicians are by today’s standards moderate Republicans, and none were ardent Trump supporters.

NBC News legal contributor Chuck Rosenberg says it’s fair to question some of the language Hur used about Biden's memory in his report, but not his decision to explore and explain Biden’s memory issues.

“If Hur was going to tell the attorney general that he declined to prosecute President Biden, then I believe he was also obligated to explain his rationale,” Rosenberg  wrote for the website Lawfare . 

"Would Biden come across as forgetful? As sympathetic? As willful? As dissembling? As honest? These are crucial determinations prosecutors make all the time about witnesses and defendants," he added. "Indeed, I cannot imagine writing a report to the attorney general and not including these assessments.”

People who know Hur say he did not anticipate how his descriptions of the president’s memory would resonate across the political landscape. They say he believed that when his report was released, he would likely come under immediate attack from Republicans who would accuse him of going soft on Biden.

Instead, one line in Hur's 345-page report will likely live on in American presidential and political history: the special counsel's assessment that Biden would come across to jurors as a “sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.”

reported speech youtube video

Ken Dilanian is the justice and intelligence correspondent for NBC News, based in Washington.

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Movie Worksheet: Kids Say the Funniest Things (Reported Speech)

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Zeke Miller, Associated Press Zeke Miller, Associated Press

Mary Clare Jalonick, Associated Press Mary Clare Jalonick, Associated Press

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  • Copy URL https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politics/watch-live-biden-delivers-remarks-on-death-of-imprisoned-russian-dissident-alexei-navalny

WATCH: Biden says Navalny’s reported death brings new urgency to the need for more aid to Ukraine

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden said Friday that the apparent death of Russian anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny brings new urgency to the need for Congress to approve tens of billions of dollars for Ukraine to stave off Moscow’s invasion.

Watch Biden’s remarks in the player above.

Speaking at the White House, Biden said that no matter the cause, he holds Russian President Vladimir Putin responsible for Navalny’s death. He added, “I hope to God it helps” push U.S. lawmakers to send more aid to Ukraine.

Biden said that “history is watching” lawmakers in the House, which hasn’t moved to take up a Senate-passed bill that would send funds and armaments to Ukraine, whose troops U.S. officials say are running out of critical munitions on the battlefield.

“The failure to support Ukraine at this critical moment will never be forgotten,” Biden said. “And the clock is ticking. This has to happen. We have to help now.”

Biden said the U.S. had not confirmed Navalny’s death in a Russian prison above the Arctic Circle, but that he had no reason to doubt it either.

The president sharply criticized House Republicans for letting the chamber enter a two-week recess without moving on the Ukraine funding.

READ MORE: World leaders blame Putin’s government in Russia for death of Alexei Navalny

“What are they thinking — my God,” Biden said. “This is bizarre and it’s just reinforcing all of the concern — I won’t say panic but real concern — about the United States being a responsible ally.”

Republican Speaker Mike Johnson earlier this week said the House won’t be “rushed” to pass the aid, but on Friday he said Putin was “a vicious dictator and the world knows he is likely directly responsible for the sudden death of his most prominent political opponent.”

“We must be clear that Putin will be met with united opposition,” Johnson, R-La., said in a statement. “As Congress debates the best path forward to support Ukraine, the United States, and our partners, must be using every means available to cut off Putin’s ability to fund his unprovoked war in Ukraine and aggression against the Baltic states.”

Lawmakers who have pushed for the Ukraine aid blamed the Republicans who have sided with former President Donald Trump as he has urged its defeat.

Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., said, “Shame on the pro-Putin MAGA extremists who continue to block bipartisan national security legislation in the House,” referencing Trump’s “Make American Great Again” slogan.

North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis, one of 22 Republicans who voted for the Senate-passed Ukraine aid package, said that Navalny laid down his life fighting for a country he loved and that “Putin is a murderous, paranoid dictator.”

“History will not be kind to those in America who make apologies for Putin and praise Russian autocracy,” Tillis posted on X, formerly Twitter. “Nor will history be kind to America’s leaders who stay silent because they fear backlash from online pundits.”

Biden, eyeing a likely general election rematch against Trump this November, said American presidents from Harry Truman on are “rolling over in their graves” hearing Trump’s comments suggesting that the U.S. might not defend its NATO allies who fail to meet their defense spending targets if attacked.

“As long as I’m president, America stands by its sacred commitment to our allies,” Biden said.

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reported speech youtube video

National security warning reportedly involves Russian space weapon

World Feb 14

  • English Grammar
  • Reported Speech

Reported Speech - Definition, Rules and Usage with Examples

Reported speech or indirect speech is the form of speech used to convey what was said by someone at some point of time. This article will help you with all that you need to know about reported speech, its meaning, definition, how and when to use them along with examples. Furthermore, try out the practice questions given to check how far you have understood the topic.

reported speech youtube video

Table of Contents

Definition of reported speech, rules to be followed when using reported speech, table 1 – change of pronouns, table 2 – change of adverbs of place and adverbs of time, table 3 – change of tense, table 4 – change of modal verbs, tips to practise reported speech, examples of reported speech, check your understanding of reported speech, frequently asked questions on reported speech in english, what is reported speech.

Reported speech is the form in which one can convey a message said by oneself or someone else, mostly in the past. It can also be said to be the third person view of what someone has said. In this form of speech, you need not use quotation marks as you are not quoting the exact words spoken by the speaker, but just conveying the message.

Now, take a look at the following dictionary definitions for a clearer idea of what it is.

Reported speech, according to the Oxford Learner’s Dictionary, is defined as “a report of what somebody has said that does not use their exact words.” The Collins Dictionary defines reported speech as “speech which tells you what someone said, but does not use the person’s actual words.” According to the Cambridge Dictionary, reported speech is defined as “the act of reporting something that was said, but not using exactly the same words.” The Macmillan Dictionary defines reported speech as “the words that you use to report what someone else has said.”

Reported speech is a little different from direct speech . As it has been discussed already, reported speech is used to tell what someone said and does not use the exact words of the speaker. Take a look at the following rules so that you can make use of reported speech effectively.

  • The first thing you have to keep in mind is that you need not use any quotation marks as you are not using the exact words of the speaker.
  • You can use the following formula to construct a sentence in the reported speech.
  • You can use verbs like said, asked, requested, ordered, complained, exclaimed, screamed, told, etc. If you are just reporting a declarative sentence , you can use verbs like told, said, etc. followed by ‘that’ and end the sentence with a full stop . When you are reporting interrogative sentences, you can use the verbs – enquired, inquired, asked, etc. and remove the question mark . In case you are reporting imperative sentences , you can use verbs like requested, commanded, pleaded, ordered, etc. If you are reporting exclamatory sentences , you can use the verb exclaimed and remove the exclamation mark . Remember that the structure of the sentences also changes accordingly.
  • Furthermore, keep in mind that the sentence structure , tense , pronouns , modal verbs , some specific adverbs of place and adverbs of time change when a sentence is transformed into indirect/reported speech.

Transforming Direct Speech into Reported Speech

As discussed earlier, when transforming a sentence from direct speech into reported speech, you will have to change the pronouns, tense and adverbs of time and place used by the speaker. Let us look at the following tables to see how they work.

Here are some tips you can follow to become a pro in using reported speech.

  • Select a play, a drama or a short story with dialogues and try transforming the sentences in direct speech into reported speech.
  • Write about an incident or speak about a day in your life using reported speech.
  • Develop a story by following prompts or on your own using reported speech.

Given below are a few examples to show you how reported speech can be written. Check them out.

  • Santana said that she would be auditioning for the lead role in Funny Girl.
  • Blaine requested us to help him with the algebraic equations.
  • Karishma asked me if I knew where her car keys were.
  • The judges announced that the Warblers were the winners of the annual acapella competition.
  • Binsha assured that she would reach Bangalore by 8 p.m.
  • Kumar said that he had gone to the doctor the previous day.
  • Lakshmi asked Teena if she would accompany her to the railway station.
  • Jibin told me that he would help me out after lunch.
  • The police ordered everyone to leave from the bus stop immediately.
  • Rahul said that he was drawing a caricature.

Transform the following sentences into reported speech by making the necessary changes.

1. Rachel said, “I have an interview tomorrow.”

2. Mahesh said, “What is he doing?”

3. Sherly said, “My daughter is playing the lead role in the skit.”

4. Dinesh said, “It is a wonderful movie!”

5. Suresh said, “My son is getting married next month.”

6. Preetha said, “Can you please help me with the invitations?”

7. Anna said, “I look forward to meeting you.”

8. The teacher said, “Make sure you complete the homework before tomorrow.”

9. Sylvester said, “I am not going to cry anymore.”

10. Jade said, “My sister is moving to Los Angeles.”

Now, find out if you have answered all of them correctly.

1. Rachel said that she had an interview the next day.

2. Mahesh asked what he was doing.

3. Sherly said that her daughter was playing the lead role in the skit.

4. Dinesh exclaimed that it was a wonderful movie.

5. Suresh said that his son was getting married the following month.

6. Preetha asked if I could help her with the invitations.

7. Anna said that she looked forward to meeting me.

8. The teacher told us to make sure we completed the homework before the next day.

9. Sylvester said that he was not going to cry anymore.

10. Jade said that his sister was moving to Los Angeles.

What is reported speech?

What is the definition of reported speech.

Reported speech, according to the Oxford Learner’s Dictionary, is defined as “a report of what somebody has said that does not use their exact words.” The Collins Dictionary defines reported speech as “speech which tells you what someone said, but does not use the person’s actual words.” According to the Cambridge Dictionary, reported speech is defined as “the act of reporting something that was said, but not using exactly the same words.” The Macmillan Dictionary defines reported speech as “the words that you use to report what someone else has said.”

What is the formula of reported speech?

You can use the following formula to construct a sentence in the reported speech. Subject said that (report whatever the speaker said)

Give some examples of reported speech.

Given below are a few examples to show you how reported speech can be written.

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The Picture Show

Photos: shooting in kansas city after chiefs' victory parade.

Sharon McCalister

reported speech youtube video

People flee after shots were fired near the Kansas City Chiefs' 2024 Super Bowl victory parade on Wednesday in Kansas City, Mo. Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

People flee after shots were fired near the Kansas City Chiefs' 2024 Super Bowl victory parade on Wednesday in Kansas City, Mo.

Americans are, once again, expressing outrage over a mass shooting, this time at the end of a parade Wednesday honoring the 2024 Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs.

One person was killed and at least 21 others were injured in the attack outside Union Station in Kansas City , Mo.

Doctors and administrators at Children's Mercy, one of three Kansas City, Mo.-area hospitals where shooting victims were transported, said at a press conference that they treated 11 children. Nine of those children suffered gunshot wounds. Their ages ranged from 6 to 15.

Here is the scene:

reported speech youtube video

People take cover during a shooting at Union Station during the Kansas City Chiefs' victory celebration. Jamie Squire/Getty Images hide caption

reported speech youtube video

An injured person is aided near the Chiefs' Super Bowl victory parade. Andrew Caballero-Reynolds /AFP via Getty Images hide caption

reported speech youtube video

Several people were shot and two people were detained after a rally celebrating the Chiefs' Super Bowl victory. Jamie Squire/Getty Images hide caption

reported speech youtube video

People leave the area following a shooting at Union Station. Jamie Squire/Getty Images hide caption

reported speech youtube video

An injured person is helped near the Chiefs' victory parade. Andrew Caballero-Reynolds /AFP via Getty Images hide caption

reported speech youtube video

People flee after shots were fired near the victory parade. Andrew Caballero-Reynolds /AFP via Getty Images hide caption

reported speech youtube video

People take cover during a shooting at Union Station. Jamie Squire/Getty Images hide caption

reported speech youtube video

Law enforcement responds to a shooting at Union Station during the Kansas City Chiefs' Super Bowl victory parade. Jamie Squire/Getty Images hide caption

reported speech youtube video

Law enforcement and medical personnel respond to a shooting at Union Station. Jamie Squire/Getty Images hide caption

reported speech youtube video

Emergency personnel (left) take a stretcher into Union Station. Reed Hoffmann/AP hide caption

reported speech youtube video

The Kansas City Chiefs celebrate during their victory rally at Union Station in Kansas City, Mo. Charlie Riedel/AP hide caption

reported speech youtube video

Law enforcement and medical personnel respond to a shooting at Union Station during the Kansas City Chiefs' 2024 Super Bowl victory parade. Jamie Squire/Getty Images hide caption

reported speech youtube video

Members of law enforcement respond to a shooting at Union Station during the Kansas City Chiefs' Super Bowl victory parade. David Eulitt/Getty Images hide caption

reported speech youtube video

Multiple people were injured after gunfire erupted at the Kansas City Chiefs' Super Bowl victory rally on Wednesday, local police said. Andrew Caballero-Reynolds /AFP via Getty Images hide caption

  • Kansas City shooting
  • Chiefs parade
  • Kansas City

IMAGES

  1. Reported Speech [Part 1]

    reported speech youtube video

  2. 165 Reported Speech- Say-Tell

    reported speech youtube video

  3. 164 Reported Speech-Imperatives

    reported speech youtube video

  4. Reported speech- Part 1

    reported speech youtube video

  5. Reported Speech

    reported speech youtube video

  6. Reported Speech

    reported speech youtube video

VIDEO

  1. reported speech -part one- tense shift

  2. Reported Speech in English| REPORTED SPEECH

  3. The reported speech part 3 : Reporting Commands and Advice in English

  4. Reported Speech

  5. Reported Speech

  6. Reported Speech (Part 2)

COMMENTS

  1. Reported Speech

    Learn all about reported speech or indirect speech!Reported speech or indirect speech is used to report something that someone said in the past.Practice here...

  2. Reported Speech

    We use reported speech when we say the words of other people. Reported speech is also called indirect speech. 4 important rules to remember when forming the...

  3. Reported Speech

    Reported Speech or Indirect speech is the exact meaning of what someone said, but not their exact words. We use reporting verbs like say, tell, ask, admit, p...

  4. Can you use REPORTED SPEECH? Grammar Lesson + Examples

    This lesson is about reported speech in English - it will help you to tell, explain and say what someone else said & help you speak clearly and accurately in...

  5. Grammar: Introduction to Reported Speech

    In this video, you will learn about what reported speech means, about the types pf specch [ direct and indirect speech], and about the changes made when cha...

  6. Learn English Grammar: Reported Speech

    Learn how to correctly relate what others have said to you. In English grammar, this point is known as "reported speech" (also called "indirect speech"). The...

  7. Unit 47 Reported speech 1 He said that

    Unit 47: Reported speech 1 (He said that ...)A:"I'm planning to move to New York next year,"Tom mentioned yesterday.B: Tom said that he was planning to move ...

  8. Reported Speech

    Check out the latest version of this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcxytsa8CbILearn all about reported speech (indirect speech)!

  9. Can you use REPORTED SPEECH? Grammar Lesson + Examples

    In English, we use reported speech to say what someone else says or even what we ourselves have said and it's sometimes referred to as indirect speech. Reported speech, indirect speech, they're the same thing. Direct speech is the exact words that come out of someone's mouth. She said "I woke up late this morning.".

  10. Reported speech: statements

    direct speech: 'I worked as a waiter before becoming a chef,' he said. indirect speech: He said he'd worked as a waiter before becoming a chef. direct speech: 'I'll phone you tomorrow,' he said. indirect speech: He said he'd phone me the next day. Try this exercise to test your grammar. Grammar test 1. Grammar B1-B2: Reported speech 1: 1

  11. BBC Learning English

    2. Unit 2: Reported speech in 90 seconds! Move the tense back. Open unit selectorClose unit selectorUnit 2 Reported speech in 90 seconds! Select a unit. 1 Go beyond intermediate with our new video ...

  12. Reported speech

    1. They said (that) there's no such thing as good news in America. 2. They said (that) there was no such thing as good news in America. Sentence 2 tells that only about the time when 'they' said it. It does not tell us if it is still true or not. Sentence 1 tells us that what 'they' said is still relevant today.

  13. 151 Reported speech English ESL video lessons

    Boss Baby - Reported Speech. Watch the cartoon and transform sentences from Direct Speech to Reported speech. 1382 uses. A selection of English ESL reported speech video quizzes.

  14. 7 Musical Hits to Get You Teaching Reported Speech Through Song

    5. "Can't Help Falling in Love" by Elvis Presley. 6. "Somebody That I Used to Know" by Gotye. 7. "Photograph" by Nickelback. Direct Speech vs. Reported Speech. Activities to Teach Your Students Reported Speech. Listen and fill in the blanks.

  15. Reported Speech: Important Grammar Rules and Examples • 7ESL

    Pin. No Change in Verb Tenses in Reported Speech. There is no change in verb tenses in Indirect Speech when:. The introductory verb is in the Present, Present Perfect or Future.; If the reported sentence deals with a fact or general truth.; The reported sentence contains a time clause.; The verb of the sentence is in the unreal past (the second or the third conditional).

  16. Reported Speech

    To change an imperative sentence into a reported indirect sentence, use to for imperative and not to for negative sentences. Never use the word that in your indirect speech. Another rule is to remove the word please. Instead, say request or say. For example: "Please don't interrupt the event," said the host.

  17. Reported Speech

    Watch my reported speech video: Here's how it works: We use a 'reporting verb' like 'say' or 'tell'. ... Time Expressions with Reported Speech Sometimes when we change direct speech into reported speech we have to change time expressions too. We don't always have to do this, however. It depends on when we heard the direct speech and when we say ...

  18. To practise writing direct and reported speech

    In this lesson, we will explore the differences between direct and reported speech. We will identify the main features and practise writing and punctuating our own speech sentences. Video. Play video. ... Your video will re-appear on the next page, and will stay paused in the right place. Lesson summary: To practise writing direct and reported ...

  19. REPORTED SPEECH

    Tense Change in Reported Speech. When you use reported speech, many times the verb from direct speech changes. Think about the verb going one step backwards. Present Simple → Past Simple. Direct Speech: I eat a lot of fruit. Reported Speech: Mary said that she ate a lot of fruit. / Mary told me that she ate a lot of fruit.

  20. Grammar Tutorial

    Grammar Tutorial - Reported Speech. Let's do English ESL general grammar practice. Listen to the explanation about reported speech and try to complete the sentences as you listen.

  21. Trump comments on Russia, NATO 'appalling and unhinged,' White House

    Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks as he holds a campaign rally at Coastal Carolina University ahead of the South Carolina Republican presidential ...

  22. Biden attacked Hur for asking him when Beau died. That didn't happen

    Biden attacked Hur for asking him when Beau died. That didn't happen, sources say. The president raised his son's death after being asked about his workflow at a Virginia rental home, where he ...

  23. View your Reporting History

    YouTube reviews user flags to determine whether or not videos violate our Community Guidelines.Visit your Reporting History page to check the status of videos you've reported on YouTube:. Live: Videos that are either not yet reviewed or that we decided don't violate YouTube Community Guidelines. Removed: Videos that have been removed from YouTube. ...

  24. Movie Worksheet: Kids Say the Funniest Things (Reported Speech)

    This is a fun video activity to practise using reported speech. Learners listen to cute kids speaking. Then they change the direct speech into reported speech (indirect speech). It can be done as a speaking and/or writing activity. The worksheet has more detailed instructions. Find more great video activities at YouTube channel "English Through ...

  25. WATCH: Biden says Navalny's reported death brings new urgency to the

    President Joe Biden said Friday that the apparent death of Russian anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny brings new urgency to the need for Congress to approve tens of billions of dollars for ...

  26. Reported Speech

    Reported speech is the form in which one can convey a message said by oneself or someone else, mostly in the past. It can also be said to be the third person view of what someone has said. In this form of speech, you need not use quotation marks as you are not quoting the exact words spoken by the speaker, but just conveying the message. Q2.

  27. Photos: Shooting in Kansas City after Chiefs' victory parade

    Photos: Shooting in Kansas City after Chiefs' Super Bowl victory parade : The Picture Show One person was killed and at least 21 others were injured in the attack outside Union Station in Kansas City.

  28. Ukrainian Himars strike kills 65 Russian soldiers lining up to greet

    More than 65 Russian soldiers have been killed in a Himars strike as they lined up in formation to greet a commander at a military base in the Donetsk region, Russian sources said. Moscow-aligned ...