Could you repeat, please, what this girl just said? Would you be so kind to report my speech to this boy? Tell him that it was me who asked him about this favor!
None of us is able to avoid such phrases in his life and, in fact, it is unnecessary to do this. The productive life and sound intercommunication is impossible without using reported speech. Nearly every minute we are in need of telling somebody what another person said. How is it better to do this? There are just two methods how to repeat the other person’s words: to quote the speaker by using direct speech and to deliver the message of one party to the third one by mediating between them. If the first method can be easily applied in written language, it is absolutely unfit for face-to-face contact. Being a second party, or a medium between people, requires special and profound knowledge in using the rules and laws of reported speech to pass the messages properly.
How to gain a reputation of a literally man and use reported speech correctly? How not to sound awkwardly and apply the laws of transforming the dialogues practically? The next tips will become the best prompt for you.
They Said That…
She asked… She told… He said… The reported speech is heard from everywhere. What should you start with to become a pro in transforming a direct speech into a reported one? The rules, which are able to help you not to confuse while mediating, are easy to be remembered.
Choose the correct verb tense and don’t forget to change the pronoun. When you are going to change the quote to reported speech, remember that the main sentence will become a dependent (noun) clause in the new one and it will start with ‘that’. If you transform a question into reported speech, the dependent clause will start with ‘if’ or ‘whether’. Such verbs as ‘say’, ‘tell’, ‘ask’ are the verbs, which are most commonly used in reported speech. Besides, you should always remember about the pronoun, which you should change too to preserve the authenticity of the statement.
Changing of the tense is the most delicate problem, which a lot of students ignore for some reasons. Remember that the present tense in the direct speech should be changed into the past tense.
‘I am an engineer.’ – He said that he was an engineer.
‘We are going to have a bite.’ – They said that they were going to have a bite.
Past simple, present perfect, and past perfect verbs that are used in direct speech become past perfect verbs in the reported speech.
‘He took Mary by the hand.’ – She said that he had taken Mary by the hand.
‘I have been to Madrid.’ – He said that he had been to Madrid.
Modal verbs are subjected to the same rule: ‘can’ becomes ‘could’, ‘may’ – ‘might’ or ‘could’, ‘will’ – ‘would’, ‘must’ – ‘had to’, ‘shall’ – ‘should’ or ‘would’.
Changing of the pronoun. As it has already been said, the pronouns undergo the changes too. ‘I’ becomes ‘he’ or ‘she’, ‘we’ – ‘they’.
‘My breakfast was delicious.’ – He said that his breakfast had been delicious.
‘We will visit Jane soon’. – They said that they would visit Jane soon.
Which one to choose: ‘that’ or ‘if’? Both these conjunctions are the links between the two parts of a reported sentence. You should understand clearly when it is better to use the first conjunction and when the second variant is more appropriate. Conjunction ‘that’ is not necessary to be used, by the way. It depends on your desire to insert it in your speech or no. The conjunction ‘if’ is necessary when you transform a question into a reported speech.
‘Do you speak English?’ – He asked me if I spoke English.
Don’t you know how to report the questions? If you deal with yes or no questions, just drop the auxiliary verb and put ‘if’ instead of it.
‘Do you want an ice-cream?’ – He asked me if I wanted an ice-cream.
Information questions (a lot of people know them as Wh questions) begin with a question word and to report them one should preserve it and change only the word order.
‘When does your lesson begin?’ – He asked me when my lesson began.
‘Where are you going?’ – She asked me where I was going.
Are the rules difficult? They are primitive and easy to grasp. All you need is just everyday practice.
Don’t Miss Your Chance! Enjoy Your Life to the Full!
A lot of students are afraid of trying themselves in reporting the speech of the other people and prefer to keep silent rather than to practice a language. Everybody should remember that making the mistakes is a less crime than to have a chance and not to use it. If it is possible to dispose of reported speech while alive interacting, it is impossible to avoid speech transformations in writing. If you want to know whether it is possible to become a good writer and have no idea about how to report speech, your chances of success decline with your unwillingness to get to the heart of the matter. A skilled author, who creates brilliant content, should have no weak sides and be able to clothe any thoughts in words easily.
If you have any problems with grammar or you are still too shy to express your ideas on paper, if you know that there are too many holes in your knowledge and you are afraid of telling anybody about this, EssayCorrector.org with its fine specialists have created a perfect guide for you! Our blog, which can be found at our website, is designed to eradicate all the knowledge gaps that are in your head. Each blog post is written by a skilled linguist, who wants you to become closer to the English language and have no troubles with a writing process.
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