Reported Speech (1)

Objectives of today’s lesson:

In this lesson, Learn English with Julia presents to you “Reported Speech (1)”, in order to answer the following questions:

  • How do you write reported speech?
  • Why do we use reported speech?
  • What is reported speech and reported verb?
  • What is reported speech and reporting speech?


Video Script:

Hello and welcome to this video!
This is the first of two videos dedicated to the reported speech.
Before addressing the reported speech,
let’s go back to direct speech.
When we are talking
and we report what someone said or
his literal words,
we will have two options.
We can resort to the direct speech
also known as quoted speech,
when we would report what someone said word for word (more or less)
between quotation marks.
Without altering the punctuation,
So if there is a question we will write a question mark
(If we are writing this down, if we are transcribing it).
Not changing any pronouns or any tenses ..
Literally word for word.
However, we can also choose the indirect speech
which it is also known as reported speech.
Well, if I choose this second option I have to take into account that as
I am integrating those words, those thoughts into my sentence.
I have to make it part of my own speech.
That means that there are many changes
that will occur.
We will not say everything word for word.
To show you these changes,
I have chosen an example here in black,
FRED (what he says to us on Monday afternoon)
what he says to SARAH in this particular example,
FRED (Monday afternoon said):
That is my direct speech.
or quoted speech, in between quotation marks
I am stating word for word
what Fred said:
“I want to leave here tomorrow”
Now, in blue below
I have my indirect speech.
I’m reporting that speech.
And here in red
are the seven changes
that occurred.
Let’s take a look.
SARAH (Friday)
wishes to report
Fred’s speech,
Fred’s words.
So she says:
Fred said that he wanted to leave there the following day.
So there are certain major changes here.
I will change the viewpoint.
I will use the person’s name
or I’ll use another pronoun.
Therefore, the viewpoint is different.
I go from the first person singular to the third person singular.
Fred said that he…
FRED and HE (third person).
Singular or plural (depending on the example),
but this is singular.
The second change that takes place
is the introduction of the verb,
so there is an introductory verb (to say).
Fred said…
What did he say?
We can say “said”
There are loads of different option
we will see them in the second video dedicated to the reported speech.
In this particular case,
the introductory verb is SAY.
The third change that occurs is the introduction of a conjunction.
Here the conjunction is “that”.
We can have a different example of a reported speech:
HE ASKED wether
Whether, if, that…
All these words are conjunctions.
The fourth change: the change of tense.
We call it “backshift”
which means that if we are speaking in the present tense,
the backshift, so the tense prior to that, the one before the present simple
would be the simple past.
he wanted to leave.
However, this is not always true.
If Fred told this to Sara an hour ago,
Sarah could easily say:
“Fred says that he wants to leave here tomorrow”
Thus, there would be very few changes.
A backshift means that it is a present tense it becomes simple past.
If this is the PERFECT PRESENT it also becomes PAST SIMPLE.
If it is a simple past it becomes a past perfect.
If it is “will” it becomes “would”
and so on.
Other changes that occur:
with expressions of time and place.
He says
Fred says “here”
Sarah will say: “There” because it is farther away.
“here” becomes “there”
And “Tomorrow”, as time has gone by,
Final change: punctuation.
We’ll get rid of the quotations marks
and integrate the phrase as a part of our own discourse.
I hope that was clear.
Now I think you’re ready for the second part of the video.
The second part of the video is on the reported speech and the introductory verbs.
Thank you!


Grammar Quiz:


Keywords listed in English:

  • quoted speech
  • reported speech
  • indirect speech
  • direct speech
  • backshift
  • tenses review
  • introductory verbs
  • conjunctions

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