Reporting Speech – Direct to Indirect Speech

When reporting what someone else has said, we use the “He/She said” form and change the tense of the speaker. Also, note that the comma is removed when changing from direct to indirect speech.

say / said

“I need a book.” he said.

He said (that) he needed a book.

“I am going to the cinema.” She said she was going to the cinema. (Present Continuous)

“I enjoyed the fruit.” He said that he had enjoyed the fruit. (Past Tense)

“I will visit you later.” She said that she would visit me later. (Will)

“I am going to help.” He said that he was going to help.

“I can swim.” He said he could swim.

tell / told

When using “told,” we want to specify the person being spoken to:

He told me that he was not going to the market. (“me” is added to specify the person being told to)

“I am not nervous, now.”

She told me that she was not nervous.

“Wait there!” He said.

He told me to wait there.

“I am late.” She said.

She told us she was late.

“Go and do your homework.”

He told me to go and do my homework.

Ask / asked

“Where are you going?” He asked.

He asked where I was going.

“Can you swim?”

He asked if I could swim.

“What time does the store open?”

He asked what time the store opens.

“Please listen.”

He told us to listen.

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