That’s what she said….

Hello everybody and welcome to May!!!!

Today we’re going to talk about the basics of reported speech or how to transmit what one person said  (in this case a statement) to a third.  For example:

Sally and John are having a coffee and chatting about their plans for the weekend

John: “I am going to meet Paul for lunch”

Sally: “It’s been ages since I last saw him! How is he doing at his new job?”

A week later Sally runs into Paul on her way to work…

Sally: “Hi Paul! Long time, no see! I met John last week he said (that) he was going to meet you for lunch the other day…”
When we report information we need to make some changes in the sentence, as we do in Spanish, especially with reference to the tenses. I that way, in the previous example we change “I am going to meet Paul” to ‘He said he was going to meet you’. Let’s take a look at the changes in the tenses that occur in reported speech:


As you may have noticed there are other changes apart from the tense as we need to change the pronoun and other time phrases too. We’ll need to change the pronoun depending of the person who said the statement int he first place, for example:

Mary said: ‘I want to buy a book’       →      Mary said that she wanted to buy a book

Paul said: ‘I want to buy a book’        →      Paul said that he wanted to buy a book

Regarding time words and phrases, take a look at the following chart:

Now Then / At that time
Today That day
Yesterday The previous day /the day before
Tomorrow The next day / the following day
Last night The previous night / the night before
Next week The next week / the following week


Let’s practise!

Write these direct speech sentences in reported speech:

  1. ‘I’m going to the gym’ John said to Sally
  2. ‘Brian went to the concert yesterday!’ Amy explained
  3. ‘I didn’t really understand the film’ Mike admitted
  4. ‘I’ve never been to Disneyland’ Dan told his friends
  5.  ‘I’ll call you when I arrive’ the boy said to his parents
  6. ‘John can play the guitar well’ his friends said


Keep your eyes peeled for the answers! Coming soon! Good luck everyone! 🙂





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