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Reported speech

Reported speech

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Reported speech

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  1. Reported speech

  2. Reportedspeech If we report what another person has said, we usually do not use the speaker’s exact words (direct speech), but reported (indirect) speech. BZB, Englisch - ScG

  3. Reportedspeech There are two types of how to transform direct speech into reported speech: Peter says: „The train is late.“ Peter says that the train is late. with no change of tenses Peter said that the train was late. with change of tenses backshift of tenses BZB, Englisch - ScG

  4. No change of tenses Ifthereportingverb(say, tell, remark, explain,…) is in: • present • presentperfect • future thereisnochangeoftenseswhenreportingthesentence! Shesays, „I havenevereatenspinach“. Shesaysthatshehasnevereatenspinach. He hasremarkedrecently, „I willtryagain!“ He hasremarkedrecentlythat he willtryagain. Dad will say, „Youpaintedthefenceperfectly“. Dad will saythat I paintedthefenceperfectly. BZB, Englisch - ScG

  5. Change oftenses If the reporting verb is in: • past tense there is a change of tense: backshift of tenses BZB, Englisch - ScG

  6. Examples of backshift Presenttense pasttense He explained, „I don‘teatmuchmeat“. He explainedthat he didn‘teatmuchmeat. pasttense pastperfecttense He said, „He wasreallycharming“. He saidthat he hadbeenreallycharming. presentperfecttense pastperfecttense He said, „I havenevermet a loveliergirlbefore“. He saidthat he hadnevermet a loveliergirlbefore. BZB, Englisch - ScG

  7. Examplesofbackshift pastperfecttense pastperfecttense Shetoldus, „I hadneverseen a real tiger before I wenttothezoo“. Shetoldusthatshehadneverseen a real tiger beforeshehadbeentothezoo. future conditional He said, „I will havea cupoftea“. He saidthat he wouldhave a cupoftea. presentperfecttense pastperfecttense He said, „I havenevermet a loveliergirlbefore“. He saidthat he hadnevermet a loveliergirlbefore. BZB, Englisch - ScG

  8. Exceptions Therearenochangeoftensesifyoureportfacts: The teachersaid, „The earthturnsaroundthesun“. = fact The teachersaidthattheearthturnsaroundthesun. Sheexplained, „RomeisthecapitalofItaly“. = fact SheexplainedthatRomeisthecapitalofItaly. Therearenochangesoftensesifyoureportrequests. Younormallytransformthe imperative into an infinitive: „Carol, speak English!“ Shetold Carol tospeakEnglish. BZB, Englisch - ScG

  9. Other changeswhenreporting Besidesthetenses, thereareimportantchange in time expressions: • here there • now  then • this / these  that / those • today  thatday • yesterday  thedaybefore • tomorrow  thenext / followingday • thedaybeforeyesterday  twodaysbefore • theday after tomorrow  in twodays‘ time • last week / month / year  thepreviousweek / month / year • a yearago  a yearbefore / thepreviousyear • nextweek / month / year  thefollowingweek / month / year BZB, Englisch - ScG

  10. Other changeswhenreporting In reported speech, you also often have to change the pronoun depending on who said what: „We must paint the fence tomorrow“, he said. He said that we / they must paint the fence the next day. He said, „I am going to invite her for dinner today“. He said that he was going to invite her for dinner that day. BZB, Englisch - ScG

  11. Reporting questions Ifyoureportquestions, youhaveto: • usethegiven interrogative • useif/whether With interrogative: He asked, “Why don’t you speak English?” He asked me why I didn’t speak English. Without interrogative He asked, ”Do you speak English?” He asked me whether / if I spoke English. BZB, Englisch - ScG