Reported speech can be difficult if you don’t exactly know what it is and how to form it. For a full description of what is meant with indirect speech, how you form it and examples, click here.
Reported speech exercise
On this page, you have an exercise to see if you can transform direct speech into indirect speech. Pay attention to the tense of the reporting verb and if the subject changes.
If the reporting verb is in the present simple, there is no backshift. If the reporting verb is in the past simple, you usually need backshift so you need to change the verbs in the sentence. If the reporting verb is in the past simple but the information is still true, there is no backshift.
Below you have sentences in direct speech and you need to rewrite them in indirect speech.
- My friend: “I bought a really beautiful flower for my girlfriend.”
- Ross: “Have you seen my watch?”
- Journalist: “Can you tell us what you saw?”
- My cousin: “I went to Spain.”
- Ted: “I am watching a really interesting movie.”
- The principal: “You have to stay strong and work together.”
- My friends: “We have done the most amazing walk ever.”
- Mom: “Are you cleaning your room?”
- Barack Obama: “I did some great things for the United States.”
- His boss: “He is the best employee I have.”