Grammar Series – Learn how to write a reported speech


As writers we often have to document what other people have said. It is important to report their words correctly and accurately.

If you are having problems writing reported speeches please read this.

Also known as indirect speech or indirect discourse, reported speech is a means of expressing the content of statements, questions or other utterances, without quoting them explicitly as is done in direct speech. You need to learn how to transform direct speech into reported speech. The structure is a little different depending on whether you want to transform a statement, question or request. But it’s not difficult to understand.

Today, we’ll talk about transforming statements.

When transforming statements into reported speeches there are a few things you need to know

  1. Use a reporting verb like ‘say’ or ‘tell’.
  2. When reporting speeches the present tense has to change to past tense.

Are you confused? Look at these simple examples.

  • I like reading books

She said that she loves reading books

  • I can’t drive

He said he couldn’t drive

  • You look nice

He told me that I looked nice

It’s that easy.



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