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Advanced English
Lesson 11 - Transportation
Grammar

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Reported Speech

When we report what someone said instead of using an exact quote, we need to make some changes in the original sentence.  Anything in first person needs to be changed to third person and the verb changes according to the list below.

Present Tense changes to Past Tense
Past Tense changes to  Past Perfect
"Will" changes to "Would"

Note the verb tense changes in the following examples.

Original Quote - She said, "I exercise every morning."
Reported Speech - She said she exercised every morning.
                                        - or - 
Reported Speech - She said that she exercised every morning.
The word "that" before the reported information is optional.

Original Quote - He said, "I saw the movie."
Reported Speech - He said (that) he had seen the movie.

Original Quote - They said, "We will study."
Reported Speech - They said (that) they would study.

 

NOTE: We occasionally leave a present tense verb in its original tense if we are sure that the statement is still true.

Original Quote - She said, "I live in New York."
Reported Speech - She said she lives in New York.

 

NOTE: There are some other words that you may need to change in reported speech because of the difference in time or distance from when the original sentence was said.

She said, "This is a book."   -  She said that was a book.
He said, "Yesterday was my birthday."  -  He said the day before had been his birthday.
They said, "Today is Friday."  -  They said that day was Friday.

 

Practice
Change the following direct quotes into reported speech.  In this exercise write the reported sentences without the optional word "that."

example
He said, "My name is Fred."

In this exercise write the reported sentences without the optional word "that."

1. They said, "We speak English."
   
   

2. Helen said, "I came to class early."
   
   

3. Mario said, "I will work all day."
   
   

4. The children said, "We want to play."
   
   

5. She said, "I am a secretary."
   
   

6. Mr. Jones said, "I washed the car."
   
   

7. They said, "We didn't watch TV."
   
   

8. My mother said, "I'm cooking chicken for dinner."
   
   

9. He said, "I go to work on Fridays."
   
   

10. She said, "I won't read the article."
   
   

 

Reported Questions

When you report a question, rather than a sentence, in addition to changing the verb tense, you need to change from question order to regular sentence order.

She asked, "Where is he?"
She asked where he was.

In the example above the sentence returns to regular sentence order with the subject 
before the verb (instead of question order) in addition to changing the verb tense.

He asked her, "Where do you live?"
He asked her where she lived.

Ronda asked, "Who did he talk to?"
Ronda asked who he had talked to.

They asked, "What will we do?"
They asked what they would do.

When reporting Yes/No questions you add the word "if" before the reported information.   Yes/No questions are questions that can be answered with "Yes" or "No."  They are questions that DON'T contain a question word such as "Who," "What," etc.

Frank asked, "Does she speak English?"
Frank asked
if she spoke English.

Janet asked him, "Did they leave?"
Janet asked him
if they had left.

 

Practice
Change the following questions into reported speech.  

example
He asked, "What does she eat?"

1. They asked, "Where are they from?"
   
   

2. Helen asked, "Where does he live?"
   
   

3. Mark asked, "Will they come to the party?"
   
   

4. The children asked, "Can we watch TV?"
   
   

5. She asked, "Did they like the dessert?"
   
   

6. Mrs. Jones asked, "Where did they go?"
   
   

7. They asked, "How is she?"
   
   

8. My sister asked, "What's she cooking for dinner?"
   
   

9. He asked, "Does she believe in ghosts?"
   
   

10. She asked, "When does she think he will arrive?"
   
   

 

Find the Mistake

Instructions
Find the errors in the sentences.  Write the sentences correctly.

example
She are a student. --> She is a student.

1. The suitcase is in the bagage claim.
   
   

2. He asked where was she from.
   
   

3. They asked if what time she will come.
   
   

4. He asked where the departure longe was.
   
   

5. He asked where do they live.
   
   

 

Study English Abroad

You will find more information about studying English abroad and inexpensive alternatives to studying abroad in the Study Abroad area of Passport to English.

Study Abroad Information
Why study abroad?
What to look for in a study abroad program
Types of Programs
Alternatives to Study Abroad
Home Exchange

 

 

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