Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 2 – Episode 48 – Grammar – Reported Speech

Reported speech is all about repeating what someone said, but going a tense back. 

Direct speech statements.

  1. Antwone fisher is my favorite drama movie.
  2. I hope children of all ages will love the new book.
  3. I think I’ve just swum the length of the Nile river.
  4. I feel quite tired.

Reported speech statements.

  1. Arsenio Buck said Antwone Fisher was his favorite drama movie.
  2. He told us he hoped children of all ages would love the new book.
  3. He said that he thought he had just swum the length of the Nile River.
  4. He told the interviewer that he felt quite tired.


Rules: verbs go back a tense when you use reported speech.

Direct Speech                              Reported Speech

Present simple                                  Past simple

present continuous                      Past continuous

past simple                                        Past perfect

present perfect                                 Past perfect

will                                                          Would

can                                                           Could

may                                                          Might

must/have to                                     Must/had to


Complete the sentences with said or told.

  1. He __________ he sometimes wore bandanas.
  2. He __________ me he had come to Thailand from Ethiopia.
  3. He __________ us that he could jump over the wall.
  4. He __________ that he was working as a journalist.
  5. He __________ us he didn’t like Som Tum.
  6. He __________ that he didn’t know how to get to the supermarket.





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