What is Reported Speech? Reported Speech Definition and Example Sentences

What is Reported Speech? Reported Speech Definition and Example Sentences

Reported Speech

You can simply communicate your views to the other person after you learn to build simple words in a foreign language. But do you know how to communicate what someone else has spoken to someone else?

In English, there is a grammar subject called “Reported Speech” that is specifically for this purpose, i.e., to utilize when conveying some dialogues and talks to others. This problem comprises of patterns that we unconsciously adopt while speaking our native tongue. Indirect communication in English, however, must adhere to a few fundamental guidelines.


What is Reported Speech?

The word meaning of Reported Speech is “Indirect Speech”. In other words, it is the indirect way of transferring a sentence established in any period to others.

The moment of occurrence of the event can be in the past, present, or future, as well as in the time interval when it was told to someone else, at the same time as the event, or after it.


Let’s give a simple example of indirect speech:

  • Mark: I am going to my friend’s birthday party.
  • Mark said, “I am going to my friend’s birthday party.”

These sentences with reported speech are:

Mark said (that) he was going to his friend’s birthday party.

  1. The first sentence is the original text of Mark’s statement.
  2. What is meant in the second sentence is conveyed without breaking the sentence. This is also called “Direct Speech” in English. (That’s what Mark said.)
  3. The narrator explains the occurrence indirectly in the third sentence. In the sense of reporting and telling, this is also known as “Reported Speech” or “Indirect Speech.” The tense in the sentence replaces the preceding tense, and the narrator changes the subjects and possessive suffixes.


Reported Speech Terms of Use

The main guideline of indirect speaking is to take a step back and express what is being said. That is to say, the time zones used are from a long time ago. The pronouns shift as the story progresses. According to the narration, time adverbs are transferred from the preceding time.

When describing a sentence with indirect speech, it is necessary to express it by considering the following rules…


Use of Tenses

The most essential issue in Reported Speech is tense (tens). Because the incident and the narration may take place at separate times. As a result, the prior tense is used to state the tense of the phrase to be reported. This guideline is always correct and must be followed in this situation.


Direct SpeechReported Speech
Present Simple TensePast Simple Tense
Present Continuous TensePast Continuous Tense
Present Perfect TensePast Perfect Tense
Past Simple TensePast Simple/Past Perfect
Past Continuous TensePast Continuous/Past Perfect Continuous
Future Simple TenseWould


  • She said, “I work a bank.”
  • She said (that) she worked at a bank.


  • He said, “I was reading the newspaper when you were at the door.”
  • He said (that) he had been reading the newspaper when I had been at the door.


Note: It’s worth noting that the tenses in certain circumstances aren’t modified. For continuing occurrences and themes whose validity is always valid at the point of indirect expression, sentences are created without changing the tense.