Direct and Reported Speech: Know the Difference 3
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  • Introduction
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There are certain rules to follow when we convert direct speech into reported speech. For example:

"How long can I stay?" asked Peter.

Peter asked how long he could stay.

The speech marks and the question mark are left out in reported speech. The verb changes from the present tense (can) to the past tense (could) and comes later in the sentence.

 

However, some changes depend on the time that the speech is reported. For example:

"I will come home tomorrow," said Jim.

 

If we are reporting this on the same day, we can write:

Jim said he would come home tomorrow.

 

If Jim spoke on a Tuesday but we don't report it until a few days later we would have to write:

Jim said he would come home on Wednesday.

 

Some changes also depend on the place where the speech is reported. For example:

"How long have you lived here?" asked Miss Carter.

 

If we are still in the same place when we report this, we can write:

Miss Carter asked how long we had lived here.

 

If we are no longer in the same place we would have to change the word here to there.

Miss Carter asked how long we had lived there.

  • Question 1
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Read the following sentence containing direct speech.

 

"I am going on holiday tomorrow," said Robert.

 

If Robert spoke on Monday and his speech is reported on Wednesday, is the following sentence correct or incorrect?

 

Robert said he was going on holiday yesterday.

Correct

Incorrect

  • Question 2
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Read the following sentence containing direct speech.

 

"I am going to London tomorrow," said Frank.

 

If Frank spoke on Friday and his speech was reported on Saturday, is the following sentence correct or incorrect?

 

Frank said he was going to London today.

Correct

Incorrect

  • Question 3
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Read the following sentence containing direct speech.

 

"I have been waiting here for three hours," moaned Joanne.

 

If Joanne spoke at the bus stop, but her speech is reported back home, is the following sentence correct or incorrect?

 

Joanne moaned that she had been waiting here for three hours.

Correct

Incorrect

  • Question 4
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Read the following sentence containing direct speech.

 

"I'm going to start learning the piano next week," said George.

 

If George spoke in January and his speech is reported in March, is the following sentence correct or incorrect?

 

George said he was going to start learning the piano last week.

Correct

Incorrect

  • Question 5
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Read the following sentence containing direct speech.

 

"We went to Cardiff last weekend," said Megan.

 

If Megan spoke on Tuesday and her speech is reported a week later, is the following sentence correct or incorrect?

 

Megan said that she went to Cardiff the weekend before last.

Correct

Incorrect

  • Question 6
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Read the following sentence containing direct speech.

 

"I will be late home tonight," said Adil.

 

If Adil's speech is reported the next day, which of the following words or phrases could be used to complete the sentence?

 

Adil said he would be late home __________.

 

Tick two boxes.

tonight

that night

last night

tomorrow

this evening

  • Question 7
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Read the following sentence containing direct speech.

 

"I will come and see you next week," promised Gran.

 

If Gran's speech is reported three weeks later, which of the following words or phrases could be used to complete the sentence?

 

Gran promised that she would come and see us  __________.

 

Tick one box.

the previous week

the following week

this week

last week

next week

  • Question 8
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Read the following sentence containing direct speech.

 

"Uncle Fred came to school here ten years ago," said Mum to her children.

 

If Mum's speech is reported when the family have returned home, which of the following words or phrases could be used to complete the sentence?

 

Mum told the children that Uncle Fred had gone to school there  __________.

 

Tick three boxes.

ten years ago

ten years previously

ten years before

over ten years ago

more than ten years ago

  • Question 9
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Read the following sentence containing direct speech.

 

"We're going to Tenerife tomorrow," Katie said to Jodie.

 

If Katie's speech is reported a week later, which of the following words or phrases could be used to complete the sentence?

 

Katie told Jodie that they were going to Tenerife __________.

 

Tick two boxes.

the next day

today

tomorrow

the following day

next week

  • Question 10
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Read the following sentence containing direct speech.

 

"I had a great time today," said Susie.

 

If Susie's speech was made on Tuesday and is reported the next day, which of the following words or phrases could be used to complete the sentence?

 

Susie said she had a great time  __________.

 

Tick two boxes.

that day

yesterday

on Monday

today

on Wednesday

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