EBD Blog

Reported Speech: direct

Life will be much easier if we never have to report what others say. Unfortunately, it is necessary to do so sometimes. An original speech may be reported either directly or indirectly.

Direct speech:

When we report something directly, we focus on the exact original words. Every reported speech has two parts: a reporting clause and a reported clause. The reporting clause is the he/she/we/they said or told me part of the sentence. The reported clause is the part that contains the exact original words in quotation marks or inverted commas. Let`s take a look at some examples, shall we?M: It is raining

M said, `ìt is raining.“ OR

“It is raining,“ M said

(Note: the reporting clause is separated from the reported clause by a comma (,). When we start the sentence with the reported clause, however, we do not put a comma in front of a question or exclamation mark. Let`s take a look at some examples, shall we?

M: How are you?

M said/ asked, “how are you?“

(However, if we start the sentence with the reported clause, the comma is omitted.)

“How are you?“ M said/ asked.

Note: Tell (in the simple past form) can also be used in direct speech, followed by an indirect object.

“I like her,“ he told me.

You do not say, “I like her,“ he told.

Note: however, we do not use told when reporting a greeting or when we congratulate someone. For example,

M: good luck on your presentation tomorrow

“Merry Christmas and happy new year,“ M said.

NOT

“Merry Christmas and happy new year, “ M told me

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