reported speech test b2

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Reported speech – B2 English Grammar Test

  • Grammar Tests for B2

1   In 1–4, underline the original verbs and reported verbs, then decide the reason (A, B or C) the tense of the reported verbs does not change.

1   ‘They ’re changing the speed limit soon.’ → I found out that they ’re changing the speed limit soon . … B …

2   ‘In Japan they also drive on the left.’ → He informed us that in Japan they also drive on the left . ……

3   ‘What time is it?’ → He’s asking what the time is . ……

4   ‘Are you coming by car tomorrow?’ → She asked if you’re coming by car tomorrow . ……

A   The events are true at any time.

B   The events reported are not in the past.

C   The reporting verb is in the present tense.

2    drive → drive – A

3    is → is – C

4    Are … coming → ’re coming – B

2   Complete the reported sentences. Change the verb tense only where necessary. When the reported verb stays the same, give the reason (A, B or C) from Exercise 1.

1   ‘There are always traffic jams on this road.’

      My mum warned me that …… there are always …… traffic jams on this road. … A …

2   ‘We’re going to be early.’

      She thought that they ………………………… to be early, yet they arrived just on time. ……

3   ‘Can I have some more cake, please?’

      Are you asking me if you ………………………… some more cake? ……

4   ‘My train gets to Milan at 11.15 tomorrow morning.’

      He reminded me that his train ………………………… to Milan at 11.15 tomorrow morning. ……

5   ‘Have you filled up the car with petrol?’

      Before we left, I asked him ………………………… the car with petrol. ……

6   ‘I’m injured.’

      Before the race, he claimed that he ………………………… injured. ……

7   ‘Do you like driving?’

      He asked me ………………………… driving. ……

2   were going

3   can have – C

4   gets – B

5   if he had filled up

7   if I like – A

3   Complete the table with the verbs in the box. Some verbs can go in more than one place.

4   complete the second sentences in each pair so they have a similar meaning to the first, with one of the words given. do not change the word given. you must use between two and five words, including the word given..

1   ‘Yes, I’ll pick you up at 6.15. No problem,’ Jamie said.

      Jamie …… agreed to pick me up …… at 6.15. AGREED / DENIED

2   ‘It was me. I scratched your car. Sorry!’ said Max.

      Max ………………………… my car. SUGGESTED / CONFESSED

3   ‘Why don’t we get a taxi instead of taking public transport?’ Beatrice said.

      Beatrice ………………………… instead of taking public transport. SUGGESTED / AGREED

2    confessed to scratching / having scratched

3    suggested getting a taxi

5   Cross out the mistakes in the sentences. Write the correct sentences.

1   The doctor says that in one week he would take off my bandage.

      ……The doctor says that in one week he will take off my bandage. ……

2   I tried to persuade them. I say them that nothing bad will happen and I was right.

      …………………………………………………

3   I warned him that it will be slower that way and he took ages.

4   She asked me where do I live.

5   I said eight o’clock, but she insisted to come earlier.

2   I tried to persuade them. I told / said to them that nothing bad would happen and I was right.

3   I warned him that it would be slower that way and he took ages.

4   She asked me where I live / lived .

5   I said eight o’clock, but she insisted on coming earlier.

6  Complete the story with the correct form of the verbs in brackets. Use reported speech where necessary.

Last month I stupidly left my rucksack on the coach. I immediately phoned the coach company and 1 …… asked …… (ask) them whether someone 2 ……………………. (find) it. They told me that someone 3 ……………………. (call) me back within the hour, but of course they didn’t, so I rang again. They asked me where I 4 ……………………. (live) so that they could send it to me if it 5 ……………………. (turn up). It still hasn’t turned up! A week later, I received a package. I couldn’t believe it. I 6 ……………………. (send) someone else’s bag. When I told them, they completely denied 7 ……………………. (make) any mistake. They said the postman must have 8 ……………………. (take) it to the wrong house. Can you believe it?

2   had found

3   would call

4   live/lived

5   turns up/turned up

6   had been sent

7   making / having made

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reported speech test b2

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Reported Speech – Free Exercise

Write the following sentences in indirect speech. Pay attention to backshift and the changes to pronouns, time, and place.

  • Two weeks ago, he said, “I visited this museum last week.” → Two weeks ago, he said that   . I → he|simple past → past perfect|this → that|last …→ the … before
  • She claimed, “I am the best for this job.” → She claimed that   . I → she|simple present→ simple past|this→ that
  • Last year, the minister said, “The crisis will be overcome next year.” → Last year, the minister said that   . will → would|next …→ the following …
  • My riding teacher said, “Nobody has ever fallen off a horse here.” → My riding teacher said that   . present perfect → past perfect|here→ there
  • Last month, the boss explained, “None of my co-workers has to work overtime now.” → Last month, the boss explained that   . my → his/her|simple present→ simple past|now→ then

Rewrite the question sentences in indirect speech.

  • She asked, “What did he say?” → She asked   . The subject comes directly after the question word.|simple past → past perfect
  • He asked her, “Do you want to dance?” → He asked her   . The subject comes directly after whether/if |you → she|simple present → simple past
  • I asked him, “How old are you?” → I asked him   . The subject comes directly after the question word + the corresponding adjective (how old)|you→ he|simple present → simple past
  • The tourists asked me, “Can you show us the way?” → The tourists asked me   . The subject comes directly after whether/if |you→ I|us→ them
  • The shop assistant asked the woman, “Which jacket have you already tried on?” → The shop assistant asked the woman   . The subject comes directly after the question word|you→ she|present perfect → past perfect

Rewrite the demands/requests in indirect speech.

  • The passenger requested the taxi driver, “Stop the car.” → The passenger requested the taxi driver   . to + same wording as in direct speech
  • The mother told her son, “Don’t be so loud.” → The mother told her son   . not to + same wording as in direct speech, but remove don’t
  • The policeman told us, “Please keep moving.” → The policeman told us   . to + same wording as in direct speech ( please can be left off)
  • She told me, “Don’t worry.” → She told me   . not to + same wording as in direct speech, but remove don’t
  • The zookeeper told the children, “Don’t feed the animals.” → The zookeeper told the children   . not to + same wording as in direct speech, but remove don’t

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Upper-intermediate grammar exercise (B2 level): reported speech

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English grammar practice exercise, upper-intermediate.

In this exercise you will practise reported speech.

Exercise instructions

Rewrite the following using reported speech:

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Anonymous - November 3, 2020, 6:18 am Reply

Good exercise.

Anonymous - November 20, 2022, 6:26 pm Reply

Great excercise

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  • B1-B2 grammar

Reported speech

Daisy has just had an interview for a summer job. 

Instructions

As you watch the video, look at the examples of reported speech. They are in  red  in the subtitles. Then read the conversation below to learn more. Finally, do the grammar exercises to check you understand, and can use, reported speech correctly.

Sophie:  Mmm, it’s so nice to be chilling out at home after all that running around.

Ollie: Oh, yeah, travelling to glamorous places for a living must be such a drag!

Ollie: Mum, you can be so childish sometimes. Hey, I wonder how Daisy’s getting on in her job interview.

Sophie: Oh, yes, she said she was having it at four o’clock, so it’ll have finished by now. That’ll be her ... yes. Hi, love. How did it go?

Daisy: Well, good I think, but I don’t really know. They said they’d phone later and let me know.

Sophie: What kind of thing did they ask you?

Daisy: They asked if I had any experience with people, so I told them about helping at the school fair and visiting old people at the home, that sort of stuff. But I think they meant work experience.

Sophie: I’m sure what you said was impressive. They can’t expect you to have had much work experience at your age.

Daisy:  And then they asked me what acting I had done, so I told them that I’d had a main part in the school play, and I showed them a bit of the video, so that was cool.

Sophie:  Great!

Daisy: Oh, and they also asked if I spoke any foreign languages.

Sophie: Languages?

Daisy: Yeah, because I might have to talk to tourists, you know.

Sophie: Oh, right, of course.

Daisy: So that was it really. They showed me the costume I’ll be wearing if I get the job. Sending it over ...

Ollie: Hey, sis, I heard that Brad Pitt started out as a giant chicken too! This could be your big break!

Daisy: Ha, ha, very funny.

Sophie: Take no notice, darling. I’m sure you’ll be a marvellous chicken.

We use reported speech when we want to tell someone what someone said. We usually use a reporting verb (e.g. say, tell, ask, etc.) and then change the tense of what was actually said in direct speech.

So, direct speech is what someone actually says? Like 'I want to know about reported speech'?

Yes, and you report it with a reporting verb.

He said he wanted to know about reported speech.

I said, I want and you changed it to he wanted .

Exactly. Verbs in the present simple change to the past simple; the present continuous changes to the past continuous; the present perfect changes to the past perfect; can changes to could ; will changes to would ; etc.

She said she was having the interview at four o’clock. (Direct speech: ' I’m having the interview at four o’clock.') They said they’d phone later and let me know. (Direct speech: ' We’ll phone later and let you know.')

OK, in that last example, you changed you to me too.

Yes, apart from changing the tense of the verb, you also have to think about changing other things, like pronouns and adverbs of time and place.

'We went yesterday.'  > She said they had been the day before. 'I’ll come tomorrow.' >  He said he’d come the next day.

I see, but what if you’re reporting something on the same day, like 'We went yesterday'?

Well, then you would leave the time reference as 'yesterday'. You have to use your common sense. For example, if someone is saying something which is true now or always, you wouldn’t change the tense.

'Dogs can’t eat chocolate.' > She said that dogs can’t eat chocolate. 'My hair grows really slowly.' >  He told me that his hair grows really slowly.

What about reporting questions?

We often use ask + if/whether , then change the tenses as with statements. In reported questions we don’t use question forms after the reporting verb.

'Do you have any experience working with people?' They asked if I had any experience working with people. 'What acting have you done?' They asked me what acting I had done .

Is there anything else I need to know about reported speech?

One thing that sometimes causes problems is imperative sentences.

You mean like 'Sit down, please' or 'Don’t go!'?

Exactly. Sentences that start with a verb in direct speech need a to + infinitive in reported speech.

She told him to be good. (Direct speech: 'Be good!') He told them not to forget. (Direct speech: 'Please don’t forget.')

OK. Can I also say 'He asked me to sit down'?

Yes. You could say 'He told me to …' or 'He asked me to …' depending on how it was said.

OK, I see. Are there any more reporting verbs?

Yes, there are lots of other reporting verbs like promise , remind , warn , advise , recommend , encourage which you can choose, depending on the situation. But say , tell and ask are the most common.

Great. I understand! My teacher said reported speech was difficult.

And I told you not to worry!

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What was the most memorable conversation you had yesterday? Who were you talking to and what did they say to you?

reported speech test b2

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Reported Speech Exercises

Perfect english grammar.

reported speech test b2

Here's a list of all the reported speech exercises on this site:

( Click here to read the explanations about reported speech )

Reported Statements:

  • Present Simple Reported Statement Exercise (quite easy) (in PDF here)
  • Present Continuous Reported Statement Exercise (quite easy) (in PDF here)
  • Past Simple Reported Statement Exercise (quite easy) (in PDF here)
  • Present Perfect Reported Statement Exercise (quite easy) (in PDF here)
  • Future Simple Reported Statement Exercise (quite easy) (in PDF here)
  • Mixed Tense Reported Statement Exercise (intermediate) (in PDF here)
  • 'Say' and 'Tell' (quite easy) (in PDF here)

Reported Questions:

  • Present Simple Reported Yes/No Question Exercise (intermediate) (in PDF here)
  • Present Simple Reported Wh Question Exercise (intermediate) (in PDF here)
  • Mixed Tense Reported Question Exercise (intermediate) (in PDF here)

Reported Orders and Requests:

  • Reported Requests and Orders Exercise (intermediate) (in PDF here)
  • Reported Speech Mixed Exercise 1 (difficult) (in PDF here)
  • Reported Speech Mixed Exercise 2 (difficult) (in PDF here)

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reported speech test b2

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Listening Practice Through Dictation with Transcripts

  • English Grammar Exercises for B2 – Reported speech

English Grammar Exercises for B2

1. Change the direct speech to reported speech. The people are/were talking to you.

1   ‘You should read my news blog.’

      Emma says …………………………………………… .

2   ‘I’ll be working at home tomorrow.’

      My mum said …………………………………………… .

3   ‘I hate watching the news on TV.’

       Anna says …………………………………………… .

4   ‘You haven’t been working hard enough.’

       Ben complained …………………………………………… .

5   ‘I hadn’t expected the broadcast to be live.’

      Ian explained …………………………………………… .

6   ‘I’d like to borrow your newspaper.’

      Fred said …………………………………………… .

7   ‘I don’t want to go to the theatre.’

      Amy has said …………………………………………… .

1   (that) I / we should read her newsblog

2   (that) she would be working at home the next / following day

3   (that) she hates watching the news on TV

4   (that) I / we hadn’t been working hard enough

5   that he hadn’t expected the broadcast to be live

6   (that) he would like to borrow my newspaper

7   (that) she doesn’t want to go to the theatre

2. Choose the correct answers.

1   Sam said / told her to leave.

2   ‘This article is really interesting,’ said / told Harry.

3   ‘I’m hungry,’ she said / told to her dad.

4   They said / told me he was a reporter.

5   Jake says / tells that he wants to study journalism.

1 told   2 said   3 said    4 told   5 says

3. Read the dialogue and complete Imogen’s report of the conversation.

Imogen     What are you doing?

Ed             I’m writing a letter to the newspaper.

Imogen     What’s the letter about?

Ed             It’s about crime rates in our town. There should be more police!

Imogen     You should mention that recent bank robbery.

Ed             I will, if I can find the name of the bank.

Imogen     Have you looked online?

Ed             I can’t. Somebody has stolen my laptop!

I asked Ed what 1 …………………………… . He explained that 2 …………………………… . I asked 3 …………………………… , and Ed replied 4 …………………………… . He said that 5 …………………………… . I said 6 …………………………… and Ed said 7 …………………………… if 8 …………………………… . I asked 9 …………………………… . He said 10 …………………………… because 11 …………………………… !

1   he was doing

2   he was writing a letter to the newspaper

3   (him) what the letter was about

4   (that) it was about crime rates in our town

5   there should be more police

6   he should mention the recent bank robbery

7   he would

8   he could find the name of the bank

9   (him) if he had looked online

10   he couldn’t

11   someone had stolen his laptop

4. Listen to a woman carrying out a survey about newspapers. Report the questions.

1    She asked him if he read ……………………………………………… .

2    She asked him ……………………………………………… .

3    She asked him ……………………………………………… .

4    She asked him ……………………………………………… .

5    She asked him ……………………………………………… .

6    She asked him ……………………………………………… .

1   newspapers

2   how many papers he had bought in the previous week.

3   which his favourite newspaper was.

4   why he liked it.

5   how it could be made even better.

6   if he trusted newspaper journalists to tell the truth.

Woman     I’m carrying out a survey about newspapers. Do you have a spare minute to answer some questions?

Man          Sure. Fire away.

Woman    Do you read newspapers?

Man          Yes, I read the newspaper every day.

Woman    How many papers have you bought in the last week?

Man          I’ve bought a paper every day.

Woman    Which is your favourite newspaper?

Man          I like The Times.

Woman    Why do you like it?

Man          There’s a good mix of serious news and human-interest stories.

Woman    How could it be made even better?

Man          There should be more sport.

Woman    Finally, do you trust newspaper journalists to tell the truth?

Man          Yes, I do. Most of the time.

5. Match the answers (a-f) with the questions in exercise 4.

a   There should be more sport.

b   I’ve bought a paper every day.

c   Yes, I do. Most of the time.

d   Yes, I read the newspaper every day.

e   I like The Times.

f   There’s a good mix of serious news and human-interest stories.

a 5   b 2   c 6   d 1   e 3   f 4

6. Now complete the woman’s report.

The man told her he read ………………………………… and that ………………………………… every day that week. He said ………………………………… The Times and that he liked it ………………………………… .

However, he told her ………………………………… . In answer to the final question, he said that ………………………………… .

(The man told her he read) the newspaper every day (and that) he had bought a paper (every day that week. He said) (that) he liked ( The Times and that he liked it) because there was a good mix of serious news and human-interest stories. (However, he told her) (that) there should be more sport. (In answer to the final question, he said that) he trusted journalists to tell the truth most of the time.

Report a conversation that you had recently with a friend or a member of your family.

……………………………………………………………

Related Posts

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  • English Grammar Exercises for B2 – Emphasis
  • English Grammar Exercises for B2 – Mixed conditionals
  • English Grammar Exercises for B2 – Criticising past actions
  • English Grammar Exercises for B2 – Relative clauses

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Reported Speech B2

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Reported speech

Worksheets - pdf exercises.

  • Reported statements - worksheet
  • Worksheet - reported questions
  • Reported yes/no questions
  • Worksheet - reported speech
  • Reported speech - exercises pdf
  • Indirect speech - exercises
  • Reported speech - exercises
  • Mixed reported speech 1
  • Mixed reported speech 2
  • Reported speech 1 
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  • Reported wh- questions
  • Reported speech - worksheet 
  • Reported commands
  • Reported questions
  • Reported speech 1
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Reported speech

Level: intermediate

Reporting and summarising

When we want to report what people say, we don't usually try to report their exact words. We usually give a  summary , for example:

Direct speech (exact words) :

Mary :  Oh dear. We've been walking for hours! I'm exhausted. I don't think I can go any further. I really need to stop for a rest. Peter :  Don't worry. I'm not surprised you're tired. I'm tired too. I'll tell you what, let's see if we can find a place to sit down, and then we can stop and have our picnic.

Reported speech (summary) :

When Mary complained that she was tired out after walking so far, Peter said they could stop for a picnic.

Reporting verbs

When we want to report what people say, we use reporting verbs . Different reporting verbs have different patterns, for example:

Mary complained (that) she was tired . (verb + that clause) She asked if they could stop for a rest . (verb + if clause) Peter told her not to worry . (verb + to -infinitive) He suggested stopping and having a picnic . (verb + - ing form) 

See reporting verbs with that , wh-  and if clauses , verbs followed by the infinitive , verbs followed by the -ing form .

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Tenses in reported speech

When reporting what people say or think in English, we need to remember that the rules for tense forms in reported speech are exactly the same as in the rest of the language.

This is a letter that Andrew wrote ten years ago:

If we wanted to report what Andrew said in his letter, we might say something like this: 

Andrew said that when he  was  22, he was an engineering student in his last month at university. He wanted  to travel abroad after he  had finished  his course at the university, but he would need to earn some money while he was abroad so he wanted  to learn to teach English as a foreign language. A friend  had recommended  a course but Andrew needed more information, so he wrote to the school and asked them when their courses started  and how much they were . He also wanted to know if there was  an examination at the end of the course.

We would naturally use past tense forms to talk about things which happened ten years ago. So, tenses in reports and summaries in English are the same as in the rest of the language.

Sometimes we can choose between a past tense form and a  present tense  form. If we're talking about the past but we mention something that's still true , we can use the present tense:

John said he'd stayed at the Shangri-la because it' s the best hotel in town. Mary said she enjoyed the film because Robert de Niro is her favourite actor. Helen said she  loves visiting New York.

or the past tense:

John said he'd stayed at the Shangri-la because it was the best hotel in town. Mary said she enjoyed the film because Robert de Niro was her favourite actor. Helen said she  loved visiting New York.

If we're talking about something that  everybody knows is true , we normally use the present tense :

Michael said he'd always wanted to climb Everest because it' s the highest mountain in the world. Mary said she loved visiting New York because it' s such an exciting city.

Hi! I found the following paragraph from a grammar site while I was studying the reported speech. Can you help me? It says; --> We can use a perfect form with have + -ed form after modal verbs, especially where the report looks back to a hypothetical event in the past: He said the noise might have been the postman delivering letters. (original statement: ‘The noise might be the postman delivering letters.’)

And my question is: How do we understand if it is a hypothetical event in the past or not? We normally don't change 'might' in reported speech. (e.g. ‘It might snow tonight,’ he warned. --> He warned that it might snow that night.) But why do we say 'He said the noise might have been the postman delivering letters.' instead of 'He said that the noise might be the postman delivering letters.’ What's the difference between these two indirect reported speeches? Could you please explain the difference? And I also found this example which is about the same rule above: --> He said he would have helped us if we’d needed a volunteer. (original statement: a) ‘I’ll help you if you need a volunteer’ or b) ‘I’d help you if you needed a volunteer.’) Can you also explain why we report this sentence like that. How can we both change a) and b) into the same indirect reported speech? Thank you very much!

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Hello Melis_06,

1. He said the noise might have been the postman delivering letters. 2. He said that the noise might be the postman delivering letters.

In sentence 1 it is clear that the noise has ended; it is a noise that 'he' could hear but it is not a noise that you can hear now. In sentence 2 the noise could have ended or it could be a noise that you can still hear now. For example, if the noise is one which is constant, such as a noise that comes from your car engine that you are still trying to identify, then you would use sentence 2. In other words, sentence 2 allows for a wider range of time possibilities - both past (ended) and present (still current).

Your second question is similar:

He said he would have helped us if we needed a volunteer - you no longer need a volunteer

He said he would help us if we needed a volunteer - this could still be relevant; you may still need a volunteer.

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello my friend : what are you doing now? me : I'm eating an apple now and My friend repeated his question now

my question

Can I repeat the sentence in the past ( I was eating an apple) and mean( I'm eating an apple now) ?

You can but it is unusual. If you say  I was eating an apple  (past continuous), it means that it was in the past. You already finished eating the apple and you are not eating it now. But if your friend asked you just a moment ago, I guess you are still eating the apple when she/he asks the second question, so I would say  I'm eating an apple  (because you are still doing it).

Alternatively, you can use a past tense reporting verb e.g. I said I was eating an apple  (referring to the time of the first question), or  I said I 'm eating an apple  (to show that you are still eating it now, at the moment of speaking).

LearnEnglish team

Am I correct then? When someone wants us to repeat the sentence we have just said a moment ago we say 'I said I am doing...' if we are still doing that action. But if we are done with that action, then we say 'I said I was doing...' Did I get it right? Thanks!

Hello Meldo,

Yes, that's correct. Well done!

Hi. I wish to enquire if the verb tense used after a conjunction also changes in complex sentences as per tense transition rules, especially if it is already in simple past tense. In order to explain, could you please solve the following for me: 1. It has been quite a while since I last saw you. 2. Nevertheless, she has been quite desensitized to such perverse actions to the extent that it seldom ever seems obnoxious to her. 3. Let me keep this in my cupboard lest I misplace this. 4. I had arrived at the station before you even left your house. 5. I met my grandfather before he died.

Hi Aamna bluemoon,

The verb may or may not be backshifted, depending on whether the original speaker's point of view and the reporter's point of view are the same or not. For example:

  • She said it had been quite a while since she last saw me . (it seems relatively recent, for both the original speaker and the reporter)
  • She said it had been quite a while since she had last seen us . (a lot of time has passed between speaking and reporting this, or the situation has changed a lot since then e.g. they have met frequently since then)
  • She said she had met her grandfather before he died . (seems quite recent)
  • She said she had met her grandfather before he'd died . (a lot of time has passed between speaking and reporting this)

I hope that helps.

Hi, can you help me, please? How could I report this famous quotation: 'There's no such things as good news in America'.

Hi bri.q630,

First of all, the sentence is not grammatically correct. The phrase is 'no such thing' (singular), not 'things'.

How you report it depends. Using 'said' as the reporting verb we have two possibilities:

1. They said (that) there's no such thing as good news in America. 2. They said (that) there was no such thing as good news in America.

Sentence 2 tells that only about the time when 'they' said it. It does not tell us if it is still true or not.

Sentence 1 tells us that what 'they' said is still relevant today. In other words there was no good news (in their opinion) when they spoke, and there is still no good news now.

Thank you Peter,

All things are getting clear to me.

So, you mean, I can use both sentences depending on what I want to indicate, can't I?

then the possible indications are bellow, are those correct?

1-a I remembered the World War 2 ended in 1945. (This would be indicated the statement is still ture.)

1-b I remembered the World War 2 had ended in 1945. (This would be indicated I might missunderstand.)

2-a I felt time is money. (This would be indicated the statement is still ture.)

2-b I felf time was money. (This would be indicated I might not feel any more.)

3-a I knew the sun rises in the east. (This would be indicated the statement is still true.)

3-b I knew the sun rase in the east. (This would be indicated I might misunderstand or forget.)

4-a I guessed* that Darth Vader is Luke's father. (This would be indicated I still believe he is.*sorry for the typo)

4-2 I guessed that Darth Vader was Luke's father. (This would be indicated I might know he is not.)

Thank you in advance.

Hello again Nobori,

1-a I remembered the World War 2 ended in 1945. (This would be indicated the statement is still ture.) 1-b I remembered the World War 2 had ended in 1945. (This would be indicated I might missunderstand.)

Both forms are possible here. The 'ending' is a moment in the past; after this there is no war. By the way, we treat 'World War 2' as a name so there is no article before it.

2-a I felt time is money. (This would be indicated the statement is still ture.) 2-b I felf time was money. (This would be indicated I might not feel any more.)

That's correct. Remember that backshifting the verb does not mean something is no longer true; it simply does not tell us anything about the present. Here, it tells the reader how you felt at a given moment in time; you may 

3-a I knew the sun rises in the east. (This would be indicated the statement is still true.) 3-b I knew the sun rase in the east. (This would be indicated I might misunderstand or forget.)

That's also correct. Again, remember that backshifting the verb does not mean something is no longer true; it simply does not tell us anything about the present.

4-a I guessed* that Darth Vader is Luke's father. (This would be indicated I still believe he is.*sorry for the typo) 4-2 I guessed that Darth Vader was Luke's father. (This would be indicated I might know he is not.)

Again, correct. In the second example it might still be true that he is Luke's father, or it might have turned out to be not true. The sentence does not tell us.

Hi Peter, Thank you for your thoughtful answer. Allthing is now very clear to me. Best

Hi, I am translating a fiction novel into English and need your help regarding the reporting speech as for few things I am not getting any clear understanding over the internet. As you know in fiction, we need to write in non-ordinary way to create unique impressions of the word and academic writing is different than speaking. Will be grateful if you could give your insight below, especially considering in the context of fiction/academic writing.

1) Let’s say If someone is giving a speech or presentation, I want to mix their speech, indirect-direct and past tense- present tense. Below are three examples:

-He said, their company makes excellent profit every year OR their company made excellent profit every year ( can both be correct? As the sentence)

- Roger had given his speech yesterday. He said, their company makes excellent profit every year and your company will sustain for next hundred years.(Can YOUR be used in the sentence)

- Roger said people wants to feel important OR Roger said people wanted to feel important (which will be correct as this is a trait which is true in past and present)

2) He thought why he is talking to her OR He thought why he was talking to her (are both write? As usually I see in novels the second example with WAS)

3) Gia was sitting with Jake and she told him she had met with her last year. Her mother had taken her to the dinner. Her mother had told her about her future plans. Her mother also had paid the bill for the dinner. (Do I need to use every time past perfect in this example though it doesn’t feel natural? As a rule of thumb I think past perfect needs to be used when we talk about another past event in the past )

Hello Alamgir3,

We're happy to help with a few specific grammar questions, but I'm afraid we can't help you with your translation -- I'd suggest you find an editor for that.

1) In the second clause, you can use present or past. We often use the present when it's still true now, but the past is not wrong. FYI we don't normally use a comma after 'said' in reported speech.

2) 'Why was he talking to her?' he thought.

3) This is really more of a question of style than grammar. Here I would suggest doing something like combining the four sentences into two and then leaving out 'had' in the second verb in each sentence. Even if it isn't written, it's understood to be past perfect.

All the best, Kirk LearnEnglish team

Hello teachers, I'm sorry, I could not find where to new post. Could you tell me about the back-sifting of thoughts bellow? Which forms are correct?

1-a I remembered the World War 2 ended in 1945. 1-b I remembered the World War 2 had ended in 1945.

2-a I felt time is money. 2-b I felf time was money.

3-a I knew the sun rises in the east. 3-b I knew the sun rase in the east.

4-a I guess that Darth Vader is Luke's father. 4-2 I guessed that Darth Vader was Luke's father.

Do those questions have the same conclusion as indirect speech, such as say and tell?

Hello Nobori,

The verb form remains the same when we want to make it clear that the situation described by the verb is still true, and this works in the same way as indirect speech. For example:

She said she loves me. [she loved me then and she loves me still] She said she loved me. [she loved me then; no information on how she feels now]

Other than this rule, the choice is really contextual and stylistic (up to the speaker). Sometimes a choice implies something. For example, the saying 'time is money' is a general statement, so if you choose to backshift here the listener will know it is an intentional choice and suspect that something has changed (you no longer believe it).

Hi teachers, I've read almost the section of comments below and my summarize is the present tense only can be used if the statement is still true now and past simple only tells the statement was true in the past and doesn't tell the statement is true or not now. Just to make sure, I wanna ask, If I'm not sure whether the statement is still true or not now, can I choose backshift instead (this is still apply to past tense become past perfect)? Thank you

Hello rahmanagustiansyah,

It sounds to me as if you've got the right general idea. Could you please give a couple of example sentences that illustrate your question?

Thanks in advance, Kirk The LearnEnglish Team

For example, Steve said "Anna hates you." Then I wanna tell about that to my friend, but I'm not sure whether Anna still hates me or not now. What should I choose between these two options. Answer 1:Steve said Anna hates me or Answer 2 : Steve said Anna hated me. Thank you

Hi rahmanagustiansyah,

In that case, I would choose answer 2. I might even add "... but I don't know if she still does" to the sentence to clarify, if that is the key point you want to communicate.

Jonathan The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Natasa Tanasa,

Both sentences are grammatically possible.

The first sentence is only possible if when the person asks the original question the woman is no longer there (she has already gone). The second sentence can be used in this situation too, or in a situation in which the woman was still there when the original question was asked. As the past tense is used in the original question ( Who was... ), both sentences are possible.

Hello Ahmed Imam,

When the situation is still true at the time of reporting, we can leave the verb form unchanged. For example:

1. She told me she loved me.
2. She told me she loves me.

In sentence 1 we know she loved me when she told me but we don't know whether or not she loves me now. In sentence 2, we know she loved me when she told me and we know that she loves me now.

In your example, if the supermarket is still in the same place then we can use either form. If the supermarket has been closed down or moved to another location then we need to use was .

As for which is 'safer', you'll need to make your own mind up! Keeping the verb in the same form carries more specific information and that may be appropriate or even important.

Hello eugelatina87,

I'll give you a hint: a verb is missing from the question.

Does that help you complete it?

All the best,

The first two sentences are possible and they can both mean that he is still Mary's boyfriend now. The first one makes this more clear, but the second one doesn't only refer to the past.

Hello magnuslin

Regarding your first question, the most common way of saying it is the second one. In some very specific situation, perhaps the first option would be possible.

This also answers your second question. It is not necessary to always backshift using the tenses you mention.

As for your third question, no, it is not necessary. In fact, it is probably more common to use the past simple in the reported speech as well. 

All the best

Hello manu,

Both forms are possible. If you use  had been  then we understand that he was there earlier but not when he said it - in other words, when he said it he had already left. If you use was then he may have left at the time of speaking, or he may have still been there.

Hello _princess_

I would recommend using answer a) because this is the general pattern used in reported speech. Sometimes the verb in the reported clause can be in the present tense when we are speaking about a situation that is still true, but the reported verb in the past tense can also have the same meaning. Since here the time referred to could be either past or present, I'd recommend using the past form.

Hello mwright,

This is an example of an indirect question. An indirect question reports a question, but is not a question itself, which is why we do not use a question mark at the end. Since it is not a question, we use the normal word order without inversion or auxiliary verbs. For example:

Indicative: He lives in Rome. Interrogative: Does he live in Rome? (Where does he live?) Reported: She asked if he lives in Rome. (She asked where he lives.)  

Hello ahlinthit

There are different styles of punctuating direct speech -- in other words, you might find other sources that will disagree with me -- but what I would use here is something different: "The boss is dead!" said the doctor.

Hope this helps.

Best wishes

Hello Timmosky,

The form that comes after the auxiliary verb 'do' (or 'does' or 'did') is not the plural present simple verb, but rather the bare infinitive (also known as 'base form' or 'first form') of the verb. Does that make sense?

All the best, Kirk The LearnEnglish Team

Hello sky-high,

This is very formal language. The phrase 'to the effect that' means 'with the meaning that'. In this context it can be understood to mean 'with the result that'.

Best wishes,

The difference is quite logical. If we use 'said' then we are talking about a claim by Peter in the past which he may or may not still maintain. If we use 'says' then we are talking about an opinion expressed by Peter which he still holds.

The reported information (whether or not Rooney is in good shape) can refer to only the past or to the present as well and the statement (what Peter thinks) can separately refer to only the past or the present as well. Of course, all of this is from the point of view of the person reporting Peter's opinion, and whether or not they think that Peter still thinks now what he thought then.

Both are possible. If you use the present tense then it is clear that the statement is still true (i.e. the business was not growing when Mary spoke and is still not growing now). If you use the past tense then no information is given regarding the present (i.e. the business was growing when Mary spoke and may or may not be growing now).

Hello aseel aftab,

It should be 'if they had'. This is not from this page, is it? I don't see it anywhere here, but if I've missed it please let me know.

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Reported Speech B2

7th - university.

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She ..... that she was feeling sick.

The boy said to me, "What is your name?"

The boy asked what your name is.

The boy asked what my name was.

The boy asked what my name were.

The boy asked me what was my name.

The teacher told me, "You must pay attention."

The teacher told me that you had to pay attention.

The teacher told me that I had to pay attention.

The teacher said me that I have to pay attention.

My best friend asked, “What time does the train leave?"

My best friend asked what time the train would left.

My best friend asked what time the train left.

My best friend asked what time did the train leave.

  • 5. Multiple Choice Edit 20 seconds 1 pt Tania told me she .....a film that evening. was watching watched is watching are watching

Tania said, "Could you change my domain name?"

Tania asked if she could change the domain name.

Tania asked if we could change her domain name.

Tania said if I can change my domain name?

Tania wanted to know if she can change her domain name.

"Be careful with your feet"

I told her be careful with your feet

I told her to be careful with her feet

I told for her to be careful with my feet

I told be careful with her feet

"Do you play chess?"

He asked me do I play chess.

He asked me if I did play chess.

He asked me did I play chess.

He asked me if I played chess.

They said, "We have just arrived at our house."

They said that they have just arrived at their house.

They said that they had just arrived at their house.

They said that they had just arrived at our house.

  • 12. Multiple Choice Edit 30 seconds 1 pt "Mike will help to cook dinner tomorrow." She said that Mike helped to  cook dinner tomorrow. She said that Mike would help to  cook dinner tomorrow. no correct answer

He says, "They will hurt you".

He said to me that they will hurt me.

He said to me that he would be hurt me.

He said to me that they would hurt me.

He said to me that they would hurt you.

My father said to me, "You must work harder".

My father said to me that I must work harder.

My father said to me that you must work harder.

My father said to me that you have to work harder.

My father told me that I had to work harder.

Maria: "I think I will go out to dinner tonight."

Haru: Maria said (that) she thought she would go out to dinner tonight.

Haru: Maria said (that) she thought she willing go out to dinner tonight.

Haru: Maria said (that) she thought she will go out to dinner tonight.

Haru: Maria said (that) she thought she will be going out to dinner tonight.

'Where is the post office?' ⇒ He asked me ...

'Are you going to the beach today?' ⇒ She asked me ...

'Let me go! ⇒ He told them ...

'Where were you last night?' ⇒ He asked me ...

'I may not be ready next week.' ⇒ Tomas said that he ...

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B2. Reported speech

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COMMENTS

  1. Reported speech

    A The events are true at any time. B The events reported are not in the past. C The reporting verb is in the present tense. Answer. 2 Complete the reported sentences. Change the verb tense only where necessary. When the reported verb stays the same, give the reason (A, B or C) from Exercise 1.

  2. Indirect speech

    What is indirect speech or reported speech? When we tell people what another person said or thought, we often use reported speech or indirect speech. To do that, we need to change verb tenses (present, past, etc.) and pronouns (I, you, my, your, etc.) if the time and speaker are different.For example, present tenses become past, I becomes he or she, and my becomes his or her, etc.

  3. Reported speech: questions

    Grammar test 1. Grammar B1-B2: Reported speech 2: 1. Read the explanation to learn more. Grammar explanation. A reported question is when we tell someone what another person asked. To do this, we can use direct speech or indirect speech. direct speech: 'Do you like working in sales?' he asked. indirect speech: He asked me if I liked working in ...

  4. English Grammar Exercises for B2

    1 must take these tablets twice a day. 2 (that) he was going to the gym the next day. 3 didn't have to wait for her. 4 (that) he had taken his final exam the day before. 5 (that) he hadn't told me the complete truth. 6 (that) he'll meet me later today. 7 (that) she prefers this café to the one opposite. 8 (that) she would always remember meeting me.

  5. Reported speech: statements

    Grammar test 1. Grammar B1-B2: Reported speech 1: 1. Read the explanation to learn more. Grammar explanation. Reported speech is when we tell someone what another person said. To do this, we can use direct speech or indirect speech. direct speech: 'I work in a bank,' said Daniel. indirect speech: Daniel said that he worked in a bank.

  6. Reported Speech

    Rewrite the demands/requests in indirect speech. The passenger requested the taxi driver, "Stop the car.". → The passenger requested the taxi driver . to + same wording as in direct speech. The mother told her son, "Don't be so loud.". → The mother told her son . not to + same wording as in direct speech, but remove don't.

  7. Reported speech: reporting verbs

    direct speech: 'You should come, it's going to be a lot of fun,' she said. indirect speech: She persuaded me to come. direct speech: 'Wait here,' he said. indirect speech: He told us to wait there. direct speech: 'It wasn't me who finished the coffee,' he said. indirect speech: He denied finishing the coffee. Try this exercise to test your grammar.

  8. Upper-intermediate grammar exercise (B2 level): reported speech

    Exercise instructions. Rewrite the following using reported speech: check | reset | answers. 1 Martin said, "I am ill." Martin said that ill. 2 Martin said, "I've just bought a house." Martin said that a house. 3 Martin said, "I'm going on holiday tomorrow." Martin said that he on holiday the next day.

  9. Reported speech

    Yes, and you report it with a reporting verb. He said he wanted to know about reported speech. I said, I want and you changed it to he wanted. Exactly. Verbs in the present simple change to the past simple; the present continuous changes to the past continuous; the present perfect changes to the past perfect; can changes to could; will changes ...

  10. Reported Speech Exercises

    Here's a list of all the reported speech exercises on this site: (Click here to read the explanations about reported speech) Reported Statements: Present Simple Reported Statement Exercise (quite easy) (in PDF here) Present Continuous Reported Statement Exercise (quite easy) (in PDF here) Past Simple Reported Statement Exercise (quite easy) (in ...

  11. English Grammar Exercises for B2

    1 (that) I / we should read her newsblog 2 (that) she would be working at home the next / following day 3 (that) she hates watching the news on TV 4 (that) I / we hadn't been working hard enough 5 that he hadn't expected the broadcast to be live 6 (that) he would like to borrow my newspaper 7 (that) she doesn't want to go to the theatre

  12. PDF Unit 12A Grammar: Reported Speech(1

    Reported Speech. Greg: "I am cooking dinner Maya.". Maya: "Greg said he was cooking dinner.". So most often, the reported speech is going to be in the past tense, because the original statement, will now be in the past! *We will learn about reporting verbs in part 2 of this lesson, but for now we will just use said/told.

  13. Reported speech

    Exercise 1. Choose say/said or tell/told to complete the following sentences in reported speech. 1 He me that he didn't have enough money. 2 I the waiter the soup was cold. 3 Everybody that I had been great. 4 She I was her favourite student. 5 Victor he would change the windows. 6 I the doctor I didn't want to take any medicine.

  14. Reported Speech B2 worksheet

    A grammar test. Liveworksheets transforms your traditional printable worksheets into self-correcting interactive exercises that the students can do online and send to the teacher. ... Reported Speech B2. Loading ad... ID_Dafni Member for 4 years Age: 13+ Level: b2. Language: English (en) ID: 1038908. 27/05/2021. Country code: GR. Country ...

  15. Reported speech

    Reported speech 2. Reported requests and orders. Reported speech exercise. Reported questions - worksheet. Indirect speech - worksheet. Worksheets pdf - print. Grammar worksheets - handouts. Grammar - lessons. Reported speech - grammar notes.

  16. Reported speech

    I'm exhausted. I don't think I can go any further. I really need to stop for a rest. Peter: Don't worry. I'm not surprised you're tired. I'm tired too. I'll tell you what, let's see if we can find a place to sit down, and then we can stop and have our picnic. Reported speech (summary):

  17. Indirect Speech / Reported Speech Test B2

    Indirect Speech / Reported Speech Test B2 quiz for 10th grade students. Find other quizzes for English and more on Quizizz for free! ... Indirect Speech / Reported Speech Test B... 10th. grade. English. 62% . accuracy. 42 . plays. Eleni Manou. 4 years. Worksheet Save Share. Copy and Edit. English. 10th.

  18. Reporting verbs

    Reporting verbs. Reporting verbs are used to report what somebody said, like promise, say, ask, admit, etc. And we normally classify these verbs into different groups depending on the structure they can be found in.In the grammar chart below you can see the most common reporting verbs and how they are used.

  19. Reported Speech

    Tense changes in reported speech; reporting in the same tense; verbs for reporting; verbs for reporting with to infinitive; reporting questions; reference to...

  20. 142 Reported speech b2 English ESL worksheets pdf & doc

    142 Reported speech b2 English ESL worksheets pdf & doc. SORT BY. Most popular. TIME PERIOD. All-time. Arianey. Reporting Stupid Quo. ... Chadelel. Reported Speech TYPE. Reported Speech TYPE. 1136 uses. jwright. Reported Speech 'bac. A short text: The Ca. 435 uses. Caroline_97. Reported speech - re. A two-page worksheet. 100 uses. 77thanku ...

  21. Indirect speech

    What is indirect speech or reported speech? When we tell people what another person said or thought, we often use reported speech or indirect speech. To do that, we need to change verb tenses (present, past, etc.) and pronouns (I, you, my, your, etc.) if the time and speaker are different.For example, present tenses become past, I becomes he or she, and my becomes his or her, etc.

  22. Reported Speech B2

    Reported Speech B2 quiz for 7th grade students. Find other quizzes for English and more on Quizizz for free!

  23. Quiz: B2. Reported speech (reported speech)

    Create your own free activity from our activity creator. Create quiz. Compete against your friends to see who gets the best score in this activity. Create challenge. Quizzes for kids. Create Quizzes. Learning Resources (Quiz): B2. Reported speech (reported speech) - Test your knowledge on the reported speech.