Reported statements are one form of reported speech.
|direct statement||reported statement|
|He said, "I am sick."||He said that he was sick.|
We usually introduce reported statements with "reporting verbs" such as "say" or "tell":
- He said (that)...
- He told me (that)...
When we use our own words to report speech, there are one or two things that we sometimes change:
- pronouns may need to change to reflect a different perspective
- tense sometimes has to go back one tense (eg, present becomes past) - this is called backshift
|pronoun change||tense change|
|direct statement||He said,||"I||am||sick."|
|reported statement||He said (that)||he||was||sick.|
There are sometimes other things too that we may need to change, such as time or place. Look at these examples:
|pronoun change||tense change||time change|
|direct statement||Jane said,||"I||was||sick||yesterday."|
|reported statement||Jane said (that)||she||had been||sick||the day before.|
|tense change||place change|
|direct statement||She said,||"It||is||hot in||here."|
|reported statement||She said (that)||it||was||hot in||there.|
We also sometimes need to think about the third person singular "s":
|direct statement||Mary said,||"I||work||in London."|
|reported statement||Mary said (that)||she||works||in London.|
Notice that in the above example, we do not change the tense. Usually, with the present simple, if something is still true now - she still works in London - we don't need to change it.
He said that...
He told me that...
He told me...
He mentioned that...
He informed me that...