What are the Rules of Reported Speech

When we say one speaker’s statement to another person, we use reported speech. Reported speech is also known as indirect speech. An example can make it clear.

Direct Speech: I like fish and rice.
Reported Speech: She says that she likes fish and rice.
However, some rules are there when we change a direct speech into an indirect speech. While transforming the direct speech into a reported speech some aspects need to be checked.

• Pronoun
• Present tense verb as per the pronoun
• Place as well as time expressions

Usually, in the reported speech, one tense back in time from the direct speech is used.

Some examples with rules:

  • Simple present to Simple past
Example: She said, “I always drink tea.”
She said that she always drank tea.
  • Present continuous to Past continuous
Example: He said, “I am reading an interesting novel.”
He said that he was reading an interesting novel.
  • Simple past to Past perfect
Example: John Said, “Her mother came on last Saturday.”
John said that her mother had come on last Saturday.
  • Present prefect to Past perfect
Example: He told me, “I have been to Europe.”
He told me that he had been to Europe.
  • Past Perfect to Past perfect
Example: He replied, “I had just finished the novel.”
He replied that he had just finished the novel.
  • Past continuous to Past perfect continuous
Example: Riya told me, “I was staying in Nepal.”
Riya told me that she had been staying in Nepal.
  • Present perfect continuous to Past perfect continuous
Example: Radha complained, “I have been waiting for a long time.”
Radha complained that she had been waiting for a long time.
  • Future to Present conditional
Example: He informed, “I will be in my hometown on Monday”
He informed that he would be in his hometown on Monday.
  • Future continuous to Conditional continuous
Example: She said, “I will be using your room next Sunday.”
She said that she would be using my room next Sunday.