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Grammar: Reported Speech

Updated: Sep 11, 2023

Objective:


By the end of this lesson, you will be able to use reported speech accurately in various contexts.



Explanation:


Reported speech is a way to convey what someone else has said. It's often used in conversations, interviews, storytelling, and news reporting. The key elements in reported speech are the subject, the reporting verb, and the reported speech itself. When changing from direct speech to reported speech, there are several transformations to consider:

  1. Verb Tense: In reported speech, the tense of the reporting verb often changes. For example, "said" becomes "said that," and present tense verbs may change to past tense.

  2. Pronouns: Pronouns may change to reflect the perspective of the person speaking in reported speech. For example, "I" might change to "he" or "she."

  3. Time Expressions: Time expressions such as "now" may change to reflect the past context in reported speech. For example, "today" might become "that day."

  4. Modal Verbs: Modal verbs like "can," "will," and "must" may change to their respective past forms in reported speech.

This lesson plan introduces students to the concept of reported speech, provides opportunities for guided and independent practice, and encourages them to apply the skill in real-life scenarios.


A Short Story: A Day in the Hospital


Once upon a time, in a bustling hospital, there was a diligent nurse named Emily. She had been working at the hospital for several years and was known for her compassionate care. Every day brought new challenges, and she never knew what to expect.


One sunny morning, as Emily was checking the vitals of her patients, she overheard a conversation between two doctors in the hallway. Dr. Harris approached Dr. Smith with an urgent matter.


Dr. Harris: "I need your assistance in the operating room. We have a critical case."


Dr. Smith: "Of course, I'll be right there."


Emily quickly reported the conversation to her head nurse, Sarah, as part of her routine.


Emily: "Dr. Harris said he needed Dr. Smith's help in the operating room."


Sarah nodded in acknowledgment. "Thank you, Emily. Please keep me updated on any developments."


Later that day, while Emily was attending to a young patient named Timmy, his worried parents approached her.


Timmy's Father: "Is our son going to be okay, Nurse Emily?"


Emily: "Don't worry. Dr. Smith is an excellent surgeon, and he's in the operating room right now. Your son is in good hands."


Timmy's Mother: "Thank you for reassuring us, Emily."


A few hours passed, and Dr. Smith emerged from the operating room, visibly exhausted but relieved. He approached Emily to discuss the surgery's outcome.


Dr. Smith: "The surgery went well, Emily. The patient is stable now."

Emily: "That's great news, Dr. Smith. Timmy's parents were really concerned."


Dr. Smith: "I'll go talk to them and provide an update."


Later, as Emily was preparing the evening medications, she heard a conversation between two nurses at the station.


Nurse Lisa: "Have you seen Dr. Harris today? He's been quite busy."


Nurse Mark: "Yes, he's been running between surgeries and consultations."


Emily reported the conversation to Sarah once again.


Emily: "Nurse Lisa mentioned that Dr. Harris has been busy today."


Sarah: "Thank you, Emily. It's good to keep track of the doctors' schedules."


As the day turned into evening, Emily continued her rounds, providing care and comfort to her patients. Conversations and reported speech were just a part of her daily routine in the hospital, but what mattered most was the well-being of the patients she cared for. In the midst of the hospital's hustle and bustle, Emily remained a beacon of compassion and reassurance for all those in her care.



Practice Exercises:


Exercise 1: Change from Direct to Reported Speech


Rewrite the following sentences in reported speech:

  1. Direct: "I love chocolate," she said.

  2. Direct: "They are going to the beach tomorrow," he told me.

  3. Direct: "I will call you later," he promised.

  4. Direct: "She has already finished her homework," the teacher announced.

  5. Direct: "Remember to water the plants," Mom said to Tom.

  6. Direct: "We can't make it to the party," they admitted.

  7. Direct: "I'm meeting John at the park," she mentioned.

  8. Direct: "The concert starts at 8 PM," the flyer says.

  9. Direct: "I passed the exam!" he exclaimed.

  10. Direct: "Let's go for a walk," she suggested.

Answers:

  1. She said that she loved chocolate.

  2. He told me that they were going to the beach tomorrow.

  3. He promised that he would call me later.

  4. The teacher announced that she had already finished her homework.

  5. Mom told Tom to remember to water the plants.

  6. They admitted that they couldn't make it to the party.

  7. She mentioned that she was meeting John at the park.

  8. The flyer says that the concert starts at 8 PM.

  9. He exclaimed that he had passed the exam!

  10. She suggested we go for a walk.


Exercise 2: Identify the Reported Speech


Read the following sentences and identify the reported speech within them:

  1. Sarah said that she would come to the party.

  2. He told me that he had already finished the book.

  3. The teacher asked if we had done our homework.

  4. She wondered why he was late.

  5. They said they might go on a trip next weekend.

  6. He explained that the car had broken down.

  7. Jane asked where the nearest gas station was.

  8. Tom mentioned that he had visited Paris last summer.

  9. My mom said she had baked a cake for my birthday.

  10. The boss told us to finish the report by Friday.

Answers :

  1. Reported speech: "that she would come to the party."

  2. Reported speech: "that he had already finished the book."

  3. Reported speech: "if we had done our homework."

  4. Reported speech: "why he was late."

  5. Reported speech: "they might go on a trip next weekend."

  6. Reported speech: "that the car had broken down."

  7. Reported speech: "where the nearest gas station was."

  8. Reported speech: "that he had visited Paris last summer."

  9. Reported speech: "that she had baked a cake for my birthday."

  10. Reported speech: "to finish the report by Friday."


Exercise 3: Change from Reported to Direct Speech


Rewrite the following reported speech sentences into direct speech:

  1. Reported: She said that she was going to the store.

  2. Reported: He told me that he had lost his phone.

  3. Reported: They said they would arrive at 3 PM.

  4. Reported: The teacher asked if we had studied for the test.

  5. Reported: She explained that she couldn't attend the meeting.

  6. Reported: Tom mentioned that he had seen the movie.

  7. Reported: Jane asked where the nearest restroom was.

  8. Reported: My mom said she had prepared dinner.

  9. Reported: The manager told us to finish the project by Friday.

  10. Reported: He said he had already eaten lunch.


Answers:

  1. She said, "I am going to the store."

  2. He told me, "I have lost my phone."

  3. They said, "We will arrive at 3 PM."

  4. The teacher asked, "Have we studied for the test?"

  5. She explained, "I can't attend the meeting."

  6. Tom mentioned, "I have seen the movie."

  7. Jane asked, "Where is the nearest restroom?"

  8. My mom said, "I have prepared dinner."

  9. The manager told us, "Finish the project by Friday."

  10. He said, "I have already eaten lunch."


These exercises should help you practice converting between direct and reported speech, as well as identifying reported speech within sentences.




More Grammar Exercises:


Exercise 1: Subject-Verb Agreement

Choose the correct verb form to complete each sentence:

  1. The cat and the dog ___________ (is/are) playing in the garden.

  2. Neither of them ___________ (was/were) aware of the situation.

  3. The concert, along with the fireworks, ___________ (start/starts) at 8 PM.

  4. One of the students ___________ (have/has) a question.

  5. My family ___________ (enjoy/enjoys) going on vacation every summer.

Answer Key:

  1. are

  2. was

  3. starts

  4. has

  5. enjoys

Exercise 2: Prepositions

Choose the correct preposition to complete each sentence:

  1. She is allergic ___________ cats.

  2. We are going to the beach ___________ the weekend.

  3. The book is ___________ the table.

  4. He arrived ___________ the party late.

  5. The cat is hiding ___________ the bed.

Answer Key:

  1. to

  2. for

  3. on

  4. at

  5. under

Exercise 3: Past Simple vs. Past Continuous

Complete each sentence with the correct form of the verb in parentheses (either past simple or past continuous):

  1. While I ___________ (read), the phone ___________ (ring).

  2. They ___________ (watch) a movie when the power ___________ (go) out.

  3. She ___________ (cook) dinner when her friend ___________ (call) her.

  4. He ___________ (study) all night for the exam.

  5. We ___________ (play) soccer when it ___________ (start) raining.

Answer Key:

  1. was reading / rang

  2. were watching / went

  3. was cooking / called

  4. studied

  5. were playing / started

Exercise 4: Articles (a/an, the, or no article)

Choose the correct article (a/an, the, or no article) to complete each sentence:

  1. I saw ___________ beautiful sunrise this morning.

  2. Can you pass me ___________ salt, please?

  3. He is ___________ best friend I've ever had.

  4. I have ___________ appointment with ___________ doctor at 2 PM.

  5. ___________ honesty is important in any relationship.

Answer Key:

  1. a

  2. the

  3. my

  4. an / the

  5. Honesty

Exercise 5: Modal Verbs

Complete each sentence with the appropriate modal verb (can, could, may, might, must, shall, should, will, would):

  1. I ___________ swim when I was five years old.

  2. You ___________ bring an umbrella. It's raining outside.

  3. He said he ___________ come to the party, but he's not here.

  4. ___________ I borrow your pen for a moment?

  5. She ___________ be tired after running a marathon.

Answer Key:

  1. could

  2. should

  3. would

  4. May

  5. must


Discussion :


  1. Share a recent conversation you had with a friend or family member. What did they say, and how would you report their words in reported speech?

  2. Think about a memorable event or party you attended. Can you recall any interesting conversations from that event? Report one of those conversations in reported speech.

  3. Imagine you interviewed someone for a news article or research project. What would be a key quote from that interview, and how would you report it using reported speech?

  4. Discuss a hypothetical situation where you had to convey important information from one person to another using reported speech. How would you ensure accuracy in reporting the information?

  5. Share a story from a book you've read or a movie you've watched. Recreate a conversation from the story in reported speech.


Sample Answers:


1. Recent News Headline or Current Event:

Statement by a Public Figure: "We are committed to addressing climate change through bold policy initiatives and international collaboration," said the President in response to the climate summit.

Sample Answers:

a) Reported Speech: The President emphasized their commitment to addressing climate change through bold policy initiatives and international collaboration in response to the climate summit.

b) Reported Speech: The President stated that they were determined to tackle climate change through ambitious policy measures and working closely with other nations, as a reaction to the climate summit.


2. Classroom Scenario - Teacher and Student Interaction:

Teacher's Question: "What is the capital of France?"

Student's Response: "The capital of France is Paris."

Sample Answers:

a) Reported Speech: The teacher asked what the capital of France was, and the student responded that the capital of France is Paris.

b) Reported Speech: The teacher inquired about the capital of France, to which the student promptly replied that it was Paris.


3. Job Interview or Job-Related Conversation:

Key Statement by the Interviewer: "Can you tell me about a challenging situation you faced at your previous job and how you handled it?"

Sample Answers:

a) Reported Speech: The interviewer inquired if I could share a challenging situation from my previous job and explain how I had managed it.

b) Reported Speech: The interviewer asked me to describe a difficult situation I had encountered in my previous role and to elaborate on the steps I had taken to address it.


4. Witness to a Minor Accident:

Statements by Bystanders: "I saw the blue car run the red light," said one witness. Another added, "The driver of the blue car seemed distracted."

Sample Answers:

a) Reported Speech: One witness reported that they had observed the blue car running the red light, while another witness mentioned that the driver of the blue car appeared to be distracted.

b) Reported Speech: One bystander stated that they had witnessed the blue car running the red light, and a second bystander commented that it seemed like the driver of the blue car was not paying full attention.


5. Personal Achievement or Accomplishment:

Congratulatory Statement: "Congratulations on winning the scholarship," said your best friend with a smile.

Sample Answers:

a) Reported Speech: Your best friend congratulated you on winning the scholarship with a joyful smile.

b) Reported Speech: With a warm smile, your best friend extended their congratulations for your scholarship win.


More Discussion:


  1. Consider a recent news headline or a current event. How would you report a statement made by a public figure regarding that event?

  2. Think about a classroom scenario where a teacher asked a question and a student responded. Report the student's response in reported speech.

  3. Discuss a job interview you've had or a job-related conversation. Report a key statement or question from that conversation in reported speech.

  4. Imagine you are a witness to a minor accident on the street. How would you report what you heard people saying about the accident to the police?

  5. Share a personal achievement or accomplishment. Report what someone close to you said when they congratulated you on your success.



Homework Assignment: Reported Speech Practice


Instructions: For this homework assignment, you will practice using reported speech in various contexts. Follow the instructions for each section carefully.


Part 1: Changing from Direct to Reported Speech

Rewrite the following sentences in reported speech. Pay attention to the changes in verb tense, pronouns, and word order. Each correct transformation is worth 2 points.

  1. "I love reading," she said.

  2. "We are going to visit Paris next week," he told me.

  3. "I have already finished my homework," she announced.

  4. "Don't forget to turn off the lights," Mom said to Tom.

  5. "We won't be able to attend the meeting," they admitted.

Part 2: Identifying Reported Speech

Read the following sentences and identify the reported speech within them. Each correctly identified instance of reported speech is worth 1 point.

  1. Sarah said that she would come to the party.

  2. He told me that he had already finished the book.

  3. The teacher asked if we had done our homework.

  4. She wondered why he was late.

  5. They said they might go on a trip next weekend.

Part 3: Changing from Reported to Direct Speech

Rewrite the following reported speech sentences into direct speech. Make sure to use the appropriate punctuation and word order. Each correct transformation is worth 2 points.

  1. Reported: She said that she was going to the store.

  2. Reported: He told me that he had lost his phone.

  3. Reported: They said they would arrive at 3 PM.

  4. Reported: The teacher asked if we had studied for the test.

  5. Reported: She explained that she couldn't attend the meeting.

Part 4: Reflective Questions

Answer the following questions in complete sentences:

  1. Why is it important to use reported speech in communication?

  2. What are the key changes that occur when converting from direct to reported speech?

  3. Share an example of a situation in which you might use reported speech in your daily life.

Remember to follow proper grammar and punctuation rules in your responses. Good luck!



Another Story: Whispers of the Enchanted Forest


Once upon a time, in a quaint village nestled between rolling hills, there lived an elderly woman named Sarah. Sarah was known throughout the village as a wise and compassionate soul, and her life was a tapestry of remarkable stories, each one shared by those who had crossed her path.


One sunny morning, a group of children gathered near Sarah's cottage. They were eager to hear one of her legendary tales, and so they asked their friend Emily, who had heard Sarah's stories before, to recount one of her favorites.


Emily began, "Sarah once told me about a magical forest deep in the heart of these hills. She said that the trees whispered secrets to anyone who listened closely. She described how, many years ago, a young boy named Thomas ventured into that enchanted forest."

The children listened with rapt attention as Emily continued, "Thomas, according to Sarah, was a curious and brave lad. He decided to explore the forest one misty morning when the world was still asleep. He believed that the secrets of the forest held the key to solving a mystery that had baffled the village for generations."


"Sarah told me that as Thomas wandered deeper into the woods, he noticed that the birds sang sweeter, and the flowers seemed to bloom brighter shades. He came upon a clear, sparkling stream that was said to be the guardian of the forest's secrets. The water glistened with a mysterious light, and he cupped his hands to drink from it."

The children's eyes widened with wonder as Emily continued, "And then, the most incredible thing happened. Sarah said that as Thomas sipped from the stream, he suddenly understood the language of the animals and the whispers of the trees.


They told him stories of ancient times, hidden treasures, and the way to heal the land."

"Sarah described how Thomas returned to the village, his heart filled with newfound knowledge and a determination to protect the forest. He shared the wisdom of the magical stream with the villagers, and they joined hands to preserve the forest for generations to come."


As Emily finished her story, the children sat in awe, imagining the mystical forest and the courageous boy who had once unlocked its secrets. They knew that Sarah's stories were not just tales but living memories, shared through reported speech, that continued to inspire and connect the people of their village for years to come.


Example of what you did on the weekend, Here's a paragraph in reported speech about what you and your friend did last weekend:


Last weekend, my friend and I had a great time. We decided to go on a spontaneous road trip to the countryside. I told my friend that I wanted to explore some new places, so we drove to the nearby mountains. While we were there, I mentioned to my friend that the weather was perfect for hiking, so we decided to go on a hike. We hiked through the scenic trails and enjoyed the breathtaking views. Later, my friend mentioned that they were feeling hungry, so we stopped at a charming little cafe that I had heard about. We both agreed that the food was delicious, and we talked about how much we enjoyed the trip on our way back home. It was a memorable weekend, and we both felt refreshed after spending time in nature.


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