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reported_speech.html

  ENGLISH GRAMMAR for ESL learners  


REPORTED (Indirect) SPEECH - TIME and PLACE

How to replace time and place words when changing from direct speech to reported speech.



When changing from direct to reported speech, the words in the reported sentence do not exactly match the words spoken. Verb tenses change and expressions of time and place also have to change.

Example:
  • “I am leaving tonight” said Emma.
    → Emma said she was leaving that night.
Below is a list of common time and place words, showing how you change them from direct to reported speech:

TIME/PLACE DIRECT SPEECH REPORTED SPEECH
NOW
→then; at that time
• Sophie said:
"It's raining now."
Sophie said (that) it was raining then.
TODAY
→that day
Sam said:
“I posted the letter today.”
Sam said (that) he had posted the letter that day.
TONIGHT
→that night
• Eva said:
“We are going to the theatre tonight.
Eva said (that)  they were going to the theatre that night.
TOMORROW
→the next day
→the following day
→the day after
• The reporter said:
“The ceremony will take place tomorrow.”
The reporter said (that) the ceremony would take place the following day.
THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW
→in two day's time
• Bill said:
“My son is coming home the day after tomorrow.”
Bill said (that) his son was coming home in two day's time.
THIS WEEK/YEAR
→that week/year
• Jessica said:
“I will be away this week.”
.Jessica said (that) she would be away that week.
NEXT WEEK/YEAR
→the following week
→the week/year after
• The boss said:
“The meeting will be held next week.”
The boss said (that) the meeting would be held the following week.
YESTERDAY
→the day before
→the previous day
• Hugo said:
“I did it yesterday.”
Hugo said (that) he had done it the day before.
THE DAY BEFORE YESTERDAY
→two days before
• Jill said:
“The book arrived the day before yesterday."
Jill said (that) the book had arrived two days before.
LAST NIGHT/WEEK
→the night/week before →the previous night/week
• Tom said:
"The boys came home last night.”
Tom said (that) the boys had come home the night before.
AGO
→before; previously
• Julie said:
“I saw Eva a few days ago.”
Julie said (that) she had seen Eva a few days before.
HERE
→there
• My mother said:
“Sit here beside me.”
My mother told me to sit there beside her.
THIS TABLE
→that table
• The hostess said:
“Tea will be served at this table.”
The hostess told us that tea would be served at that table.
IN THIS ROOM
→in that room
• Carla said:
“The children are sleeping in this room.”
Carla said (that) the children were sleeping in that room.


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