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More rules for reported speech at Level B1


More rules for reported speech at Level B1. We have already looked at the 4 rules for reported speech, so now we will look at some additional notes about reported speech.

1. Using ‘that’ in reported speech

When reporting speech, you can add ‘that’ to the sentence. However, if you use common reporting verbs like ‘say’ or ‘think’ it is not essential. For example:

Direct speech: “I will see you later,” she said.

Reported speech: She said she would see me later OR She said that she would see me later.

Note: with some verbs like ‘ reply’ or ‘shout’ you can’t drop the ‘that’.

e.g. She shouted that she would be there in a minute. NOT She shouted she would be there in a minute.

e.g. He replied that he was tired. NOT He replied he was tired.

2. Reporting questions in reported speech

When reporting a yes / no question (where the answer can be yes or no), the reported speech changes to use the word ‘if’ or ‘whether’. For example:

Direct speech: “Do you like coffee?” she said.

Reported speech: She asked me if I liked coffee. OR She asked me whether I liked coffee.

3. Different reporting verbs used in reported speech

‘Said’ is only one of the many reporting verbs.

To expand your vocabulary and make what you are saying more interesting, it is important to learn more reporting verbs. Below is a list of some other reporting verbs. We will look in more detail at using a range of reporting verbs in Level B2.

  • said
  • told
  • asked
  • accused
  • admitted
  • advised
  • explained
  • thought
  • implied
  • invited
  • offered
  • ordered
  • promised
  • replied
  • suggested
  • denied
  • alleged
  • agreed
  • apologised
  • begged
  • boasted
  • complained


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