Reported speech | Grammar
We use reported speech to tell someone what another person said. This is useful if we're reporting something which is now in the past or that may not be true anymore.
For example, if someone says to you "I want to learn English", you can report that to another person as: SHE SAID SHE WANTED to learn English". Instead of just repeating her exact words, you are reporting what she said.
To use reported speech, we need to make a few grammatical changes to the sentence. The main change is with the verb, in this case 'want'. When we use reported speech, we need to backshift the tense. This means the present tense becomes the past tense. So 'want' becomes 'wanted'.
Watch this collection of video lessons to learn more about how to use reported speech and to see lots of examples of reported speech in context, such as questions, requests, orders and advice.
How to use reported speech
How to use modal verbs with reported speech
How to use reported speech for questions
How to use reported requests, orders and advice
How to use reporting verbs in English
How to use indirect questions