Reported speech is when you have to tell another person what a person said.

How to Make Reported Speech

1. If the thing was said recently or you think it is still true, then don’t change the tense.

2. If the thing that was said was a long time ago or you think is not true any more, people change the tense ‘backwards’ (example: present tense becomes past tense)

Examples of reported speech

1. No tense change

“That movie is awful!”
He said that movie is awful.

“I’m going to kill you.”
She said she is going to kill me.

“It’s his birthday today.”
She said it’s his birthday today.

2. Tense change

“The weather is beautiful.”
(a short time later) She said the weather was beautiful.

“I’m enjoying reading this book.”
(enough time to finish the book later) He said he enjoyed reading this book.

“I’m thinking of asking him to marry me tonight.”
(the next day) Last night she said she was thinking of asking him to marry her.

“I’m writing a book.”
(5 years later) She said she was writing a book.

An exception: Commands

Commands are different:
they use the past tense (for speak) + infinitive (to …)

He told us to go.

“Stop running!”
She shouted at us to stop running.

“Kiss her!”
She told him to kiss her.


Put these quotes into reported speech:
(i) “I don’t want to go.”
(ii) “That was the worst movie I have ever seen.”
(iii) “If anyone wants to go, I will pay for their ticket.”