Reported Speech – Statements

We use reported speech to talk about what people have said.


crush – infatuation
ask out – invite on a date
break up – separate
can’t wait to – excited to

Let’s read the cartoon:

reported speech

The next day…

Compare the direct and reported statements. What do you notice?

Reported statements go back one tense:

backshift reported speech

Compare what Lucy said to what Steven reported to Beth that Lucy said:

Notice that Steven uses different verbs to talk about what Lucy said:

She said (that)…
She told me (that)…

‘Said’ is NOT followed by an object.
She said me that… This is incorrect.
She said that… This correct.

‘Told’ is followed by an object.
She told that… This is incorrect.
She told me/you/him/her/it/us/them/Steven/her friend… These are correct.

Notice that Steven uses other verbs as well.

She mentioned…
She added…

Say or Tell?

Let’s practice!

Play I CHALLENGE YOU with a twist. After the players answer each challenge, they give a challenge back, and ask “what did I just say”?