Reported Speech – Statements, Orders and Requests

VOCABULARY

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

Let’s read the cartoon:

The next day…

Reported statements go back one tense:

Present Simple is reported in Past Simple.
Present Continuous is reported in Past Continous.
Past Simple is reported in Past Perfect.
Present Perfect is reported in Past Perfect.
Present Prefect Continous is reported as Past Perfect Continuous.

‘Will’ becomes ‘would’.
‘Can’ becomes ‘could’.
‘May’ becomes ‘might’.
‘Must’ becomes ‘had to’.

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?

Reporting orders and requests:

The way we report orders and requests is much easier. We don’t need to think about the tenses. We just use ‘to’ for affirmatives, and ‘not to’ for negatives.

Subject ‘told’ or ‘asked’ + object + TO/NOT TO + base form of the verb . These are both correct:

Lucy told Steven NOT TO tell anyone.
Lucy asked Steven NOT TO tell anyone.

Let’s look at more examples:

Sam told Frank to be a good friend.

She told Frank not to gossip.

Sam said that she was an exception to the rule.

She asked him to tell her everything.

For more activities about gossip, click here.