Indirect Speech

Instead of direct speech, we often use more round-about ways of communicating.  The results might be easier to fit into the flow of the context, or it might be more polite.

 
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level: INTERMEDIATE-ADVANCED

 
 

Students should already be familiar with:

direct speech, or quotations // pronouns // question forms // time expressions

Check out our video guide for tips.

 

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Reported Speech

In spoken English, reported speech conveys the meaning of an earlier quote within a new context.  Here are 3 steps to go from direct speech to reported speech.

 
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Printouts

reported speech: step-by-step

perspective shifts

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Slideshow

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Insider Notes

e.g.: Don't backshift speaking verb.

 
 

Backshifting

Backshifting is a process of moving a verb expression backward in time.

We use it in REPORTED SPEECH and for UNREAL MOOD.

 
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Printouts

backshifting by verb tense

backshifting by aux. verb

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Slideshow

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Insider Notes

e.g.: did backshifts to had

 
 
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Indirect Questions

- coming soon -

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Related Project

Class Newspaper:  Interview schoolmates and teachers, and report the important information you learned.

Read the whole project idea.