What is Reported Speech?

Sometimes someone says a sentence, for example, "I'm going to the cinema tonight". Later, maybe we want to tell someone else what the first person said.

We use a 'reporting verb' like 'say' or 'tell'. If this verb is in the present tense, it's easy. We just put 'she says' and then the sentence:

  • Direct speech: I like ice cream.

  • Reported speech: She says (that) she likes ice cream.

We don't need to change the tense, though probably we do need to change the 'person' from 'I' to 'she'. We may also need to change words like 'my' and 'your'.

You can choose if you want to use 'that' or not in English. I've put it in brackets () to show that it's optional.

But, if the reporting verb is in the past tense, then usually we change the tenses in the reported speech:

  • Direct speech: I like ice cream.

  • Reported speech: She said (that) she liked ice cream.

Reporting Verbs Introduction

In this lesson, you will learn important verb constructions.

to + infinitive

object + to + infinitive


object + that


object + preposition + gerund

Offer & Suggest

Learn how to report offering help or suggesting a plan of action to someone with these 2 very useful verbs which we commonly use in everyday situations.

Refuse, Accept, Agree, Admit & Deny

Advanced users of English need to be able to use more advanced Reporting Verbs to replace Say & Tell. These 5 advanced verbs should become part of your standard vocabulary. Learn how to use these reporting verb correctly.

Verbs + Preposition

Some verb and preposition combinations are very natural in the English language, so it is important to learn & understand these collocations. I will share some of them with you in this lesson that you can use in Reported Speech.

Verb + Object + To + Infinitive

This is one of the more advanced sentence constructions that you can use. If you are preparing for the IELTS test, then you should try to include one example of Reported Speech in your essay using this advanced construction.

Tense Shifting in Reported Speech

Learn how to change your tenses from Present to Past in Reported Speech.

Tense shifting is an important skill to understand when using Reported Speech. Learn how to SHIFT your tenses when writing and the important differences between Speaking & Writing.

4 Grammar Rules

Change all Present Tenses into the Past

Past Simple become Past Perfect

Imperatives become To + Infinitive

Questions take IF or WHETHER

Reporting Verbs & Reported Speech Worksheets (1).pdf

Reporting Verbs & Reported Speech Worksheets

Remember that Practice Makes Progress, so download and work through the exercises and repeat them when necessary.

If you have any question you can always contact me directly be email:


Past Perfect