Reported speech - Coggle Diagram
shifting ‘changing’- Backshifting
It means to ‘go one step back in time.’
The reason for backshifting is: the described situation is in the past
Backshifting is sometimes optional
When the reverred situations is still in effect
“I like football,” said David.
David said that he liked football.
David said that he likes football.
“Virtue is knowledge.”
Socrates said that virtue was knowledge.
Socrates said that virtue is knowledge.
eternal, timeless application; permanent; true and relevant. It can therefore
have reference to the present day (the time of report)
“I am blameless.”
Socrates said that he was blameless.
Socrates said that he is blameless.
has no connection with the present time, due to the fact that Socrates is now
dead, and so we must backshift.
When never to backshift
When the reporting verb is in any of the present tenses
Direct speech: :
“I took the cookies,” said John
John has said (that) he took the cookies. (‘has said’ is present perfect simple)
Present simple › past simple
Present continuous › past continuous
Present perfect › past perfect
Past simple › past perfect
Am/is/are going to › was/were going to
Can › could
Will › would
Shall › should
May › might
Must › must, had to
Would, should, might, could do not change
She asked if I was Scottish. (‘Are you Scottish?’)
The waiter asked whether we wanted a table near the window.
(‘Do you want a table near the window?)
if is much more common than whether
if is a formal choice
‘whether … or not
Reported yes-no questions and alternative questions are introduced by ‘whether’ or
The original speaker’s words are changed
Brian said (that) he had taken the cookies the day before.
use a reporting verb
Other necessary changes
It repeats the exact words the person used.
“I took the cookies yesterday,” said John
repeating exact speaker’s words & using quotation marks
when turning direct speech into indirect
Today › that day
Yesterday › the day before
The day before yesterday › two days before
Tomorrow › the next/following day
Next week/year › the following week/year
Last night › the night before/the previous night
Now › then/at that moment
Ago › before
1st person › 3rd person
2nd person › 1st or 3rd person
This (time, demonstrative), these › that, those
This, that (determiner) › the
This, these (pronoun) › it, they, them
Reporting commands and advice
We use the infinitive form
They advised me to wait till the following day.
(You should wait till the following day.’)
The General ordered/told the troops to advance.(‘Advance!’)
are reported as wh-clauses (=sentences) – statement word order
(=izjavni redoslijed riječi!)
“How do you feel?”
He asked how I felt
We use ‘reported speech’ when we want to tell someone what we or another person