reported speech: pronouns; ‘here and now’ words; tenses

BILL (on Saturday evening):! don’t like this party. I want to go home. PETER (on Sunday morning): Bill said he didn’t like the party, and he wanted to go home.

  • Pronouns
    In reported speech, we use the same pronouns to talk about people that we use in other structures.
      Bill said he didn’t like the party.
      (NOT Bill said-t didn’t like the party.)
  • ‘Here and now’ words
    When somebody is speaking, he or she uses words like this, here, now to talk about the place where he or she is speaking, and the time when the words are said.
    If we report the words in a different place at a different time, we will not use this, here, now etc.
      Bill said he didn’t like the party.
      (NOT Bill said he didn’t like this party.)
  • Tenses
    When we report things that people said in the past, we do not usually use the same tenses as they used. (This is because the times are different.)
      Bill said he didn’t like the party.
      (NOT Bill said be doesn’t like the party.)

    Original words Reported speech
    Will you marry me? I asked him if he would marry me.


    (NOT . . . if he will marry me.)
    You look nice. I told her she looked nice.
    (NOT . . . she looks nice.)
    I’m learning French. She said she was learning French.
    (NOT . . . she is learning . . .)
    I ve forgotten. He said he had forgotten.
    (NOT . . .
    John phoned She told me that John had phoned.
    (NOT . .

  • Exceptions
    If somebody said something in the past that is still true, we sometimes report it with the same tense as the original speaker.