Unit 7: Direct and reported statements | Grammar | B1
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Unit 7: Direct and reported statements | Grammar | B1

When we report what someone else has said, certain tense changes need to be made. Look at the following examples:

present I like cheese. He said he liked cheese.
present continuous I’m expecting a baby. She said she was expecting a baby.
past simple We has a party They said they had had a party.
present perfect We have eaten too much. They said they had eaten too much.
future simple I’ll wait outside. She said she would eat outside.

Can you make a rule for these tense changes?


Read the reported statements below and write the direct speech, as in the example:

e.g. Janet said she was going to the cinema.

' I'm going to the cinema,' said Janet.

(N.B. time of speaking = present)

1. Peter said he would buy the tickets for the concert.


2. The workers said they wanted fairer wages.


3. I said I had never been to France.


4. The twins said they were doing their washing.


5. John said he had bought a new radio.


EXERCISE 2  |  Ways of speaking

Match the following:

e.g. 'What will our new teacher be like?'        wondered Lulu.

1. 'Put down that knife!' a. laughed the twins.
2. 'I want the truth!' b. suggested his mother.
3. 'Please leave your books on the desks,' c. shouted the old man.
4. 'Be careful of those bees,' d. he ordered.
5. 'Why don't you ring Alex?' e. demanded the lawyer.
6. 'You'll have to speak up. I can't hear you,' f. requested the new teacher.
7. 'You look like a toothbrush with that new haircut,' g. warned Betty.


Now transform the following into direct speech - don't forget to use the correct punctuation.

e.g. The dentist warned her she would probably feel some pain.

'You will probably feel some pain,' warned the dentist.

1. The police officer ordered the suspect to drop the gun.

____________________________ ordered the police officer.

2. She shouted at the children to be quiet.

____________________________ she shouted.

3. Their father demanded that they stop telling lies.

____________________________ demanded their father.

4. I suggested they put away their toys.

____________________________ I suggested.

5. Our boss wanted our cooperation in the scheme.

____________________________ our boss requested.

6. They wondered what the trip would be like.

____________________________ they wondered.