[From Perfect English Grammar.com]
When do we use 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:
We don't need to change the tense, though probably we do need to change the 'person' from 'I' to 'she', for example. We also may need to change words like 'my' and 'your'.
(As I'm sure you know, often, we can choose if we want to use 'that' or not in English. I've put it in brackets () to show that it's optional. It's exactly the same if you use 'that' or if you don't use 'that'.)
But, if the reporting verb is in the past tense, then usually we change the tenses in the reported speech:
To read more about reported speech from Perfect English Grammar.com, click here.
To practice using reported speech, click on here.
My name is Craig, and I've been teaching English for many years. I initially created this site for my students, but all English learners are welcome. I hope you find something helpful to you. Feel free to leave suggestions or ideas in the Comments section under any entry.