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8 Best Short Lessons on Reported Speech

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writing lessons for teaching and learning has been improved, especially when planning to automate or computerize them. The simple lessons in this article will help to learn how to prepare lessons for any subject.

Lesson 1:  Criteria of Changing Direct Speech to Reported Speech

 Do you know that if I say something to you and you want to say what I said? The way you said to another person differently is called a reported speech.

Recently, a friend of mine said the president of Nigeria said the fuel will increase 2022. What my friend did is called a reported speech.

He reported what the president of Nigeria said about the increase of fuel next year. The information we read in the newspapers or magazines are reported speech/information brought by the journalists. Most of the radio news are reported speech/news.

In making speeches and in reporting those speeches correctly, there are rules we have to know.

The rules guiding changing the direct speech to indirect speech can be realized under the following Criteria: modifications, tense in sequence, changes in pronouns, changes in demonstratives, changes in adverbial, questions (interrogatives) and the modal (must).

In this lesson, we have learnt seven criteria to be considered in changing direct speech to indirect/reported speech. We shall continue in the next lesson.

Lesson 2:  Rule of Modifications

Do you know that rules are stated so that things can be done right? If things are bounded by rules, we should be able to prove it.

To report the statements of what someone has said, we should follow the rules of doing so.

The first rule to report what someone has said (direct speech) is modification. Here, when changing a sentence from a direct speech to a reported speech, certain aspects of the direct speech have to be changed too.

Modifications mean change. In the process, the time and place of the original statements, the person referred to in the statements and the use of certain language may change.

Let us consider the following illustrations. In the sentences:

Kemi told me, ‘I will visit you tomorrow.’

Bashir asked them, ‘Will you buy these books.’

The sentences above may be changed to the reported speech below.

Kemi told me that she would visit me the following day.

Bashir asked them whether/if they would buy those books.

In the reported speeches above, certain aspects change in the process of report.

In this lesson, we have learnt that some changes may occur in the forms of tenses of the verb, adverbial reference of time, place references and certain pronouns when changing from direct speech to the reported speech. We shall continue in the next lesson.

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Lesson 3:  Rule of Tense Sequence

In our house, we used to arrange our rooms, especially our sitting room so that it can be in order or in sequence. If our sitting room is not in sequence, it will not be good in looks. So als the reported speech must be in sequence.

Sequence of tense means how the tense of a verb in a reported clause is rearranged in a reported statement. Consider the illustrations below.

When the verb of a reported clause is a present form, then the tense of a verb in the reported statement remain unchanged. But if the verb of a reported clause is the past tense, then the verb will change to the past in a reported speech. For example:

  1. Bukky says, ‘I eat rice.’
  2. The man assures me, ‘I am leaving for abroad tomorrow.’
  3. Bukky said, ‘I eat rice.’
  4. The man assured me, ‘I am leaving for abroad tomorrow.’

The statements above can be changed to the following reported speeches.

  1. Bukky says that she eats
  2. The man assures me that he is leaving for abroad tomorrow.
  3. Bukky said that she ate
  4. The man assured me that he was leaving for abroad tomorrow.

In this lesson, we have learnt that the tenses in the direct speeches and reported speeches of the above examples are in the present tenses in numbers 1 and 2. But the tenses in the direct speeches and reported speeches are in the past tenses in numbers 3 and 4.

That is there is a tense sequence both in direct speeches and reported speeches. We shall continue in the next lesson.

Lesson 4:  Rule of Changes in Pronouns

I am pronoun ‘I’ and I can change in a reported speech. I am pronoun ‘We’ and I can change in a reported speech. We are pronouns ‘He/she and it’ and we can change in a reported speech.

When the identity of the person who is speaking differs from the person who is being addressed, there is usually a change in the pronouns used. Consider the following illustrations:

Mr Ajayi told me, ‘I am hungry.’

She writes to us, ‘Your results have been released.’

They have agreed with me, ‘We shall go there tomorrow.’

Let us consider the changes of pronoun from the direct speech into the reported speech.

Mr Ajayi told me that he was hungry.

She writes to us that our results have been released.

They have agreed with me that they should go there.

In this lesson, we have learnt that regardless the tense of a verb, the changes in pronouns still occur. We shall continue in the next lesson.

Lesson 5:  Rule of Changes in Demonstratives

Wow! This is a boy. Yes! The boy is with me. These are boys. Yes! The boys are with me. That is a girl. No! The girl is not with me.

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Those are girls. No! The girls are not with me. Do you know this, that, these and those always show where the nouns are.

Do you know that this, that, these and those are demonstratives. If the demonstrative this or these occurs in a direct statement, then the changes will occur in the reported speech?

This change to that

These changes to those

Even if they occur as determiners which modify the other words, they will still have changes. Consider the example below.

This day changes to that day

This week changes to that week

These months changes to those months

These years changes to those years

Direct speech: Abigael emphasised it, ‘This is wrong;’

Direct speech: Prof. Ade declared, ‘The students are last these days.’

Reported speech: Abigael emphasized it that that was wrong.

Reported speech: Prof. Ade declared that the students were lazy those days.

The demonstratives ‘this’ and ‘these’ in the direct speech change to ‘that’ and ‘those’ in the reported speech.

In this lesson, we have learnt that the demonstratives ‘this’ and ‘these’ in the direct speech change to ‘that’ and ‘those’ in the reported speech. We shall continue in the next lesson.

Lesson 6:  Rule of Changes in Questions (Interrogatives)

Yes, I asked you. Do you inquire about it? How did the police question the boy? No, they didn’t interrogate me. Words written in bold are interrogatives that can change from the direct speech to the reported speech.

There are two major types of questions, namely WH-question types and Yes-No question types. These questions in the direct speech will change to the statements in the reported speech. Consider the illustrations below.

Direct speech: Aminat askesd, ‘Have you come?’

Direct speech: Sade inquired, ‘Was this man my brother?’

Direct speech: The policeman questioned, ‘What is your name?’

Reported speech: Aminat asked whether/if she had come.

Reported speech: Sade inquired whether/if that man was her brother.

Reported speech: The policeman questioned what my name was.

We see in the examples above that the questions ‘have you come’, ‘was this man my brother’ and ‘what is your name’ in the direct speech change to the statements that begin with ‘whether/if’ in the reported speech.

In this lesson, we have learnt that the direct speech asking questions can change to the statements in the reported speech. We shall continue in the next lesson.

Lesson 7:  Rule in Modal (Must) Conversion

Is it I must dance or I have to dance/ which one is correct? Do you think we can use the two the same way to mean the same thing. The modal ‘must’ is a verb that can be used in both direct speech and reported speech.

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There are major ways in which modal ‘must’ can be used, and each of them requires different forms in the reported speech. In this sense, the adverbials we use in the direct speech will determine the changes of the verb form in the reported speech. Consider the following illustrations:

Direct speech: Michael had made up his mind, ‘I must leave this place now.’

Direct speech: My wife informed me, ‘I must visit the airport tomorrow.’

Direct speech: The principal commanded, ‘Every student must respect their teachers.’

Reported speech: Michael had made up his mind that he had to leave that place then.

Reported speech: My wife informed me that she would have to visit the airport in the next day.

Reported speech: The principal commanded that every student must respect their teachers.

In the first statement, ‘must’ changes to ‘had to’ because it indicates past in reported speech. In the second statement, ‘must’ changes to \would have to’ because it indicates future in the reported speech.

In the third statement, ‘must’ remains unchanged in the reported speech because it indicates compulsion.

In this lesson, we have learnt that the modal ‘must ‘ can manifest in three major ways, namely ‘had to’, ‘would have to’, and ‘must’ in the reported speech.

Lesson 8:  Rule of Changes in Adverbials

Today is my birthday. How is about yours, Bola? Can you come tomorrow or the next day or the following day?

Will you tell me whether you did it yesterday or the previous day? Is it now or then? The words in bold are adverbials that can be changed from direct speech to reported speech.

In the case of adverbials, the following are ways of changing them from direct speech to reported speech. For example:

Today changes to that day

Yesterday changes to previous day

Tomorrow changes to the following day or the next day

Last night changes to the previous night

Next week changes to the following night

Here changes to there

Now changes to then.

It is important to learn how they can be changed from the direct speech to the reported speeching week. Consider the illustrations below.

Direct speech: Bayo said, ‘I came to your house yesterday.’

Direct speech: My fiance promised me, ‘I will visit you this week.’

Reported speech: Bayo said that he came to my house the previous day

Reported speech: My fiance promised me that he would visit me the following week.

The adverbials ‘yesterday’ and ‘this week’ in the direct speech change to ‘the previous day’ and ‘the following day’ in the reported day.

In this lesson, we have learnt that certain adverbials change when changing the direct speech to the reported speech.

In conclusion, if these scripts help, comment on it.

 

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