REPORTING STATEMENTS

Reporting statements are significant in our day to day life. We tell, repeat or report something to someone. Please visit my YouTube channel and watch it as well – https://youtu.be/RULhLwYPqFo. I humbly advise to subscribe the channel if you haven’t subscribed yet.

What are the reporting statements?

  • Statements are sentences that express a fact, idea or opinion. Statements do not ask questions, make requests or give commands. They are also not exclamations.
  • Reporting Statements are one of the form of REPORTED SPEECH.  We use reported speech when we want to repeat, tell or report what someone had previously said.
  • These are the exact meaning of the speakers but not the exact words of original speakers in a statement.
  • The construction of Reporting Statements are:
    Reporting Clause + Conjunction + Reported Clause.
    She said | that  |  she was happy.
    We usually introduce reported statements with “reporting verbs” such as “say” or “tell“ and conjunction “that“ :
    He said that…
    He told me that…
  • When we use our words to report speech,  mostly we change, pronoun, tense, time and place.

 A. The introductory sentence in reporting statements

i. The introductory sentence in the Simple Present

If the introductory sentence is in the Simple Present, there is no backshift of tenses.

Direct Speech → Sujan says, “Dolma works in an office.”

Reported Speech → Sujan says that Dolma works in an office. The introductory sentence is here: Sujan says … → this sentence is in the Simple Present,
so there is no backshift of tenses.

ii. The introductory sentence in the Simple Past

If the introductory sentence is in the Simple Past, there is mostly backshift of tenses.

Direct Speech → Sujan said, “Dolma works in an office.”

Reported Speech → Sujan said that Dolma worked in an office. The introductory sentence is here: Sujan said … → this sentence is in the Simple Past,
so there is backshift of tenses.

iii. Types of introductory sentence: 

The word say in introductory sentences can be substituted
with other words, e.g.  add, decide, know, mention, remark, tell, think

B. Change of persons/pronouns

The person/pronoun used in Direct Speech may be adapted in Reported Speech,
depending on the situation. Dolma and Sujan are talking about fashion at school. Dolma says to Sujan:

Dolma: “I like your new T-shirt.”

i. Possibility 1:

Sujan says to his friend Prashanna in the afternoon:

Dolma said that she liked my new T-shirt.

ii. Possibility 2:

Dolma says to her friend Sumina in the afternoon:

I said that I liked his new T-shirt.

C. Backshift of tenses

i. Simple Present → Simple Past

Direct SpeechReported Speech
Nimesh: “I work in the garden.”Nimesh said that he worked in the garden.

ii. Simple Past, Present Perfect, Past Perfect → Past Perfect

Direct SpeechReported Speech
Nimesh: “I worked in the garden.”Nimesh said that he had worked in the garden.
Nimesh: “I have worked in the garden.”
Nimesh: “I had worked in the garden.”

iii. Present Continuous → Past Continuous

Direct SpeechReported Speech
Nimesh: “I‘m working in the garden.”Nimesh said that he was working in the garden.

iv. Past Continuous, Present Perfect Continuous, Past Perfect Continuous → Past Perfect Continuous

Direct SpeechReported Speech
Nimesh: “I was working in the garden.”Nimesh said that he had been working in the garden.
Nimesh: “I have been working in the garden.”
Nimesh: “I had been working in the garden.”

v. Auxiliaries, Modals

Direct SpeechReported Speech
Nimesh: “I will work in the garden.”Nimesh said that he would work in the garden.
Nimesh: “I can work in the garden.”Nimesh said that he could work in the garden.
Nimesh: “I may work in the garden.”Nimesh said that he might work in the garden.
Nimesh: “I would work in the garden.”Nimesh said that he would work in the garden.
– can– could (Present), would be able to (Future)
– must– had to (obligation), would have to (Future), must (Possibility)
– shall– should (advice), would (asking for information)
– could, might,  should, ought to,
   had better, mustn’t, used to
– could, might,  should, ought to, had better, mustn’t, used to

No Backshift of tenses

i. We do not change the tense. Usually, with the present simple, if something is still true now.

Direct SpeechReported Speech
Nimesh: “I work in Pokhara.”Nimesh said that he works in Pokhara.

He still works in Pokhara – we don’t need to change it.

ii. The sentence expresses a general truth or permanent states and conditions

Direct SpeechReported Speech
My mother said, ‘It gets dark earlier in the winter.’My mother said that it gets dark earlier in the winter.

iii. The introductory verb is in the Present, future, or Present Perfect tense.

Direct SpeechReported Speech
She says/ will say/ has said, ‘I can cook well.’She says/ will say/ has said that she can cook well.

iv. The verb of the sentence is in the Unreal past (eg. 2nd  or 3rd type conditionals)

Direct SpeechReported Speech
He said, ‘If I had time, I would help you.’He said that he  would help me if he had time.

v. When the reported sentence contains a time clause, the tenses of the time clause remain unchanged.

Direct SpeechReported Speech
He said, ‘She came round to my house while I was doing my shopping.’He said that she had come/ came round to his house while he was doing his shopping.
“The car broke down when I was driving to work,” he said.He said that the car had broken/ broke down when he was driving to work.

D. Shifting of expressions of time and place

If there is an expression of time/place in the sentence, it my be shifted, depending on the situation.

Dolma is at school, writing in her workbook. She misses her red pen at lunch time. Dolma says to Sujan:

“I lost my red pen here this morning.”

i. Possibility 1:

Sujan says to his friend Prashanna who is in the same room.

Dolma said that she had lost her red pen here this morning.

ii.Possibility 2:

One day later, Sujan sees his friend Nimesh at his house. They talk about school.

Sujan says to Nimesh → Dolma said that she had lost her red pen at our school that morning.

Sujan says to Nimesh → Dolma said that she had lost her red pen there yesterday morning.

Shifting:

Direct SpeechReported Speech
this eveningthat evening
today/this daythat day
tonightthat night, last night, on Sunday night.
these daysthose days
now/ justthen, at that time
a week agoa week before
last weekendthe weekend before / the previous weekend
next weekthe following week
tomorrowthe next/following day
herethere
in one hourone hour later

(Tutorial reference: https://www.englisch-hilfen.de/en/grammar/reported_statements.htm)

Published by Kamal Shrestha

An Alone Traveller, Intense Blogger, Creative Designer and an English Teacher.

11 thoughts on “REPORTING STATEMENTS

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create your website at WordPress.com
Get started
%d bloggers like this: