Let’s take a look in this lesson at Reported Speech.

It will be helpful to you if you also look up and study material on this blogsite and your own material about past simple verbs.

There are two lessons on this blogsite which will help you.

The first is about ‘past simple verbs’ and how they compare verbs in the present tense.

The second lesson is ‘Bigfoot Story’ and practice of past simple verbs ending in ‘ed.’

Lessons about Noun Phrases using past simple verbs will also help you.



The basic rule is that a sentence reports what has been said or is being said.

It is written in the past tense.

The keyword questions and answer structure are:

What did he say?                    He said that

What did he tell you?             He told me that

What did he think?                 He thought that

Can you?                                 He asked if I could

Have you?                               He asked if I had

Do you?                                  He asked if I did

Are you?                                 He asked if I was

Is it?                                        He asked if it was


The key connecting words are

THAT              IF                    WHETHER

WHERE          WHEN                        WHY              HOW              WHAT

‘Whether’ can sometimes be used instead of ‘if’

Where, When, why, How and What are relative pronouns.



  1. He said that he was tired
  2. The girl said that she was learning German
  3. My friend said that she could not come to the party
  4. The student said that he would be late to class
  5. She said that she was afraid of the dark


  1. He told me that he would come late
  2. The girl told the policeman that she witnessed the accident
  3. The man told us that he was a reporter
  4. My Mother told me that I should not talk to strangers
  5. I told him that I would see him tomorrow.



  1. Can you play the piano?

He asked if I could play the piano

  1. Can you help me?

She asked if I could help her

  1. Are you coming?

She asked me if I was coming

  1. Do you know the way?

I asked the old lady if she knew the way

  1. Do you have any pets?

He asked me if I had any pets




  1. He asked me when my birthday was (not He asked me when was my birthday. Notice the position of ‘was’ at the end of the sentence0
  2. My grandfather asked me when I was coming to visit her
  3. My friend asked me when was the last time I went to the cinema
  4. The policeman asked the girl when she witnessed the accident
  5. She did not know when she witnessed the accident


  1. The tourist asked me where the museum was
  2. My mother asked me where I was going
  3. My brother asked me where the scissors were
  4. I wanted to know where the computer cable was
  5. My friend wanted to know where the meeting point was.


  1. The teacher asked me why I was late
  2. My Mother asked me why I did that
  3. The Bank Manager wanted to know why I withdrew so much money
  4. My friend wanted to know why I went to the museum yesterday
  5. The teacher asked why I left the room


  1. How are you?

She asked how I was

  1. How is the weather?

He asked how the weather was

  1. How did you do that?

The man asked how I did that

  1. How can you predict the future?

The woman wanted to know how I could predict the future

  1. How do you like your steak?

The waitress asked me how i liked my steak (before the steak is cooked)

The waitress asked me if I liked my steak (incorrect)

The waitress asked me why I liked my steak (incorrect)




  1. What are you doing now?

My friend wanted to know what I was doing then.

  1. What is your name?

The receptionist wanted to know what my name was

  1. What is another word for ‘beautiful’?

The student wanted to know what was another word for ‘beautiful’

  1. What is football usually called by Americans?

I asked my friend what football was usually called by Americans

  1. What was on the menu?

I asked the waiter what was on the menu


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