Preparing for the 'oposiciones': indirect/reported speech

Indirect/reported speech

Si al contar lo que alguien dijo usamos las mismas palabras dichas por la persona en cuestión estamos empleando el estilo directo:

Derek told me: «You're very pretty» Derek me dijo: «Estás muy guapa»

Pero si  contamos lo que la otra persona dijo con nuestras propias palabras entonces estamos empleando el estilo indirecto:

Derek told me that I was very pretty Derek me dijo que estaba muy guapa

Para practicar, os propongo pasar a estilo indirecto las frases en los siguientes ejercicios: 

EXERCISE 1: Declarative sentences (aseveraciones)

1.- Mother to her son: "I think that sport is not safe."
2.- John to Elizabeth: "We're going to be late again."
3.- Elizabeth to John: "I´m nearly ready."
4.- Helen to Jane: "I bought this dress yesterday."
5.- Wife to mother: "John is being buried next week."
6.- In-laws comment to Charles: "We think that our daughter has made a mistake marrying you."

EXERCISE 2: Questions (preguntas)

7.- "What are you reading?", he asked her.
8.- "Was your train late?", she asked him.
9.- "Is your boyfriend English or American?", he wanted to know.
10.- "Can you lend me twenty pounds'", I asked Alfred
11.- "Where shall we meet tomorrow?", he asked her.
12.- "May I use your telephone?", she asked him.

EXERCISE 3: Commands and requests (órdenes y peticiones)

13.- Wife to husband: "Don´t forget to ring my mother's doctor".
14.- "Stand to attention when I'm talking to you", the sergeant ordered the soldier.
15.- "Turn right at the next set of traffic lights and stop at the end of the street", the passenger told the taxi driver.
16.- "Don't smoke in my car", Sue begged Tony.
17.- "Wait for me here", Doris told her daughter.
18.- "Buy me a magazine on your way back", she told her husband.

EXERCISE 4: Exclamations and special difficulties (exclamaciones y dificultades especiales)

19.- "Help!", the drowning man said.
20.- "The school is on fire!", our teacher said.
21.- "Let's invite our friends to a barbecue tonight", he said
22.- "How expensive Spain has become!, the tourist said.
23.- "I'm innocent", the defendant said.
24.- "Damn! The light has gone out!, he said.



1.- The mother told her son (that) she thought that sport was not/wasn't safe.
2.- John told Elizabeth (that) they were going to be late again.
3.- Elizabeth told John (that) she was nearly ready.
4.- Helen told Jane (that) she had bought the/that dress the day before.
5.- The wife told her mother that John was being buried the following week/the next week.
6.- Charles´s in-laws commented to him that they thought their daughter had made a mistake marrying him.


7.- He asked her what she was reading.
8.- She asked him if his train had been late.
9.- He wanted to know whether/if her boyfriend was English or American.
10.- I asked Alfred if he could lend me twenty pounds.
11.- He asked her where they should meet the following day/the next day.
12.- She asked him if she might use his telephone.


13.- The wife told her husband not to forget to ring her mother's doctor.
14.-- The sergeant ordered the soldier to stand to attention when he was talking to him.
15.- The passenger told the taxi driver to turn right at the next set of traffic lights and to stop at the end of the street.
16.- Sue begged Tony not to smoke in her car.
17.- Doris told her daughter to wait for her there.
18.- She told her husband to buy her a magazine on his way back.


19.- The drowning man yelled for help.
20.- Our teacher shouted/cried (out) that the school was on fire.
21.- He suggested inviting their friends to a barbecue that night/evening.
22.- The tourist exclaimed that Spain had become very expensive.
23.- The defendant shouted/cried that he was innocent.
24.- He cursed aloud when the light went out.


Si alguno de los ejercicios, especialmente el nº 4, os dado algún problema, os recomiendo consultar mi Gramática Inglesa, 9ª ed., pp. 608-617.

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