Reported Speech – Present simple

Paul said he worked as a teacher

What is the reported speech ?

The reported speech is used to say sentences that other people said. In this lesson we are going to focus on sentences that are in present simple:

Let’s see an example of a direct speech. Imagine this is your friend Paul and he tells you this:

Paul: “I work as a teacher” – Trabajo como profesor.

The reported speech is you telling to another friend what Paul told you:

Me: Paul said (that) he worked as a teacher – Paul me dijo que trabajaba como profesor

Another example:

Direct speech:
-My parents live in London (She said)

Reported speech:
She said (that) her parents lived in London

How do we use reported speech?

It’s very simple, we just need to look at some details. We have to change the original sentence a little bit:

  1. We change the subject and pronouns
  2. That =que. It’s optional, we can say it or not 🙂
  3. We conjugate the main verb. When the verb in direct speech is present simple, it changes to past simple in the reported speech.

There are many verbs to use in reported speech, but in this lesson we’ll focus in say and tell.

Remember that if you use “tell” you have to say a pronoun like this:

He told me, he told us, he told her, he told them

Me dijo, nos dijo, le dijo a ella…

Examples of reported speech (present simple)

Let’s see more examples in present simple. As you can see, the main verb changes from present simple to past simple:

Direct speech: “I listen to music every day,” she said. Escucho música todos los días.
Reported speech: She said that she listened to music every day. Ella dijo que escuchaba música todos los días.

Direct speech: “I am happy.” Soy feliz.
Reported speech: He said that he was happy. Él dijo que era feliz.

Direct speech: “You can’t speak in class, “my teacher said. No podéis hablar en clase.

Reported speech: My teacher said that we couldn’t speak in class. Mi profe dijo que no podíamos hablar en clase.

Direct speech: “I play football on Saturdays,” he said. Juego al fútbol los sábados.
Reported speech: He told me that he played football on Saturdays. Él dijo que jugaba al fútbol los sábados.

Direct speech: “We visit our friends regularly,” They said. Visitamos a nuestros amigos regularmente.
Reported speech: They said that they visited their friends regularly. Ellos dijeron que visitaban a sus amigos regularmente.

Direct speech: “I live in Madrid,” he said. Vivo en Madrid.
Reported speech: He said that he lived in Madrid. Él dijo que vivía en Madrid.

Direct speech: “I like to read books in my free time,” she said. Me gusta leer libros en mi tiempo libre.
Reported speech: She said that she liked to read books in her free time. Ella dijo que le gustaba leer libros en su tiempo libre.

Sometimes you can keep everything in present simple. This is possible when what it’s said is a general truth or something that hasn’t changed in the reported speech.

Direct speech: “His favorite color is blue,” she said. Su color favorito es el azul.
Reported speech: Reported speech: She said that his favorite color is blue. Ella dijo que su color favorito es el azul.


  • el pasado de can es could
  • el pasado de to be es was/were