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Grammar: Reported Speech

Test your reported speech

Direct Speech to Reported Speech (and vice versa)

Changing direct speech to reported speech is a language requirement at B2, so you need to study how to do it if you’re hoping to get a B2 grade in your Aptis test. 

“But what’s reported speech?  I can’t remember what the rules are …”, I hear you say!

Well, you asked me what reported speech was, and said that you couldn’t remember what the rules were.

The four main changes you need to make

There are lots of points you need to keep in mind when changing direct speech into reported speech.  These are the main changes: verbs move back a tense (for example, present simple to past simple, as in the above example), the pronouns and time expressions change, and the verb ‘to be’ changes position in reported questions.  Look at the Grammar Reference post if you’re not sure about the rules.  You’ll find a clear review of all the changes you need to make when using this structure.

Test yourself with these two exercises

To help you practise, here are two mini-tests.  The first is a 12-question mini-test in the form of a dialogue.  You need to select the correct option to change it from direct speech into reported speech.  The conversation includes questions, which you’ll also need to report.

As always, you could either check the rules first and then do the tests, or you could try the tests first and then read the rules to help you understand any mistakes you may have made.  There are also reminders of the rules throughout the mini-test; they pop up if you make a mistake. 

This is followed by an interactive worksheet where the exercise is the other way round.  You read the email in reported speech, then you have to change it into direct speech.  You have to write what the people actually said by completing the verbs in the correct forms, the pronouns and the time expressions.

When you’ve finished, click the blue ‘Finish’ button, then the ‘Check my answers’ box for instant feedback.  You can make the document full size by clicking on the arrows to the left of the ‘Finish’ button.

Remember, you can do these tests as many times as you like, until you get 100%!

Grammar Mini-test: Reported Speech

Change this dialogue into Reported Speech

1 / 12

"How many parts are there to the Aptis Test" asked Loli.

2 / 12

"I think there are four" I told her.

3 / 12

"Do I have to do them all?" Loli asked.

4 / 12

"Yes, you must do all four parts" I explained.

5 / 12

"Are you going to do the test this month?" she asked.

6 / 12

"Yes, I've already booked it" I told her.

7 / 12

"Where's the test centre?" she asked.

8 / 12

"I'll have a look online tomorrow" I replied.

No auxiliary verb 'do'; use if or whether in yes/no questions.  The verb 'to be' changes position and goes back a tense.

9 / 12

"Can you give me the website address?" asked Loli.

10 / 12

"Yes, I'll text it to you" I promised.

11 / 12

"I wrote it down yesterday, but I've lost it" she said.

12 / 12

"I'll send it to you tonight when I get home" I told her.

Your score is


Highschool gossip!, an interactive worksheet by chrisseville

If you found this practice useful, why not try more grammar exercises on our site? You’ll find the complete list in our Guide to the Posts under ‘Grammar Skills’.

And you can test your Grammar too.

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