Daily Archives: February 14, 2012


Talk about what the others say: Reported speech in Spanish 9

We use the reported speech when we want to say what other people say, think or believe.

There are two ways of report this information:

  • Direct speech: when we transmit the original message word for word. We introduce the information with an introductory verb followed by inverted commas.

Example:

The president said: “Yes we can.”
El presidente dijo: “Sí, podemos.” 

  • Indirect speech: when we transmit the original message with our own words. We introduce the information with an introductory verb followed by “que” (‘that’).

Example:

The president said that we could.
El presidente dijo que podíamos.

INDIRECT SPEECH

When we convert a direct speech message into indirect speech there are changes in three different aspects.

1. The tense of the verb changes:

* The “Imperfecto de Indicativo y subjuntivo, pretérito pluscuamperfecto de indicativo y de subjuntivo, condicional simple y perfecto” doesn’t change.
2. The pronouns changes:
When we convert a sentence into reported speech the person speaking changes, so the first person changes into third, and the second changes into first.
Example:
He said: “I don’t want your book” > He said that he didn’t want my book.
Él dijo: “No quiero tu libro” > Él dijo que no quería mi libro. 
3. The time and space expression changes: