Tell or say Alex smiled when he saw the present and (say/tell) thanks.
Max and Joan ( said/tell) to me that they couldn’t come to the party.
Our focus • How do we change verbs in reported speech? • When do we need to change the verb tense in reported statement?
Agree subject with the verb Example: “ I love birthday cake with flowers!” said the girl. Reported speech: The girl said she loves birthday cake with flowers.
Facts or General Truth • If the speaker states the fact that is still true at the time of reporting, then we can keep the present tense. Changing the verb tense is possible but isn’t necessary. “Birthday cake arecommon in many countries,” said the baker. The baker said that birthday cakes are common in many countries.
Facts or general truth • If the speaker tells about future events that has yet to happen, at the time of reporting you can keep the future tense. Changing the verb tense is possible but isn’t necessary. “Next year I’llbe sixteen, and I’ll have a big party,” said John. John said that next year he’ll be 16 and he’ll have a big party.
Immediate reporting • If words are reported soon after spoken, the verb tense are not usually change. “I love birthday cakes with flowers!” said the girl. A: What she just said? B: She said she loves birthday cakes with flowers.
Reporting verb in the Present or Future • If the reporting verb is in the simple present, present perfect or future tense, verb tenses are not change.
Example • “ I don’t want you to buy me anything for my birthday.” • He says he doesn’t want us to buy him anything for his birthday. • Don’t ask John what he wants for his birthday. He’ll say he doesn’t want you to buy him anything for his birthday.
Informal English • In informal English especially in conversations tenses usually stay the same.