Indirect Speech  

Intermediate Spanish Grammar Indirect Speech
Overview

We have two options when we want to say what other people say, think or believe.

One option is to use direct speech and state the information with an introductory verb followed by inverted commas. In this manner, we can report the original message word for word.

Juan dice, "“hay un ratón en mi casa”".
Juan says, "There is a mouse in my house."

Juan dice, "dame una ratonera".
Juan says, "Give me a mousetrap."

A second option is to use indirect speech and restate the original message using our own words. In this case, we introduce the information with an introductory verb followed by “que” (‘that’).

Juan dijo que había un ratón en su casa.
Juan said that there was a mouse in his house.

Juan me dijo que le diera una ratonera.
Juan told me that I (should) give him a mousetrap.

Note! The tense in reported speech is different than the tense in direct speech. The tense changes from the present to the past. In the example below, dice changes to dijo and quiero changes to quería .

Direct:
Ana dice, "quiero un refresco".
Ana says, "I want a soft drink."

Indirect:
Ana dijo que quería un refresco.
Ana said that she wanted a soft drink.


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