Definition of reported speech in English:

reported speech

noun

  • [mass noun] A speaker's words reported in subordinate clauses governed by a reporting verb, with the required changes of person and tense (e.g. he said that he would go, based on I will go).

    Also called indirect speech
    Contrasted with direct speech
    • ‘Richardson combats the mythic sweep of Dryden's heroic spectaculars with the minutia of reported speech and dress: his is the epic of the everyday.’
    • ‘That is indeed central to reported speech - putting something into the reporter's own words rather than just parroting them from another source.’
    • ‘He expresses himself in subdued gestures: his articulations in Versilov's dream are not only imagined, they are rendered in reported speech.’
    • ‘That is, the vernacular comes to us as reported speech, and it is here that we encounter the confusing dimensions of discourse within a Hurston text.’
    • ‘When a reported matter is introduced by a reporting verb in the past tense, the shift from direct to reported speech is accompanied by a back-shift of the verb.’
    • ‘Recent studies have shown how reported speech can work in interaction, giving participants a way of dealing with possible tensions and signalling intended frames.’
    • ‘His correspondence is in an affected ‘Roman style’ with stilted and archaized diction; his narrative letters, even reported speech, are full of archaisms like ‘thee,’ ‘varlet,’ and ‘durst.’’
    • ‘This is indeed found in the song ‘She said you hurt her so,’ representing the reported speech transposition of ‘She said, ‘He hurt me so’.’’
    • ‘To shift from ‘I want to know’ to ‘I wanted to know,’ is moving from speech to reported speech, and between the first moment and the second there is a temporal/spatial distance.’
    • ‘In reported speech - which they do not explain how they got hold of - they claim Blair told Frei: ‘I'll see what I can do, but only under the following conditions: nothing of this conversation can be made public.’’
    • ‘Janie's courtroom testimony is also, however, a case of reported speech nested within reported speech.’
    • ‘The use of says with a first-person singular pronoun is common in representations of reported speech in numerous American dialects.’
    • ‘This case is a good example of why one should be careful about making fun of public figures based on reported speech errors.’
    • ‘Win employs reported speech more widely, with expressions such as ‘which Mrs. Drab, the manty-maker, says will look very well’.’
    • ‘In addition to Rage's raising of men's pitches in the reported speech of the song's lyrics, another common theme in female gangsta rap is the sexual manipulation of men.’
    • ‘‘And he turns round and says’: A baffling prefix to reported speech, common in working-class southern England since the 1960s.’
    • ‘The present tense of the actual verbs in the dialogue, like the mimetic form of direct rather than reported speech is a dramatic illusion.’
    • ‘The reported speech of the song, ‘She said she loves you,’ represents a transposition of what would in direct speech have been ‘She said, ‘I love him’.’’
    • ‘What follows this statement is all reported speech, if we follow the frame, which will jump us from the back porch to Janie's story.’
    • ‘Curiously enough, the magazine chose to recount the fight in the reported speech of one of the participants in the duel.’

Pronunciation:

reported speech

/rɪˌpɔːtɪd ˈspiːtʃ/