Direct and indirect speech: Change of pronouns
A change in speaker may mean a change of pronoun.
- Alice: "I am going home."
- Mary: Alice said that she was going home.
In the example given above, Alice says I to refer to herself. Mary, talking about what Alice said, naturally uses she.
- Bill said that he didnt like the party. (NOT Bill said that I didnt like the party.)
Rules for the change of Pronouns
- He told her, "I want to meet your father."
- He told her that he wanted to meet her father.
2. There will be no change in the pronoun when the speaker reports his own words.
- I said, "I am going."
- I said that I was going.
3. Second person pronouns (you, yours) change according to the person of the object of the reporting verb.
- He told her, "I love you."
- He told her that he loved her.
- I told him, "You are a stupid."
- I told him that he was a stupid.
4. Third person pronouns do not normally change in the reported speech.
- She said, "I love him."
- She said that she loved him.
Sections in this article
Direct and indirect speech
Rules for the change of pronouns
Rules for the change of tenses
Rules for the change of adverbs
Reporting hopes, intentions and promises
Reporting orders, requests and advice
Reporting questions: grammar exercise
Reported speech exercise
Reporting Yes/No questions