English Grammar Exercises for A2 – Reported speech (1)

1. What did the people say? Rewrite the reported speech as direct speech.

1) She said that she wasn’t going out.

 ‘I’m not going out.’

2) He said that he wanted to go to bed.


3) They said they were arriving at six o’clock.


4) She said that she didn’t like cheese.


5) He said he had been to Italy in 2009.


6) She said that she was reading a good book.


7) They said they had received a lot of good advice.


8) He said that he wasn’t going to do washing-up.


Show answers

2) ‘I want to go to bed.’

3) ‘We’re arriving at six o’clock.’

4) ‘I don’t like cheese.’

5) ‘I went to Italy in 2009.’

6) ‘I’m reading a good book.’

7) ‘We received a lot of cards at Christmas.’

8) ‘I’m not going to do the washing-up.’

2. Complete the reported speech.

1) ‘Somebody stole wallet,’ said James.

   James said somebody had stolen his wallet.

2) ‘The suspect is at the police station,’ said Alex.

   Alex said that the suspect ______________ at the police station.

3) ‘The police are appealing for witnesses,’ said the reporter.

    The reporter said the police ______________ for witnesses.

4) ‘I’m going to search the house,’ said the officer.

    The officer said she ______________ the house.

5) ‘The police launched an investigation into the muggings,’ said George.

   George said that the police ______________ an investigation into the muggings.

6) ‘In London the police make hundreds of arrests every day,’ said the TV announcer.

    The TV announcer said the police ______________ hundreds of arrests every day.

7) ‘I think arson is worse than burglary,’ said Jane.

      Jane said she ______________ that arson ______________ worse than burglary.

Show answers

2) was  3) were appealing  4) was going to search

5) had launched 6) make  7) thought, was

3. Rewrite the direct speech as reported speech. You may have to change pronouns and references to time or place.

1) ‘We arrested the culprits last Tuesday,’ said the police inspector.

  The police inspector said that they had arrested the culprits the Tuesday before.

2) ‘Somebody broke into our house last night,’ said Mike.


3) ‘People sometimes sell drugs outside school,’ said Kate.


4) ‘We are going to study the CCTV footage today,’ said the police officer.


5) ‘Jack stole a camera from a shop yesterday,’ said Fred.


6) ‘The police are looking for the thief who stole car,’ said Sam.


Show answers

2) Mike said that somebody had broken into their house the night before / last night.

3) Kate said that people sometimes sold drugs outside her school.

4) The police officer said that they were going to study the CCTV footage that day.

5) Fred said that John had stolen a camera from a shop the day before.

6) Sam said that the police were looking for the thief who had stolen his car.

4. Read the police officer’s radio report. Then rewrite it as reported speech below.

Police officer: The suspects are outside the bank ___ They arrived two minutes ago ___ They’re getting out of their car ___ I recognise one of them ___ He robbed a bank in London four years ago ___ They look nervous ___ One of them is carrying a large black bag ___ They are going into the bank ___ I’m going to follow them.

1) The police officer said that the suspects were outside the bank.

2) She said      ______________

3) She said      ______________

4) She said      ______________

5) She said      ______________

6) She said      ______________

7) She said      ______________

8) She said      ______________

9) She said      ______________

Show answers

2) ___ that they had arrived two minutes ago.

3) ___ that they were getting out of their car.

4) ___ that she recognised one of them.

5) ___ that he had robbed a bank in London four years before / ago.

6) ___ that they looked nervous.

7) ___ that one of them was carrying a large black bag.

8) ___ that they were going into the bank.

9) ___ that she was going to follow them.

5. Correct the mistakes in the reported speech.

1) ‘I’m not saying any more,’ she told us.

  She said us she wasn’t saying any more. ✗



2) ‘You took phone,’ the man said to me.

 The man said to me that I had taken phone. ✗



3) ‘Everyone knows Jim,’ the woman said.

  The woman said that everyone had known Jim. ✗



4) ‘These are the boys who broke in last night,’ the man told the officer.

  The man told the officer that those were the boys who had broken in last night. ✗



5) ‘I am keeping you here until you answer questions,’ the detective told her.

  The detective told her that he is keeping her there until she answered his questions. ✗



6) ‘I don’t believe a word you tell me,’ the officer said to her.

      The officer said that he didn’t believe a word she told her. ✗



Show answers

1) said – told us

2) – his

3) knew

4) last night – the night before

5) is keeping – was keeping

6) her – him

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