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REPORTED SPEECH (Estilo Indirecto)

I.- REPORTED STATEMENTS (Oraciones declarativas)

a) Principales aspectos del Estilo Indirecto:

- No hay comillas (“”).


- La oración normalmente empieza con un verbo introductorio como say, tell, ask, inquire, think, explain,
complain, warn, point out, remark, declare, state, announce, protest, claim, etc.
- El tiempo del verbo de la oración subordinada “da un paso atrás” si el verbo introductorio está en pasado.
- No hay preguntas, por lo que el verbo auxiliar no aparece al principio de la frase.
- Las palabras que indican lugar, tiempo, pronombres, posesivos, etc. normalmente cambian.

Note: después de los verbos say, tell y think podemos omitir that, pero después de verbos como explain,
complain, point out, etc. that no se omite.

b) Cambios:

1. Si tenemos más de un verbo auxiliar en la frase, sólo cambia el primero.


“My house is being redecorated”, she said.
She said (that) her house was being redecorated.

2. Estos cambios no tienen lugar:

- Cuando el verbo introductorio esté en presente o futuro:


“I love soup”, says Mary.
Mary says (that) she loves soup.

- Cuando estemos hablando sobre una situación permanente o algo que es habitual:
“London is the capital of Great Britain”, she pointed out.
She pointed out (that) London is the capital of Great Britain.

“Peter lives in High Street”, I told them.


I told them (that) Peter lives in High Street.

3. Expresiones de tiempo:

now û then
today û that day
yesterday û the day before, the previous day
tomorrow û the next/following day, the day after
tonight û that night
next week/month û the following week/month
last week/month û the previous week/month, the week/month before
a week/month ago û the week/month before

4. Otros cambios:

this û that
these û those
here û there
5. Tiempos verbales: cambios que se producen cuando el verbo introductorio esté en pasado:

Direct speech Reported Speech

Present Simple
“She studies English”
- Past Simple
He said (that) she studied English

Present Continuous Past Continuous


“She is studying English” - He said (that) she was studying English

Present Perfect Past Perfect


“She has studied English” - He said (that) she had studied English

Present Perfect Continuous Past Perfect Continuous


“She has been studying English” - He said (that) she had been studying English

Past Simple
“She studied English”
- Past Perfect
He said (that) she had studied English

Past Continuous Past Perfect Continuous/Past Continuous


“She was studying English” - He said (that) she had been studying/was studying
English
Past Perfect
“She had studied English” - No changes: He said (that) she had studied English.

Past Perfect Continuous - No changes: He said (that) she had been studying
“She had been studying English” English.

Future Simple Conditional Simple


“She will study English” - He said (that) she would study English

Future Continuous
“She will be studying English”
- Conditional Continuous
He said (that) she would be studying English

Can Could
“She can study English” - He said (that) she could study English

May Might
“She may study English” - He said (that) she might study English

Must/Have to (obligation)
“She must/has to study English”
- Had to
He said (that) she had to study English

Must (deduction/possibility) Must


“She must be at home. The lights are on” - He said (that) she must be at home because the
lights were on.

Shall
“When shall I have my own house?”
- Should
He asked (that) when he should have his own
house.

Note: Los verbos modales should, could, would, mustn’t y might, y los semimodales ought to, had better
y used to no cambian.
II.- REPORTED COMMANDS (Órdenes indirectas)

Cambios:

1. El imperativo se cambia a infinitivo con su forma positiva o negativa:


He said, “Stay here” ! He told us to stay here.
She shouted, “Don’t move!” ! She ordered us not to move.

2. El verbo introductorio utilizado debe indicar “ordenar, mandar, pedir”, y por eso el verbo say no se
utiliza en las órdenes indirectas:
He said, “Don’t shout” ! He told me not to shout

3. El verbo, con el significado de “ordenar”, debe ir seguido de un pronombre objeto o un sustantivo


indicando a quién se da la orden (Sujeto + verbo introductorio + objeto + TO + infinitivo):
He said, “Be quiet” ! He told us to be quiet

4. Aparte de “tell” se pueden utilizar otros verbos con significado similar: warn, order, command,
instruct, etc.:
“Don’t touch that”, he said to me ! He warned me not to touch that

III.- REPORTED QUESTIONS (Preguntas indirectas)

Cambios:

@ “Yes / No” questions:

Observa lo que sucede en los siguientes ejemplos:

“Did you speak to John last night?”, she asked. “Are you working these days?”, he inquired.
She asked if / whether I had spoken to John the night before He inquired if / whether I was working those days

El sujeto y el orden del verbo ha cambiado (no hay inversión).


1. El tiempo verbal ha cambiado (el “paso atrás”).
2. Hemos utilizado if /whether (pueden usarse ambos indistintamente).
3. Hemos cambiado los pronombres de acuerdo con la situación.
4. La expresión de tiempo también ha cambiado.
5. Las comillas y la interrogación han desaparecido.

@ “Wh-” questions:

Cuando pasamos a estilo indirecto este tipo de preguntas, utilizamos la partícula interrogativa “Wh-”en lugar
de “if/whether”. El resto de los cambios siguen siendo los mismos que para las “Yes/No” questions:

1. Si la partícula “wh-” es el sujeto de la frase, no hay ningún cambio en el orden de las palabras:
“Who told you this story?”, he asked
He asked who had told us that story.

2. Si la partícula “wh-” no es el sujeto de la oración, entonces la pregunta indirecta no lleva el auxiliar antes
del sujeto:
“Where did you go last summer?”, he asked me.
He asked me where I had gone the previous summer.

Nota: los verbos más utilizados en las preguntas indirectas son ask, enquire, wonder, would like to know,
want to know.
IV.- REPORTED REQUESTS AND SUGGESTIONS (Peticiones y sugerencias indirectas)

a) Peticiones:

1. La persona que recibió la petición va después del verbo introductorio. Los verbos pueden ser ask,
demand, beg, invite y request (con la misma estructura que en los Reported Commands, punto 3).

2. La palabra “Please” se omite:


“John, don’t open the window, please”, I said.
I asked/requested/begged John not to open the window.

3. Si se usa el verbo let en la petición, también tiene que estar en el estilo indirecto pero omitiendo el modal
antes de él:
“Can you let me use your phone, please?”, I asked my neighbour.
I asked my neighbour to let me use her phone.

4. Si el verbo let no se usa en la petición, utilizamos el modal y la estructura con infinitivo desaparece:
I asked my neighbour if I could use her phone.

b) Sugerencias:

Las sugerencias pueden expresarse de varias maneras:

- Let’s... ! “Let’s go to the theatre”, she said.


- Why don’t we... ! “Why don’t we go to the theatre?”, she said.
- Shall we... ! “Shall we go to the theatre?”, she said.
- Why not... ! “Why not go to the theatre?”, she said.

Para poner una sugerencia en estilo indirecto, usamos el verbo introductorio suggest de dos formas diferentes:

1. Seguido de un gerundio (muy frecuente):


She suggested going to the theatre.

2. Con una oración subordinada introducida por that (no tan frecuente):
She suggested that we (should) go to the theatre.
Verbos introductorios más comunes clasificados por su estructura:

Introductory verbs Direct Speech Reported Speech

Verb + TO + Infinitive

agree “Yes, I’ll help you”, he said to her. He agreed to help her.
offer “Shall I open the door?”, he said. He offered to open the door.
promise “Of course I’ll pay you”, he said to her. He promised to pay her.
refuse “No, I won’t go with you”, he told her. He refused to go with her.
threaten “Stop crying or I’ll punish you”, he told me. He threatened to punish me if I didn’t stop crying.

Verb + Object + TO + Infinitive

advise “You should see a lawyer”, she said to me. She advised me to see a lawyer.
ask “Could you help me?”, he said to me. He asked me to help him.
beg “Please, please don’t hurt her!”, she told me. She begged me not to hurt her.
command “Stand to attention!”, he said to me. He commanded me to stand to attention.
invite “Will you have dinner with me?”, he told me. He invited me to have dinner with him.
order “Leave the cat alone!”, she said to me. She ordered me to leave the cat alone.
remind “Don’t forget to ring Ann”, she said to me. She reminded me to ring Ann.
tell “Come here”, she said to me. She told me to go there.
warn “Don’t go near the rocks”, they said to us. They warned us not to go near the rocks.

Verb + “-ing”

accuse sb of “You took the money”, he said to her. He accused her of taking/having taken the money.
admit “Yes, I told her the secret”, said he. He admitted telling/having told her the secret.
apologize for “I’m sorry I arrived so late”, said he. He apologized for arriving so late.
boast of/about “I’m the fastest of all”, said she. She boasted of/about being the fastest of all.
complain (to sb) of “I have a toothache”, he said (to me). He complained (to me) of having a toothache.
deny “I didn’t take the book”, said she. She denied taking/having taken the book.
insist on “I must go with you”, he said. He insisted on going with me.
(say sb) prefer “I’d rather do it myself”, she said. She said (that) she preferred doing/to do it herself.
recommend “You should try this beer”, he told me. He recommended me trying that beer.
suggest “Let’s have a party”, they said. They suggested having a party.

Verb + “THAT” clause

admit “Yes, she told me the secret”, said he. He admitted that she had told him the secret.
agree “You’re right. It’s a big house”, he said. He agreed that it was a big house.
claim “He knows nothing about it”, she said. She claimed that he knew nothing about it.
complain “You’re always lying to me”, she said to him. She complained that he was always lying to her.
deny “No, she didn’t take that book”, he said. He denied that she had taken that book.
exclaim “What a sunny day!”, said he. He exclaimed that it was a sunny day.
explain (to sb) “That’s why I didn’t take it”, he said (to me). He explained (to me) that/why he hadn’t taken it.
insist “You must come with us”, he said to me. He insisted that I had to/should go with them.
promise “Sure! Ann will help you”, he said to us. He promised that Ann would help us.
remark “It’s a nice town”, she said. She remarked that it was a nice town.
remind sb “Remember to phone her”, he said to me. He reminded me that I had to/should phone her.
reply “I live in London”, he answered. He replied that he lived in London.
suggest “You’d better see a doctor”, she said to him. She suggested that I should see a doctor.
tell sb * “She’s a beautiful girl”, he said to me. He told me that she is/was a beautiful girl.
threaten “If you do it, I’ll tell mum”, he said to me. He thretened that he’d tell mum if I did it.
warn “Tom mustn’t attend the meeting”, he said. He warned that Tom mustn’t attend the meeting.

* Este verbo admite la construcción con THAT si no es una orden o una petición.