As people, one of our favourite things to do is talk, right? And one of our favourite things to talk about is other people. We often retell stories to our friends and in doing so we would most likely use reported speech.
As a beginner in any language, we tend to use direct quotes, such as this example below.
This is great. But by using reported speech we can explain stories more fluently in a variety of ways. See the example below.
Notice how the tense has changed from present to past (am > was)? While this isn't always necessary, we usually move the tense backwards in time when reporting speech. Here are some more examples:
Present continuous --> Past continuous
Present perfect --> Past perfect
Future with "will" --> Modal verb "would"
Modal verb "can" --> Modal verb "could"
Past simple is the one exception, that can either use past perfect or past simple again in reported speech.
Past simple --> Past perfect / Past simple
Something still happening
If the event is still happening now, we don't need to change the tense.
The verb "said" is the most common reporting verb, but it's not very descriptive. We can also use "tell", such as in the example below. But this has the same problem.
*Note that we need to include an object after "told" such as "me" or "him"
We can use many different verbs to convey a deeper emotion, such as in the examples below.
This is quite a large topic and there's much more than could be said. However, this is a great starting point for you to talk about people using reported speech - making your stories sound more interesting and exciting for anyone listening!