Reported speech or indirect speech –EL ESTILO INDIRECTO in Spanish- are used to relate someone’s words without using a direct quote.
Decir without an indirect object usually means “to say.” In Spanish, as in English, when reporting what someone “says,” the tense used in the original statement is also used in the reported-speech expression.
On the other hand, when reporting what someone “said,” a past tense is used. The indicative is used to report what someone says or said. The subjunctive is used in commands, to report what someone tells or told someone else to do.
Direct and indirect Speech in Spanish
Here you have some examples. Tense original quote is the direct speech, tense after “dice que” is the indirect speech in present while tense after “dijo que” is the indirect speech in the past.
Notice that in English “that” is optional in reported speech: He says he worked hard. / He says that he worked hard. In Spanish “que” is compulsory: Dijo que trabajaba duro.
There are much more about reported speech what we will see it in future post, so keep in touch!
Reported speech exercices
Now it is time you practice everything you have learned with the interactive activitiy below. Remember to contact your tutor with any question you have about reported speech in Spanish or to ask for more activities. Don’t you have a Spanish personal tutor yet?