E l estilo d irecto es u na m a ne ra m ás o m e no s exacta d e rep ro d uc ir las p a lab ras
q ue a lg u ie n d ijo en u n m o m e nto d eter m in ad o . Las p ala b ras citad as va n
entreco m illa d as e intro d uc id as ge ne ra lm e nte p o r u n ve rb o d e ente n d im ie n to o d e
le n g ua.
T h en I th o u g h t::” W h y a m I d o in g th is? ”
M y m u m sa id : "D o n 't fo rg et to w rite !"
E l estilo in d irecto es la o tra m a ne ra q ue ten e m o s d e rep ro d uc ir las p alab ras o
p ensa m ie n to s d e alg u ie n. E ste estilo no rep ro d uce litera lm e n te lo q ue d ijo el s ujeto
en c uestió n (hab la n te o p ensa nte), sin o q ue in tro d uce u na serie d e ca m b io s en lo q ue
se d ijo . E sto s ca m b io s afecta n a lo s tie m p o s ve rb a les, al o rd e n d e la frase, a lo s
p ro no m b res ya las re fere nc ias te m p o ra les.
T e p re g u nta rás cuá nd o has utilizad o tú u n rec urso q ue p arece ta n co m p licad o .
B ie n, p ues no es nad a co m p licad o , tú lo utilizas co ntin u a m e nte e n m u ltitud d e
situac io nes : a l co ntar e l arg u m e n to d e u na p e líc u la o u n lib ro , al rep ro d uc ir las
p alab ras d e tu m ad re, al co nta r a u n a m ig o lo q ue te d ijo o tro , etc. P o r eso es
fu n d a m e nta l estud ia rlo estab lec ie nd o u nas re g las ló g icas d e có m o fu nc io na.
P rim e ro vea m o s alg ú n eje m p lo :
A d ice : "M y n a m e 's C a rla . "
B le cue nta a C lo q ue d ijo A : S h e sa id (th a t) h er n a m e w a s C a rla .
¿Q ué ca m b io s se ha n p ro d u c id o e n la se g u nd a o rac ió n ?
I. H a y u n ve rb o (rep o rtin g verb ) q ue intro d u ce la c ita : sa id p o rq ue ha tra nsc u rrid o u n
tie m p o d esd e q ue A hab ló hasta q ue B lo co n tó .
2 . N o se utiliza n co m illas p o rq ue no se transcrib e litera lm e n te lo q ue A d ijo .
3 .A p arece la co n ju nc ió n th a t q ue eq u iva le a l q ue esp a ño l. E n in g lés es o p cio na l, p o r eso la
escrib im o s en tre p aré ntes is.
4 .C a m b ia e l ad jetivo p o ses ivo a tercera p erso na d el s in g u la r fe m e n in o (m y
h er) p o rq ue la
q ue ha hab lad o es u na m u je r.
5 .C a m b ia e l tie m p o : d e l p resente s im p le se p asa al p asad o sim p le (is
w a s) sin o lv id ar
la p erso na co n la q ue co nc uerd a ta m b ié n e n n ú m ero (sh e ).
E n estilo ind irecto , lo s ca m b io s verb a les so n se nc illo s y m u y ló g ico s : u n p aso atrás en el
tie m p o .
D irect S p eech
R ep o rted S p eech
p resen t sim p le
p a st sim p le
p resen t co n tin u o u s
p a st co n tin u o u s
p a st sim p le
p a st p erfect
p resen t p erfect
p a st p erfect
ca n + in fin itive
co u ld + in fin itive
w ill + in fin itive
wo u ld + in fin itive
L o s ve rb o s q ue in tro d uce n las p a lab ras citad as se lla m a n rep o rtin g verb s y p ued e n
ser m u y varia d o s seg ú n la inte nc ió n q ue d em o s a la frase: sa y, tell, a sk , ex cla im , etc.
L a d ifere nc ia e ntre sa y y te ll es q ue tell siem p re va seg u id o d e u n p ro n o m b re o b jeto
sin to .
S h e to ld m e sh e wo u ld ta ke th e 4 o 'clo ck tra in .
S a y p ued e o no lle var u n p ro n o m b re. S i lo lle v a, ha d e ir p reced id o d e la p rep o s ic ió n to
S h e sa id to m e sh e wo u ld ta ke th e 4 o 'clo ck tra in .
S h e sa id (th a t) sh e h a d wo rked fo r th ree h o u rs.
E xcep cion es:
a. V erdades u n iversales: N o debe haber ca m b ios en los tie m pos verba les
cua ndo una frase expresa un hec ho sup uesta m e nte universa l y no aplicab le
sola m e nte al tie m p o en la q ue se dijo.
Socrates said, “ Virtue is kno wled ge” Socrates said that virtue is
kno wled ge
b. A ccion es h abitu a les: U na acc ió n hab itua l es algo q ue no rm a lm e nte no
cam bia
H e said,” I get u p at seven everyday”
everyday
H e said he gets u p at seven
c. F rases con dicion ales: Las frases cond ic io na les que im p lica n una
cond ic io n im p robab le (T ipo II) o im pos ib les (T ipo III) ta m poco ca m b ia n
en estilo ind irecto.
H e said, “ If he cam e I w ould be surprised”
H e said that if he cam e he would be surprised
C am b ios en los p r on om b res
L os pro no m bres perso na les y los adjetivos y p ro no m bres posesivos
ca m b ia n de prim era o segunda perso na a tercera.
T hey said, “ W e’ve brought our books; the books on the desk are ours”
T hey said that they had brought thair books and they said that the book on the
desk were theirs.
A de m ás, observa co m o ca m b ia n ta m b ié n this y these que ca m b ia n a
that y th ose respectiva m e nte
H e said, “ T hese are m y books”
H e said that those were his book
C am b ios en los ad verb ios y frases ad verb iales:
E stilo D irecto
E stilo ind irec to
T oda y
that da y
Y esterday
the da y be fo re/the pre vio us day
T o m o rrow
the da y a fter/the ne xt da y/the fo llow ing da y
N ext w eek/yea r
the fo llow ing w eek/year
L ast w eek/yea r
the pre vio us w eek/year
H ere
the re
N ow
T he n
H e said, “ I’ll see you tom orrow ”
H e said he would see him the follo win g day
O tr os cam b ios
E stilo D irecto
A go
E stilo ind irec to
before
Come
go
B ring
take
H e said, ” I saw him four days ago”
H e said he had seen him four days before
E xcla m acion es
L as exc la m ac io nes tie ne n e l m is m o tra ta m ie nto q ue las aseverac io nes
E .g. “ W hat a dreadful thin g !” o “ H o w dreadfu l!”
dreadful thing/that it w as dreadful
H e said that it was a
“Y es” y “N o” e n E stilo in d irecto
Yes y N o se expresan e n estilo ind irecto m ed ia nte la fórm ula Sujeto + verbo
auxiliar apropiado : H e said, “ C an you swim ? ” and I said, “ N o”
H e asked (m e) if I could s w im and I ans wered that I couldn’t
P ara ca m b iar las pre guntas a estilo ind irecto, ha y a lgo m ás q ue debes
saber. O bserva el s iguie nte eje m p lo ya continuac ió n a na liza m os los ca m b ios :
E stilo d irecto
M ary: "W here does your brother live?"
E stilo ind irecto
M ary asked m e w here m y brother lived.
E n el estilo ind irecto :
1. S up rim im o s las co m illas y el s igno de inte rro gac ió n (ya no es una
interro gativa d irecta s ino ind irecta).
2. M ary se convie rte en e l sujeto de l ve rbo ask (pasado
asked ), porq ue
da m os un paso atrás en e l tie m po.
3. W h ere no varía, pero sí la estructura de la pre gunta que se co m porta co m o
si fuese una orac ió n a firm ativa :
- no ha y a uxilia r
- el verbo p rinc ipa l está en pasado
-e l sujeto p recede al verbo
4. E l adjetivo posesivo ca m b ia : your
m y.
O jo : Los siguie ntes son errores m uy co m unes :
M ary asked m e where lived m y broth er ¡Incorrecto !
M ary asked m e where did m y broth er live. ¡Inco rrecto !
E l verbo ha de ir al fina l, no de la nte de l sujeto, así lo correcto es: M ary asked m e
w here m y brother lived.
V ea m os otro eje m p lo :
E stilo d irecto
H ow can 1 get to the railway station?
E stilo ind irecto
H e asked m e ho w he could get to the railw ay station.
S i la pre gunta q ue pasa m os a reported speech sólo nos e xige una resp uesta
afirm ativa o ne gativa, tene m os q ue aña d ir la co njunc ió n if; así:
E stilo d irecto
D id you enjoy the party?
E stilo ind irecto
She asked m e if 1 had enjoyed the party.
(M e preguntó si m e hab ía divertido en la fiesta.)
E n lugar de if; po de m os utilizar w hether. Significa n lo m ism o.
She asked m e whether 1 had enjoyed the party.
Y a has v isto q ue e l rep o rtin g verb q ue utiliza m o s en p re g u n tas es a sk , q ue ju nto
co n sa y y tell so n lo s verb o s m ás frec ue n tem e n te utilizad o s en e l estilo in d irecto . N o
o b stante, ha y o tro s m u c ho s q ue p o d e m o s usar seg ú n e l m atiz q ue q uera m o s a ñad ir a lo
q ue a lg u ie n d ijo .
co m p la in = q uejarse
E st.d ir.
“ T h is ro o m is co ld !”
E st. Ind ir.
H e co m p la in ed th a t th e ro o m w a s co ld .
p ro m ise = p ro m ete r
E st.d ir.
“ I'll w rite a letter every d a y.”
E st. Ind ir.
H e pro m ised th a t h e w o u ld w rite a letter every d a y.
a d m it = ad m itir
E st.d ir.
“ O K , I w a s w ro n g .”
E st. Ind ir.
H e a dm itted th a t h e h a d b een w ro n g .
ex p la in = exp licar
E st.d ir.
“ Yo u see,. 1 ca n 't len d yo u m y ca r. 1 n eed it” .
E st. Ind ir.
H e ex p la in ed th a t sh e co u ld n ’'t len d m e h er ca r b eca u se sh e n eed ed it.
w a rn = ad vertir
E st.d ir.
“ lt's g o in g to b e exp en sive” .
E st. Ind ir.
S h e w arn ed m e th a t it w a s g o in g to b e exp en sive.
b o a st = alard ear, p res u m ir
E st.d ir.
“ 1 rea d th a t n o vel in o n e n ig h t.”
E st. Ind ir.
S h e b o a sted th a t sh e h a d rea d th a t n o vel in o n e n ig h t.
a n n o u n ce = an u nc ia r, co m u n icar
E st.d ir.
“ T h ey a re g o in g to g et m a rried n ext Ju n e.”
E st.in d ir.
H e a n n o u n ced th a t th ey w ere g o in g to g et m a rried th e fo llo w in g Ju n e.
O b serva q ue co n to d o s esto s verb o s he m o s u tiliza d o la co nju n c ió n th a t p ara in tro d uc ir
el estilo ind irecto .
MIXED EXERCISES (Basic Level)
1. Rewrite these statements in reported speech:
1. Ernest said: “My family is coming tomorrow morning.”
Ernest said (that) his family was coming the following morning
2. They said to me: “You can’t talk in this area.”
They told me (that) I couldn’t talk in that area
3. Judith said to us: “I saw your parents yesterday
Judith told us she had seen our parents the day before/the previous day
4. “We won´t be back until tomorrow”, we said to him.
We told him we wouldn’t be back until the next/following day
5. Phil said to her: “I’ve met lots of people since last week”.
Phil told her he had met lots of people since the previous week
6. Paul said to Sarah: “ I work near hear”
Paul told Sarah he works near there/the point they were talking
MIXED EXERCISES (Basic Level)
2. Rewrite these commands in reported speech:
1. Jeremy said to his brother: “Go to your room and close the
door.”
Jeremy told his brother to go to his room and (to) close the door
2. We said to Jane: “Don’t tell anyone until next week.”
We told Jane not to tell anyone until the following week.
3. Kate said to us: “Wait for me, please”
Kate told/begged us to wait for her
4. “Be careful and don’t be late”, they told her.
They told/warned her to be careful and not to be late
5. George said to his son: “Eat up your lunch”.
George told/asked his son to eat up his lunch.
6. The policeman said to her: “Keep off the grass”
The policeman ordered her to keep off the grass
MIXED EXERCISES (Basic Level)
3. Rewrite these questions in reported speech:
1. Maggie said to Penny: “What did you buy at the chemist’s
yesterday?.”
Maggie asked Penny what she had bought at the chemist’s the day
before
2. They said to us: “Do you usually spend your holidays
abroad?”
They asked us if we usually spent our holidays abroad..
3. He said to me: “How old are you?”
He asked me how old I was.
4. “Are you going out tonight?”, they asked her.
They asked her if/whether she was oing out that night.
5. Fred said to the policeman: “What time do the shops close
today?”.
Fred asked the policeman what time the shops closed that day.
6. Angela said to her mother: “Can I watch TV this afternoon?”
Angela asked her mother if/whether she could watch TV that
afternoon
MIXED EXERCISES (Basic Level)
4. Correct the errors in these sentences:
1. They asked me how old was I
I was
2. Mary said me that she was very happy
told me/said to me
3. Tom asked Kate that if she had posted the letter
4. We told her that she stayed with us
that
to stay
5. The policeman asked me to park not the car there
6. She wanted to know where did I live.
not to park
I lived
5. Translate these sentences into English
1. Lisa nos dijo que se había roto el brazo la semana anterior
Lisa told us she had broken her arm the previous week
2. El profesor me preguntó dónde trabajaban mis padres
The teacher asked me where my parents worked
3. Simon le pidió a Debbie que comprara el periódico
Simon asked Debbie to buy the newspaper
4. Mi hermana me dijo que no abriera la puerta
My sister told/advised me not to open the door
5. Phil dijo que tenía mucho sueño.
Phil said he was very sleepy
MIXED EXERCISES (Intermediate Level)
6. Write the following sentences in Indirect Speech:
1. “I can’t live on my basic salary”, said Peter, “I’ll have to offer
to do overtime”
Peter said he couldn’t live on his basic salary and (he added) he’d
have to offer to do overtime
2. “Are you going to see him at the airport?”, I asked her.
“Yes”, she said
I asked her if she was going to see him at the airport and she
answered that she was.
3. “Shall I send it round to your hotel, sir?”, The shopassistant
asked the tourist
The shopassistant asked if he should send it round to his hotel.
4. “Shall we meet at the theatre?”, he said.
He suggested meeting at the theatre/he suggested that they
should meet at the theatre.
5. I warn you: “Do not ever touch this!”.
He forbade me to touch that./ He advised/warned me not to touch that
6. “How disgusting!”, Angela said, “What an awful thing!”
Angela said that it was a disgusting, awful thing
MIXED EXERCISES (Intermediate Level)
6. Write the following sentences in Direct Speech:
1. He wanted to know if I was going to the dance and suggested
going together.
“Are you going to the dance?, Shall we go together?/Let’s go
together.
2. I told her to stop making a fuss about nothing
“Stop making a fuss about nothing, please!”.
3. He asked what the weather had been like during my holidays
and I said that it had been awful.
“What was the weather like during your holidays?”, he asked me. “It
was awful”, I answered
4. He said that the new carpet would arrive soon
“The new carpet will arrive soon”, he said.
5. They offered me some more wine and I accepted.
“Shall we offer you some more wine?/Would you like some more
wine?”, They offered me and I said “Yes, thanks”.
MIXED EXERCISES (Intermediate Level)
6. Write the following sentences in English:
1. Les pedí que me ayudaran y ellos han estado viniendo a casa
cada día.
I asked them for help and they have been coming home daily.
2. Nos dijeron que habían estado navegando durante tres
días cuando al fin encontraron una isla.
They told us they had been sailing for three days whan at last
they found an island.
3. Se les ordenó que callaran pero ellos siguieron haciendo
ruido toda la mañana.
They were told to shut up but they went on making noise all morning.
4. El, nervioso, me dijo: “Si hubieras estado mirando por
la ventana, habrías visto como el vecino de al lado mataba
a su mujer a cuchilladas.”
He nervously/in a nervous way told me:”If you had been looking
through the window, you would have seen how the neighbour next
door stabbed his wife.
5. Dijo: “¿Tendrás tiempo de hacerlo? Y yo le respondí “No”
D.S
I. S
He asked (me): “Will you have time to do it?”.”No”, I answered
He asked me if I would have time to do it and I answered that I
wouldn’t
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MIXED EXERCISES (Basic Level)