Lesson 1 of4
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Reported Speech with ‘Say’ and ‘Tell’ and How to use sequence of tenses

Kate July 23, 2020

There are countless verbs that we can use to report speech, and we will take a look at some of these later on in the course.

To begin, the two most common verbs that we use for reporting speech are say and tell.

When we report a past event that has already occurred, we need to make some changes to the original statement and verb tenses. This is called sequence of tenses.

Below are some ‘cheat sheet’ style images showing the changes we need to make to tenses and time expressions.

When do I use sequence of tenses?

It is important to note that we only need to make these changes when reporting an event from the past that has already happened or finished.

For the sake of practising the verb tense changes, for this lesson, we will assume that the events have already happened, and it is always necessary to follow sequence of tenses.

If you’re ready, let’s begin by checking out the difference between say and tell, before looking at the verb tense changes in more detail.

Check out Lorraine’s FREE webinar on this lesson on our YouTube channel: