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Copy of Week 15 Day 1: Direct vs Reported Speech part 2

  • English

  • Spanish

Today's goal is: 

  • To learn more about the direct and reported speech

Listen to Week 15 Day 1 Track 1

Rosa: Laura, ¿sabes a quién vi esta mañana?

Laura, do you know who I saw this morning?

Laura: ¿A quién?


Rosa: A Antonio.


Laura: ¿El hermano de Catalina? 

Catalina’s brother?

Rosa: Sí, él. Estaba muy interesado en ti.

Yes, him. He was very interested in you.

Laura: ¿En serio? ¿Qué te dijo?

Really? What did he say?

Rosa: Me preguntó si todavía estabas casada.

He asked me if you were still married.

Laura: ¿Y qué le dijiste?

And what did you tell him?

Rosa: Le dije la verdad. Le dije que tú y tu marido se separaron el año pasado.

I told him the truth. I told him you and your husband split up last year.

Laura: ¿Y qué más te dijo él?

And what else did he say?

Rosa: Bueno, me pidió tu número de teléfono.

Well, he asked me for your phone number.

Laura: ¿Se lo diste?

Did you give it to him?

Rosa: Sí, se lo di. Luego él me dijo que te llamaba más tarde.

Yes, I gave it to him. Then he said he would call you later.

Laura: Ay, Dios, no lo puedo creer que hiciste eso.

Oh, my God, I can’t believe you did that.

  • English

  • Spanish

Last lesson we covered direct and reported speech. Remember we can use these structures to repeat what someone said in the past.

Take a moment to analyze the examples below and decide which sentences use the direct and reported speech.

Listen to Week 15 Day 1 Track 2

  • English

  • Spanish

  • Gabriel dijo: “Yo quiero ir al cine”. - (Gabriel said: “I want to go to the movies.”)
  • Patricia dijo que su papá vivía en Barcelona. - (Patricia said that her father lived in Barcelona.)
  • El presidente señaló: “Las elecciones son este domingo”. - (The president stated: “The elections are this Sunday”)
  • Mi tía mencionó que los niños estaban durmiendo. - (My aunt mentioned that the kids were sleeping.)

If you think the first and third sentences use direct speech, you’re right! We can find this form of speech in books or articles. The second and fourth sentence use reported speech. We can normally see it in casual conversations when people repeat something they heard or was said to them. It is more common than direct speech.

Speaking Practice Exercise 1

Listen to Week 15 Day 1 Track 3

Estilo directo e indirecto parte 2 – direct and reported speech part 2

  • English

  • Spanish

Aside from affirmative and negative sentences, we can use direct and reported speech with questions. With direct speech, we will use the punctuation we have practiced before with the addition of question marks.

Let’s take a look at a few examples:

  • Mi papá preguntó: “¿A qué hora es tu vuelo?”. - (My dad asked: “What time is your flight?”)
  • La profesora preguntó: “¿Estudiaron para el examen?” - (The teacher asked: “Did you study for the exam?”)
  • Luis y Ana preguntaron: “¿Ustedes conocen a Carmen?”. - (Luis and Ana asked: “¿Do you know Carmen?”)

Preguntar is usually the only verb we use with direct speech. 

Formulating questions with reported speech is a bit more complex. The first thing we need to know before making the appropriate changes is what kind of question we are reporting. Is it an information question or is it a yes-or-no type of question?

Listen to Week 15 Day 1 Track 4

Preguntas cerradas en el estilo indirecto – yes-or-no question in reported speech

  • English

  • Spanish

To form yes-or-no questions in reported speech, we have to make the changes to the fragment we are reporting, with the addition of the conjunction si (if).

Pay close attention to the changes in the following examples.

  • Carla pregunta: “¿Tú vives en este edificio?”. = Carla me preguntó si yo vivía en ese edificio. - (Carla asked me if I lived in that building.)
  • José pregunta: “¿Pablo viene a la oficina mañana?” = José me preguntó si Pablo venía a la oficina hoy. - (José asked me if Pablo was coming to the office today.)
  • Mi mamá pregunta: “¿Ustedes estudian en la misma escuela?”. = Mi mamá nos preguntó si nosotros estudiábamos en la misma escuela. - (My mom asked us if we studied in the same school.)
  • Mi primo pregunta: “¿Miguel es amigo de Julieta?” = Mi primo me preguntó si Miguel era amigo de Julieta. - (My cousin asked me if Miguel was friends with Julieta.)

Notice how when we form questions with reported speech, the question marks disappear. This happens because they are no longer questions. They are statements.

Listen to Week 15 Day 1 Track 5

Preguntas de información en el estilo indirecto – information questions in reported speech

  • English

  • Spanish

When it comes to information questions, meaning those we answer with something more than yes or no, we have to keep in mind the question words in the original question. Qué, cómo, cúando, dónde, por qué, and cuánto, (what, how, when, where, why, and how many) are some of the most common question words we can use. Other than that, all we need to do is change the fragment we are reporting as we have practiced. Remember not to include question marks (¿) (?), or the conjunction.

Take a look at how these questions change from direct to reported speech:

  • Mario le pregunta a Ana: “¿Qué hora es?” = Mario le preguntó a Ana qué hora era. - (Marios asked Ana what time it was)
  • Sebastián pregunta: “¿Dónde queda la farmacia?” = Sebastián pregunta que dónde queda la farmacia. - (Sebastián asks where the drug store is.)
  • Diego y Patricia preguntan: “¿Cuándo es tu cumpleaños?” = Diego y Patricia querían saber cuándo era mi cumpleaños. - (Diego and Patricia wanted to know when my birthday was.)
  • Mi primo le pregunta a Carlos: “¿Por qué no vas a la universidad?” = Mi primo deseaba saber por qué Carlos no iba a la universidad. - (My cousin wished to know why Carlos didn’t go to college.)

Preguntar is the most common verb when reporting questions. However, as you can see in the examples above, we can also use other verbs such as querer saber, or desear saber

Remember that you may choose to report the questions in presente de indicativo or pretérito imperfecto (simple present or simple past).

Also, adding the objective pronouns me, te, nos, le, les before the question verb is common but not mandatory. It would be the equivalent of either saying “He asked me” or simply “He asked.”  

Lastly, it is worth noting that the conjunction que is not really necessary when it comes to reporting questions, whether it is a yes-or-no question or an information question. In spite of this, sometimes people do add it to the sentence before the question word as seen in the second sentence above.

Speaking Practice Exercise 2

Listen to Week 15 Day 1 Track 6

Órdenes, consejos y peticiones en el estilo indirecto – orders, advice, and requests in reported speech

  • English

  • Spanish

We can report orders, advice, and requests with the reported speech. The structure is quite similar to how we would report a normal statement in present. The only difference is that instead of using presente de indicativo (simple present), we will be using presente de subjuntivo (subjunctive present).

Let’s take a look at a few examples:

  • El conductor nos ordena: “No se muevan de tu asiento” = El conductor nos ordena que no nos movamos de nuestros asientos. - (The driver told us not to move from our seats.)
  • David me pide: “Ayúdame con esta receta” = David me pide que lo ayude con esa receta. - (David asks me to help him with that recipe.)
  • El doctor me aconseja: “Come más ensaladas” = El doctor me aconseja que coma más ensaladas. - (The doctor advised I ate more salads.)
  • La profesora nos pide: “No hagan ruido” = La profesora nos pide que no hagamos ruido. - (The teacher asked us not to make any noise.)

As you can see in these examples, the conjunction “que” always goes before the fragment in present subjunctive. Ordenar, aconsejar and pedir (tell/order, advise, and ask) are the verbs we will be using.




Today we covered more of the estilo directo e indirecto (direct and reported speech). We went over yes-or-no questions and information questions, as well as how to report orders, advice, and requests in reported speech. Remember that reported speech is the most common of the structures of speech and as such, we should pay close attention to it.

Sharpen Your Knowledge with Exercises

Exercise 1

Exercise 2

Exercise 3

Exercise 4

Exercise 5

Exercise 6

Exercise 7