‘I like the pink flowers,’ she said.
She said she loved the pink flowers.
Could you make out the difference between the above two sentences?
It is the shift of particular words that are changing the speech of both sentences.
How we tell what another person has said is called Reported Speech. In order to do this, we could use Direct or Indirect speech.
In the above-given sentence, the first sentence is the Direct speech and the second one is indirect speech.
Very often, in the case of indirect speech, we use the tense that is ‘further back’ in the past than the tense that is actually or originally used. For better understanding, look at the example of ‘worked’. What we did here is called ‘Backshift’. At times, we will also require to change some other words that were used in the statement, those words could be pronouns.
The time when we backshift, the present simple tense gets changed to the past simple, present continuous tense changes to past continuous tense, and the present perfect tense changes to past perfect. Indirect speech is also called Reported Speech. In case if the reporting verb is in the past tense, we change the tense in the reported speech. At times when we change direct speech into reported speech, we will have to change the time and its expressions too.
Let us understand with some examples,
Direct speech (statement): I like chocolates.
Reported speech: She says (that) she likes chocolates.
Direct speech (question): Where do you study?
Reported speech: He asked me where I study?
Direct speech (question): Where is everybody?
Reported speech: She asked me where everybody was?
Direct speech (request): Please don’t smoke.
Reported speech (request): He asked me not to smoke.
Direct speech: Could you pass the bottle, please?
Reported speech: He asked me to pass the bottle.
It is not difficult to understand a direct speech and an indirect speech. It is just a mere shift of words and how would you tell a third person about what you have heard from a second person.