Reported speech

We use the reported statements when we want to tell someone what the other person said or asked.

For example :

  • Direct speech: I like coffee .
  • Reported speech: She says (that) she likes coffee .

We don’t need to change the tense, but we do need to change the ‘person’ from ‘I’ to ‘she’, for example. We also may need to change pronouns like ‘my’ and ‘your’.

But, if the reporting verb is in the past tense, then usually we change the tenses in the reported speech:

  • Direct speech: I like coffe.
  • Reported speech: She said (that) she liked coffee .

Tense :present simple

Direct : I like ice cream

Reported : She said (that) she liked ice cream.

Tense :present continuous

Direct : I am living in London

Reported : She said (that) she was living in London.

Tense : past simple

Direct : I bought a car

Reported : She said (that) she had bought a car OR She said (that) she bought a car.

Tense : past continuous

Direct :I was walking along the street

Reported :She said (that) she had been walking along the street.

Tense : present perfect

Direct : I haven’t seen Julie

Reported : She said (that) she hadn’t seen Julie.

Tense : past perfect

Direct : I had taken English lessons before

Reported : She said (that) she had taken English lessons before.

Reported questions :

The tense changes are the same, and we keep the question word. The very important thing is that, once we tell the question to someone else, it isn’t a question any more.

For example :

  • Direct question : Where do you live?
  • Reported question : She asked me where I lived.

  • Direct question : what are you doing?
  • Reported question : She asked me what I was doing.

But, what if you need to report a ‘yes / no’ question? We don’t have any question words to help us. Instead, we use ‘if’.

For example :

  • Direct question : are you living here.?
  • Reported question : She asked me if I was living here.
  • Direct question : have you ever been to Spain?
  • Reported question : She asked me if I had ever been to Spain.

Question forms

There are two main kinds of questions:

  • The ‘yes / no’ kind need the answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

For example:

  • Do you like chocolate?
  • Is he from India?

  • A ‘wh’ one needs more information in the answer. It uses a question word like ‘where’, ‘why’, ‘how’ etc.

For example :

  • Where do you live?
  • Where is the station?

  • They are made in three different ways in English grammar depending on the verb tense:
  1. : For the present simple and the past simple of ‘be’ and for modal verbs, We change the position (or ‘invert’) the verb and the subject.
  2. For the past simple and the present simple of all other English verbs (not ‘be’), We add an extra word, like ‘do / does’ or ‘did.
  3. We change the position of the first auxiliary verb and the subject. This is for all other tenses, for example the present perfect, the present continuous or the future perfect continuous.

To make the ‘wh’ kind, just put the question word in front of any ‘yes / no’ question: Is he coming (‘yes / no’) becomes When is he coming? (‘wh’)

Examples for ( ‘yes / no’) questions:

  • Are you coming to the party?
  • Have you been working hard?
  • Will you come?
  • Do you like ice cream?

Examples for (‘wh’) questions :

  • Who are you?
  • when I called you?
  • Why had you been working hard?
  • Where can we meet ?

Stative verbs and dynamic verbs

Stative verbs describe states that last for some time, so we call them non-continuous, and we can’t use them for continuous tenses like the present continuous, or the future continuous. Here is a list of some stative verbs :

Some Stative verbs :

ownappearlook (=seem)
doubtthink (=have an opinion)feel (=have an opinion)

Dynamic verbs describe an action and we can use them for any tense.

Examples :

  • I drink coffee every day.
  • I am swimming now.

Some verbs can be both dynamic and stative:


  • think (stative) = have an opinion, for example : I think that coffee is great
  • think (dynamic) = consider, have in my head, for example : what are you thinking about? I’m thinking about my next holiday


  • see (stative) = see with your eyes / understand, for example : I see what you mean or I see her now, she’s just coming
  • see (dynamic) = meet / have a relationship with, for example :I’m seeing Robert tomorrow.


  • taste (stative) = has a certain taste, for example : This soup tastes great.
  • taste (dynamic) = the action of tasting, for example :The chef is tasting the soup.

Modal verbs

The modal verbs in English grammar are can, could, may, might, must, need not, shall/will, should/ought to.

The use of modal verbs :

  • ability
  • permission
  • possibility
  • obligation
  • Prohibition
  • Lack of necessity
  • Advice

The differences between the modal verbs and the normal verbs:

1: They don’t use an ‘s’ for the third person singular.

2: They make questions by inversion (‘she can go’ becomes ‘can she go?’).

3: They are followed directly by the infinitive of another verb (without ‘to’).

The usage of modals verbs :

  • Can : to express ability, for example: I can speak a little Spanish.
  • may: to express possibility, for example : I may be home late.
  • must : to express obligation, for example: I must go now, or to express strong belief She, for example : she must be over 90 years old.
  • Should : to give advice, for example :you must stop smoking.
  • Would : to request or offer, for example : would you like a cup of tea.

Examples :

  • Can I borrow your pencil??
  • Can I speak to Sara??
  • May I ask you a few questions?

We use the modals in the previous questions to ask for permission.

  • John can speak three languages.
  • I will be able to help you tomorrow.

So, we the use the modals here to express the ability.

  • Adam  may be coming to see us tomorrow.
  • This game might be very dangerous.

The usage of modals here for the possibility.

  • I must memorize all the rules about modals.
  • You mustn’t smoke here. It’s forbidden.

We use the modal must here to express the necessity.

  • You should take care of your health.
  • You must try to lose weight.

We use modals to say some advices.

The importance of being bilingual

Fortunately, more and more people of all ages and backgrounds are learning languages today. In fact, more than half of the world’s population is bilingual or multilingual. So what are those who speak only one language missing out on?

Increased Creativity

Furthermore, being bilingual helps to improve your creativity. Bilingual children or adults have been found to possess advanced creativity. The ability to speak more than one language shapes the brain’s capability of thinking outside the box and thinking up innovative ways to solve problems. This trait enables bilinguals to pursue bilingual jobs and hobbies.

Better Educational Performance

Bilingual students have been found to possess a heightened intelligence. Numerous studies by York University have shown that bilingual students are more focused and less distracted than monolingual students are. Students that have acquired bilingual education, that is, taught using their second languages, go ahead in life to have better shots at bilingual jobs.

Improves Communication Skills

Another fantastic benefit of being bilingual is that it improves your communication skills. By being bilingual, you can travel to and foreign place and communicate better with the natives. The fact that you interact with the locals will make the experience amazing. By communicating with the indigenes using their language, you will get to learn more about the place. Thus, making your trip fascinating.

Improves your Health

The process of learning a second language holds back age-related deteriorating diseases. Bilinguals are less likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer’s disease earlier in life than monolinguals. People that know a second language are also bound to experience low-stress levels, and better neurological health.