let’s get this right. Many times both Quoted and Direct Speech are reported the wrong way but don’t worry we shall get this corrected just now if you can continue with me.
Every time you find yourself in a position where you need to report someone’s words to another person we call this reported speech and it’s always in the past.
See Examples below;
- ‘‘Where are you from?’’
CORRECT : She asked where I was from.
WRONG :She asked where was I from.
- ‘‘How old are you?’’
CORRECT: He asked how old I was.
WRONG: He asked how old was I. See inversion of verb and subject*
- My father asked, “When are you coming home?” -->
CORRECT: My father asked when I was going home.
WRONG: My father asked when was I going home.
Hope you can see the structure verb and subject exchange their position in the reported sentence. Please watch out for this next time you speak or take that Grammar Exam.
Exceptions exist for the verb changes, for general truths, mental states, and possessions, the verb remains in its present tense form.