• French grammar
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  • 1 French alphabet
  • 2 French pronunciation and phonetics [0/7]
  • 3 Nature and function of French words [0/23]
  • Multiple choice exercise about the nature of French words (Score -/-)Free
  • Multiple choice questions about the function of French words (Score -/-)Free
  • 3.1 The subject in French [0/3]
  • 3.2 The apostrophe and apposition in French [0/2]
  • 3.3 The complement object in French [0/12]
  • 3.4 The circumstancial complement in French [0/2]
  • 3.5 The agent complement in French [0/2]
  • 4 French articles [0/9]
  • 5 French nouns [0/13]
  • 6 French pronouns [0/20]
  • Multiple choice questions about the pronouns in French (Score -/-)Free
  • 6.1 French personal pronouns - je, tu, il [0/3]
  • 6.2 French possessive pronouns - le mien, le tien [0/2]
  • 6.3 French reflexive pronouns - me, te, se [0/2]
  • 6.4 French demonstrative pronouns - celui, celle, ceux [0/2]
  • 6.5 French relative pronouns - qui, que, qu' [0/4]
  • 6.6 French indefinite pronouns - tout, chacun [0/2]
  • 6.7 French interrogative pronouns - qui, que, lequel [0/2]
  • 6.8 French adverbial pronouns - en, y [0/2]
  • 7 French adjectives [0/17]
  • Multiple choice questions about the epithet, attribute in French (Score -/-)Free
  • 7.1 Endings of regular and irregular French adjectives [0/3]
  • 7.2 Comparative and superlative of French adjectives [0/3]
  • 7.3 Placement of French adjectives [0/2]
  • 7.4 French possessive adjectives - mon, ton, son [0/4]
  • 7.5 French demonstrative adjectives - ce, cette [0/2]
  • 7.6 French indefinite adjectives - toutes, quelques [0/2]
  • 8 French adverbs [0/18]
  • Drag and drop exercise about the adverbs (Score -/-)Free
  • Fill in the blank exercise about the regular form of the adverbs (Score -/-)Free
  • Fill in the blank exercise about the irregular adverbs (Score -/-)Free
  • 8.1 Adverbs of place in French [0/2]
  • 8.2 Adverbs of time in French [0/2]
  • 8.3 Adverbs of manner in French [0/2]
  • 8.4 Adverbs of quantity in French [0/2]
  • 8.5 Adverbs of reason in French [0/2]
  • 8.6 Placement of adverbs in French [0/2]
  • 8.7 Comparative of French adverbs [0/2]
  • 8.8 Difference adjectives and adverbs in French [0/1]
  • 9 French prepositions [0/10]
  • 10 French verbs [0/135]
  • 10.1 Tenses and moods in French [0/63]
  • 10.1.1 Indicative in French [0/26]
  • 10.1.1.1 Present tense in French [0/2]
  • 10.1.1.2 Past tenses in French [0/13]
  • 10.1.1.3 Future tenses in French [0/11]
  • 10.1.2 Subjunctive in French (le Subjonctif) [0/11]
  • 10.1.3 Conditional in French (le conditionnel) [0/10]
  • 10.1.4 Imperative in French [0/3]
  • 10.1.5 Infinitive in French [0/4]
  • 10.1.6 Gerund in French [0/2]
  • 10.1.7 Present participle in French [0/3]
  • 10.1.8 Past participle in French [0/4]
  • 10.2 French auxiliary verbs (avoir, être) [0/11]
  • 10.3 Modal verbs in French [0/17]
  • Fill in the blank exercise for the modal verbs in French (Score -/-)Free
  • 10.3.1 Conjugation of pouvoir (can) in French [0/4]
  • 10.3.2 Conjugation of devoir (should) in French [0/4]
  • 10.3.3 conjugation of vouloir (want) in French [0/4]
  • 10.3.4 Conjugation of savoir (to know) in French [0/4]
  • 10.4 Passive voice in French [0/4]
  • 10.5 Reflexive verbs in French [0/4]
  • 10.6 Irregular verbs in French [0/24]
  • Fill in the blanks exercise of the irregular verbs in French (Score -/-)Free
  • Fill in the blanks exercise of the irregular verbs in French II (Score -/-)Free
  • 10.6.1 Conjugation of venir (to come) in French [0/4]
  • 10.6.2 conjugation of aller (to go) in French [0/4]
  • 10.6.3 conjugation of faire (to do) in French [0/4]
  • 10.6.4 conjugation of prendre (to take) in French [0/3]
  • 10.6.5 conjugation of voir (to see) in French [0/3]
  • 10.6.6 Conjugation of partir (to leave) in French [0/4]
  • 10.7 Regular verbs in French [0/8]
  • 10.8 Reported Speech in French [0/4]
  • 11 French sentence structure [0/25]
  • Multiple choice questions about the sentence structure in French (Score -/-)Free
  • 11.1 The phrases in French [0/5]
  • 11.2 The forms of phrases in French [0/7]
  • 11.3 The types of phrases in French [0/8]
  • 11.4 The propositions in French [0/4]
  • 12 French si clauses [0/3]
  • What is the reported speech in French ?

    In French, we distinguish the same as in English, between direct (French: le discours direct) and indirect speech (French: le discours indirect). You use the indirect speech when you want to report words that someone said or thoughts. The content of the statement should be reproduced more logically with the use of indirect speech. 
    The report requires some grammatical transformations.

    examples styles translations
    il m'a dit: "je vais bien" direct  he said: "I am fine"
    il m'a dit qu'il allait bien indirect he said to me that he was fine

    Recap: what is the direct speech in French ? 

    In the direct speech, words are enclosed in quotation marks and without a linking term after the verb of speech. 

    Examples: 

    • Il pense: "c'est dommage" (he thinks: "it is too bad")
    • Il dit 'peut être je devrais aller lui parler" (he says "maybe I should go talk to him")
    • Maman a dit "viens me voir tout de suite" (mom said "come see me right now")

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    Formation of the indirect speech in French 

    In the indirect style, the words are connected to the verb of speech by a conjunction as:

    • 'que' in the indirect speech to assert something said in the direct speech
    • 'si' in the indirect speech to report a simple question (yes or no)
    • 'de' + infinitive in the indirect speech to report an imperative sentence
    • 'ce qui' or 'ce que' in the indirect speech to report a 'qu'est ce que/qui ?' or 'que' sentence
    • interrogative pronoun in the indirect speech to report an interrogative question 
    uses direct speech  indirect speech translation
    "que" Paul dit: "il pleut" Paul dit qu'il pleut Paul says that it is raining
    "si" est ce que vous sortez ?  il a demandé si vous sortez he asked if you were going out
    "de" + infinitive viens maintenant! elle demande de venir maintenant she wants you to come right now
    "ce qui" or "ce que" qu'est ce qui se passe?  il demande ce qui se passe he asks what is going on 
    interrogative pronoun  où allez-vous ? il demande où vous allez he asks where you are going

    The indirect speech is initiated by the following verbs: 

    • dire (to say)
    • demander (to ask)
    • répondre (to answer)
    • affirmer (to assert, affirm)
    • déclarer (to declare)
    • annoncer (to announce)
    • raconter (to tell)
    • expliquer (to explain)
    • prétendre (to pretend)
    • croire (to believe)
    • penser (to think)
    • ordonner (to order)

    Grammatical rules of the indirect speech in French

    As you know, the indirect speech is no longer in quotation marks and in colon, therefore the sentence will undergo grammatical transformations in relation with:

    • tenses
    • time markers
    • personal pronouns
    • possessive and demonstrative pronouns
    • possessive adjectives

    Change of tenses

    When the sentence that designates the speaker is in the present tense, the tense remains in the indirect speech:

    direct speech indirect speech
    Paul dit: "il pleut" Paul dit qu'il pleut

    When the phrase that designates the speaker is in the past, the tense in the indirect speech change:

    • present → imperfect
    • future simple → conditional present
    • future perfect (futur antérieur) → past conditional 
    • completed past (passé composé) → pluperfect 
    uses direct speech indirect speech translation
    present → imperfect il m'a dit: "je vais bien" il m'a dit qu'il allait bien he told me that he was fine
    future → conditional  il m'a dit: 'je partirais" il m'a dit qu'il partirait he told me that he would go
    future perfect → past conditional il m'a dit: "nous aurons terminé de faire nos devoirs il m'a dit qu'ils auraient terminé de faire leurs devoirs he told that they would have finished their homework
    completed past → pluperfect il m'a dit: "j'ai appris ma leçon" il m'a dit qu'il avait appris sa leçon he told that he has learned his lesson 

    Change in time markers

    You always keep the previous tenses matched but these changes are useful in narrations when doing indirect speech. 

    direct speech indirect speech
    aujourd'hui (today) ce jour-là (that day)
    hier (yesterday) la veille (last night)
    demain (tomorrow) le lendemain (the next day)
    le jour prochain (the following day) le jour suivant (the next day)

    Examples: 

    • Elle pensait: "je vais aller faire les courses demain" → Elle pensait qu'elle allait faire les courses le lendemain(She thought that she would go shopping the next day)
    • Le juge a dit: "vous ne sortirez pas aujourd'hui" → Le juge a dit qu'il ne sortirait pas ce jour-là(The judge said that he will not go out on that day)
    • Mon père a dit "hier, j'ai acheté un cadeau pour ta mère" → Mon père a dit qu'il avait acheté un cadeau pour ma mère, la veille(My father said that he had bought a gift for my mother, last night)
    • Elle m'a dit: "mardi prochain, je vais à Londres" → Elle m'a dit qu'elle allais à Londres, le mardi suivant(She told me that she was going to London, next Tuesday)

    ​Change in personal pronouns 

    In the indirect style the tense stays the same, but you have to be logical with the situation. When the speaker talks about himself, you logically use the 3rd personal pronoun and as the others pronouns.

    Examples

    direct speech indirect speech translation
    elle m'a dit: "je pense aller lui parler" elle m'a dit qu'elle pensait aller lui parler she told me that she was thinking about going to talk to him
    il m'a raconté: "nous sommes sortis avec eux" il m'a raconté qu'ils étiez sortis avec eux he told me that they were out with them
    il m'a demandé: "vous viendrez aussi ?" il m'a dit si nous viendrions aussi he asked me if we would come too 
    elle m'a demandé: "tu vas partir en vacances ?" elle m'a demandé si j'allais partir en vacances she asked me if I will go in holidays

    Change in demonstrative pronouns 

    In the indirect speech, you use a demonstrative pronoun to report what the speaker has said. 

    direct speech indirect speech translation
    il m'a dit: "je n'ai plus ce jouet" il m'a dit qu'il n'avais plus ce jouet-là he told me that he did not have that toy anymore
    elle a dit: "cet enfant est malin" elle a dit que cet enfant-là était malin she said that this child was wise
    elle a dit: "je vais régler ce problème" elle a dit qu'elle réglerait ce problème- she said that she will fix the problem

    Change in possessive adjectives and pronouns 

    In the indirect speech, you use a possessive pronoun and adjectives to report what is said. In this case, you also have to logically adapt to the situation just like the personal pronouns. 

    direct speech indirect speech translation
    il m'a demandé: 'tu pourrais me rendre mon livre ?" il m'a demandé si je pouvais lui rendre son livre he asked if I could give him back his book
    elle m'a dit: "je suis dans votre maison" elle m'a dit qu'elle était dans notre maison she told that the she were in our house
    elle m'a dit: "cette robe est à moi" elle m'a dit que cette robe-là était le sien she told me that this dress was hers
    nous avons dit: "nous avons volé votre repas" nous avons dit que nous avions volé leur repas we said that we had stolen their meal

    yes Keep your motivation and test your knowledge about the indirect speech with our exercises.