Reported Speech vs Reported Verb: Difference and Comparison

Report speech and reported verb are two types of speech and verbs in English grammar, and it’s common for people to be confused between them. It is because of the same first terms.

But they are two different things where one’s being used in the other. They are independent of one another and would form illegible sentences without one another.

Key Takeaways

  1. Reported speech conveys what someone said without directly quoting them, using a reporting verb.
  2. Reported verbs are verbs used to describe the communication or action being reported, such as “said,” “asked,” or “explained.”
  3. In reported speech, verb tenses and pronouns may change to maintain accuracy and context, while reported verbs provide context for the reported speech.

Reported Speech vs Reported Verb

The difference between reported speech and reported verb is that reported speech refers to a whole sentence, which has been derived from another term of speech called direct speech. On the other hand, a reported verb is just a single word that is a verb, which assists the reported speech in making it seem sensible. It is not from any other verb form.

Reported Speech vs Reported Verb

Reported speech refers to sentences that are conveyed in the third person. It is because that is regarding something which was said by another. It is what reported speech stands for.

Reported speech simplifies a statement that is said in direct speech. The most common places to write or say sentences in reported speech are journalism and the paramedical professions.

Even police officers use reported speech more than using direct speech statements.

A reported verb is a word that can, in all reality, be used anywhere. But when a few words like this are used in reported speech instead of direct speech, they are called “reported verbs.”.

It defines an action and provides support to the subject of a sentence. It is always easy to identify a reported verb in a sentence, as all the verbs in that sentence will turn out to be one.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonReported SpeechReported Verb
Supports SubjectNoYes
Has Many TemplatesNoYes
Means Past Tense in GeneralNoYes, most of the time
Is A SentenceYesNo
Has to Convert Direct SpeechYesNo

What is Reported Speech?

Reported speech refers to a specific kind of sentence that is direct speech.

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This direct speech statement is converted into reported speech to make the sentence easier to understand.

For example, consider a direct speech sentence like “I can dance,” said Sophia.

The reported speech for the above sentence can be as follows: “Sophia said that she could dance.”

Therefore, the purpose of a reported speech statement is to simplify it to make them more compatible with an indirect sentence.

It means making the first-person statement into a third-person and therefore letting the sentence fit better in a paragraph.

A change happening in a reported speech can also be seen in the changing tense of the verb used in the sentence.

It is as the first-person view of direct speech in the sentence is converted to the third person after being changed to reported speech.

It proves the change of tense from present to past tense and shows changes in time.

Another example of a reported speech is, “Maria promised that she would be there at the museum before 5 PM.”

In this statement, the direct speech becomes, “I will be there at the museum before 5 PM,” as Maria promised.

And the change of tense is from “will” to “would”. It shows the changes in the time since when a sentence was said.

Common verb forms changed from direct speech to reported speech are “say” becomes “said”, “can” becomes “could”, “will” becomes “would”, and so on.

What is Reported Verb?

A reported verb refers to a single term used in a report instead of direct speech.

An example of reported speech can be the following statement, “Sophia said that she could dance.”

Here, the reported speech holds the reported verb “said” and a regular verb is also used that is called the secondary reported verb.

The only difference between a reported verb and a regular verb is that a reported verb creates a supportive element to the report.

And reported verbs support the statement of the subject in a sentence.

Verbs are converted into reported verbs when a statement in direct speech changes to reported speech.

It means that “can” would have to be changed to “could” to make it a reported verb.

There are different templates or formats for each verb to be followed correctly.

In the case of the reported verb “say,” the template would be as follows: “subject” followed by “said” followed by “that” and then the imperative clause.

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So an example is, “Stanley said that he wanted to write an article.”

In this, the first verb changes to its past tense form, that is, “wanted.”

For another reported verb, “tell”, the template is as follows: “subject” followed by “tell” and that is followed by an object and the term “that” and finally the phrase.

So, an example of this is, “Sanjo told Yunis that they had a party.”

It shows that an object is only necessary while using certain reported verbs.

Main Differences Between Reported Speech and Reported Verb

  1. While reported speech refers to whole sentences, reported verbs, on the other hand, refer to a single word that is a verb.
  2. Reported speech is only formed after converting a direct speech sentence into it, but a reported verb, on the other hand, is just the past tense of the same verb used in a regular speech statement.
  3. All reported speech statements have similar templates, but not all reported verbs are used in the same format.
  4. Reported speech statements aren’t just to support the subject, whereas the presence of a reported verb is only for it.
  5. There is a very low probability of a reported speech sentence having many changes from the direct speech sentence. But the entire template of a reported verb changes when the direct speech statement changes to a reported speech statement.
Difference Between Reported Speech and Reported Verb

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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