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Reported Speech in Spanish: Grasp the Artwork of Speaking About What Different Folks Say


Reported speech is in every single place.

In English, you employ it dozens (if not a whole lot) of instances every single day with out even realizing it.

The excellent news is you can be that pure in Spanish, too. You’re actually simply an article away from turning into a Spanish reported speech grasp your self!

Don’t imagine me? Give this submit simply 10 minutes of your time, and also you’ll see how simple it may be.


What Is Spanish Reported Speech?

Direct and reported speech are two of probably the most frequently-used grammar factors in languages, and Spanish is not any exception. Everytime you speak about what another person has mentioned, you employ both direct or reported speech.

Whenever you repeat precisely what one other individual has mentioned and explicitly point out who mentioned it, you’re utilizing direct speech. For instance:

Daniel cube: “Estoy muy cansado hoy.”
(Daniel says: “I’m very drained as we speak.”)

Now, let’s say you don’t keep in mind precisely what your  compadre
(buddy) Daniel mentioned, however you do keep in mind the gist of it. If another person asks you what Daniel mentioned, you’d say one thing like:

Daniel cube que está muy cansado hoy.
 (Daniel says he’s very drained as we speak.)

That, in a nutshell, is reported speech. Spanish reported speech is the place you speak about somebody (aside from your self and the individual you’re speaking to) and what that individual mentioned with out essentially quoting them verbatim.

In written texts or messages, it’s normally simpler to distinguish between Spanish direct and reported speech. For starters, direct speech makes use of citation marks to surround the assertion being quoted, whereas reported speech doesn’t. Direct speech quotes the individual being talked about word-for-word, whereas reported speech could or could not use their precise phrases, although the gist of what they mentioned is at all times current.

In order that’s it, proper? Differentiating direct and reported speech in Spanish is only a matter of utilizing the best punctuation marks and whether or not you used the opposite individual’s precise phrases, sure? 

Not fairly. Though English and Spanish reported speech are related for probably the most half, the latter has some distinctive quirks that we’ll be discussing within the subsequent sections.

Fundamentals of Spanish Reported Speech

Like in English, reported speech in Spanish consists of some primary parts: reporting verbs, connecting phrases like que (“that”) and the message from the individual being talked about—whether or not the message is verbatim or not.

Let’s break them down under.

Spanish Reporting Verbs

Much like English, Spanish reporting verbs (often known as communication verbs) are used to sign that you simply’re both quoting somebody immediately (direct speech) or paraphrasing them (reported speech).

There are dozens of reporting verbs in each language, though we have a tendency to make use of a few of them extra typically than others.

Listed here are a couple of of the most typical reporting verbs in Spanish:

 (to say, to inform)

Decir might be the most typical Spanish phrase to make use of when speaking about what another person mentioned.

 (to ask)

If you wish to inform somebody about what one other individual is asking, use preguntar.

Querer saber
(to need to know)

Querer saber can be utilized in an analogous manner as preguntar.

 (to ask)

Whenever you’re speaking about what another person needs, use pedir.

(to need)

As a substitute of pedir, you may as well use querer.

Different Reporting Verbs in Spanish

As I’ve talked about earlier, there are such a lot of Spanish reporting verbs that it might be unimaginable to checklist all of them right here. Nevertheless, I may give you a few of the commonest ones:

Utilizing  Que

You could have seen that the majority of our examples above have the phrase que. I’m telling you now: que goes to be your new finest buddy, as a result of each single reported assertion and command in Spanish will embody it, even in the event you omit or don’t want “that” in English.

Let’s take a look at a couple of examples:

Spanish Reported Speech Phrase Order: Topic + Verb + Object

It doesn’t matter in the event you’re speaking a few assertion, command or query. The phrase order will at all times be Topic + Verb + Object, as is typical of Spanish sentence construction.

Spanish Reported Speech Based mostly on Questions

When the reported speech Spanish audio system use is predicated on questions, it deviates barely from the construction we simply mentioned and is predicated on whether or not you’re utilizing a “sure or no” query or a “wh-” query.

Sure or No Questions

In reported speech that’s based mostly on this sort of query, you employ si
(if, whether or not) as an alternative of que.

“Wh-” Questions

Recall the Spanish equivalents of the English “wh-” questions:

Whenever you’re reporting a “wh-” query, you employ the suitable query phrases above as an alternative of que or si.

One factor to remember: when utilizing the verb preguntar, you may add que simply earlier than the query phrase.

Don’t be afraid to write down two que collectively! They aren’t the identical phrase, and so they don’t have the identical perform.

Different Adjustments in Spanish Reported Speech

Private Pronouns and Possessives

In reported speech, the private pronouns and possessives change from the reported model. Fortunately, it really works the identical manner in English—that’s, the change is critical in order that the core message isn’t misplaced or misinterpreted.

Time and Place Expressions

Once more like English, time and place expressions within the reported speech Spanish audio system use change from their direct counterparts.

Listed here are a few of the important modifications that happen:

There’s a bunch of phrases I’d like to incorporate on this part. They’re neither time nor place expressions, however they suggest distance from the speaker.

Verb Tenses

Undoubtedly, probably the most troublesome a part of reported speech in Spanish is that the verbs change their tenses.

The excellent news is that these modifications don’t occur on a regular basis, and you’ve got virtually equivalent modifications in English.

However when do we have to make modifications in verb tenses? How do we all know?

The one factor you could have to keep in mind right here is the reporting verb. Sure, that little buddy current at first of the reported sentences we studied earlier than.

There are solely two easy guidelines, actually:

1. If the reporting verb is within the current easy or the current excellent tense, you DON’T have to alter any verb tenses except you could have a command.

2. If the reporting verb is within the preterite, the imperfect or the previous excellent tense (pluscuamperfecto), you DO must make modifications.

Take a look on the following examples. The reporting verbs (in daring) are within the current easy or the current excellent, so there aren’t any verb modifications within the reported sentences.

As said earlier than, when you could have a command, you do must make modifications even when the reporting verb is within the current or the current excellent tense. Due to this fact, the crucial modifications into the current subjunctive.

Equally, if the command’s reporting verb is up to now tense, the crucial modifications into the imperfect subjunctive.

In these sentences the place the reporting verb seems up to now tense, you must make verb tense modifications within the reported fragment. These modifications are virtually equivalent to these in English, however listed below are an important ones in your comfort:

In these sentences the place the verb is within the imperfect, conditional or previous excellent ( pluscuamperfecto
), there aren’t any tense modifications.

I do know this may all sound very overwhelming and complicated, so I’d prefer to introduce you to the language studying platform FluentU, the place you may watch reported speech in Spanish in motion.

And that’s all!

As you may see, Spanish and English reported speeches are very related.

Simply keep in mind the few guidelines I’ve taught you on this submit, and also you’ll haven’t any drawback in any respect!

And One Extra Factor…

In case you’ve made it this far which means you most likely take pleasure in studying Spanish with partaking materials and
will then love FluentU.

Different websites use scripted content material. FluentU makes use of a pure strategy that helps you ease into the Spanish language and tradition over time. You’ll be taught Spanish because it’s truly spoken by actual folks.

FluentU has all kinds of movies, as you may see right here:


FluentU brings native movies inside attain with interactive transcripts. You possibly can faucet on any phrase to look it up immediately. Each definition has examples which were written that can assist you perceive how the phrase is used. In case you see an fascinating phrase you don’t know, you may add it to a vocab checklist.


Evaluation an entire interactive transcript beneath the Dialogue tab, and discover phrases and phrases listed beneath Vocab.


Be taught all of the vocabulary in any video with FluentU’s sturdy studying engine. Swipe left or proper to see extra examples of the phrase you’re on.


The perfect half is that FluentU retains monitor of the vocabulary that you simply’re studying, and offers you further apply with tough phrases. It’s going to even remind you when it’s time to overview what you’ve realized. Each learner has a very customized expertise, even when they’re studying with the identical video.

Begin utilizing FluentU on the web site along with your pc or pill or, higher but, obtain the FluentU app.



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