Spanish Lesson Intermediate 24 Indirect or Reported Speech – Estilo Indirecto (Part 1)

Posted on 02. Nov, 2011 by in Pronunciation, Spanish Grammar, Videos

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Hola ¿Cómo estáis?

Hoy vamos a practicar el Estilo Indirecto en español. Today we are going to practice the Spanish “Estilo Indirecto” – Indirect or Reported Speech. This is the first part in a series of two video lessons on the topic.

Indirect or Reported Speech is a way of reporting a statement or question. In Spanish and English there are two different ways of expressing the words of another person: Direct and Indirect Speech. Indirect or Reported Speech is different to Direct Speech because it does not phrase the statement or question in the same way as the original speaker; instead, certain grammatical categories are changed depending on the tense (present, past, future, etc). Direct speech is very simple as the exact words of the original speaker are reported in quotation marks.

Let’s look at an example of Indirect or Reported Speech. If someone said to you: “I like chocolate” (“Me gusta el chocolate”) and soon after you wanted to tell someone else what that person had just told you, then you would use Indirect or Reported Speech and say: “He/She has said to me that he/she likes chocolate” (Me ha dicho que le gusta el chocolate).

When we report what someone says in general, we use the original tense used by the speaker in our reported speech sentence.

Dice que: He/She says that…

Original time (presente): Dice que + presente:
• (Silvia dice) “Este restaurante es muy bueno”: (Silvia says) “This restaurant is very good”
• Silvia dice que este restaurante es muy bueno: Silvia says that this restaurant is very good

Original time (pret. imperfecto): Dice que + pret. imperfecto:
• (Silvia dice) “Antes aquí llovía mucho”: (Silvia says) “Before it used to rain a lot here”
• Silvia dice que antes aquí llovía mucho: Silvia says that before it used to rain a lot here

Sometimes we have to change the personal pronoun of the reported speech sentence:

• (Silvia dice) “Fui a Londres hace tres años”: (Silvia says) “I went to London three years ago”
• Silvia dice que fue a Londres hace tres años: Silvia says that she went to London three years ago

• (Silvia dice) “He estudiado en esa Universidad”: (Silvia says) “I have studied in that university”
• Silvia dice que ha estudiado en esa universidad: Silvia says that she has studied in that university

Also be aware that the tense of the original sentence might change when we want to tell someone what another person said in the past.

Dijo que: He/She said that…

Original time (presente): Dijo que + pretérito imperfecto:
• (Silvia dijo) “Este restaurante es muy bueno”: (Silvia said) “This restaurant is very good”
• Silvia dijo que este restaurante era muy bueno: Silvia said that this restaurant was very good

Original time (pret. imperfecto): Dijo que + pret. imperfecto:
• (Silvia dijo) “Antes aquí llovía mucho”: (Silvia said) “Before it used to rain a lot here”
• Silvia dijo que antes aquí llovía mucho: Silvia said that before it used to rain a lot here

Original time (pret. indefinido): Dijo que + pret. pluscuamperfecto:
• (Silvia dijo) “Fui a Londres”: (Silvia said) “I went to London”
• Silvia dijo que había ido a Londres: Silvia said that she had gone to London

Original time (pret. perfecto): Dijo que + pret. pluscuamperfecto:
• (Silvia dijo) “He estudiado en esa Universidad”: (Silvia said) “I have studied in that university”
• Silvia dijo que había estudiado en esa universidad: Silvia said that she had studied in that university

Original time (pret. pluscuamperfecto): Dijo que + pret. pluscuamperfecto:
• (Silvia dijo) “Había estudiado mucho para el examen”: (Silvia said) “I had studied a lot for the exam”
• Silvia dijo que había estudiado mucho para el examen: Silvia said that she had studied a lot for the exam

As you can see mastering Indirect or Reported Speech is a case of learning lots of different combinations and being careful and methodical in your approach to constructing sentences. The best way to remember all of these combinations is to write out lots of practice sentences and to read as much as possible in Spanish. Look out for any examples of Indirect or Reported Speech in the texts you read and do your best to utilise these sentences in your own conversation in Spanish. Remember that the best place to store all of your information is in your head and not in your books. So practice as much as you can until you are completely clear on every new topic and keep using and reviewing all you have learned so as never to forget it.

I look forward to returning next time for another Intermediate Spanish video lesson continuing our investigation into El estilo indirecto and wish you all the very best until then.

¡Hasta luego!

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About Laura

I am from Bilbao in northern Spain. I qualified as a Spanish Language Teacher in 2004. I have taught Spanish in England and Spain and now really enjoy teaching the Spanish Language via the internet to students from all around the world. I love my job and the intricacies of the Spanish Language. I currently live in Alicante in south eastern Spain (where the sun shines a lot more than in the north!). My main personal interests are music, photography, travelling, reading and cooking. I studied music for twelve years in Bilbao and I play the piano. I also enjoy singing and I try my best to sing more in English now. I hope very much that you enjoy my Spanish video lessons and welcome any comments.

One Response to “Spanish Lesson Intermediate 24 Indirect or Reported Speech – Estilo Indirecto (Part 1)”

  1. alia butler 5 March 2012 at 2:12 pm #

    Hola Laura, puede usted enviarme el enlace de leccion 2 de Spanish Lesson Intermediate por favor?
    Saludos!


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