Reported speech in Spanish is always a recurrent topic in our lessons at advanced levels. A couple of months ago, we introduced this content in our blog, talking about the verbal changes.

However, the changes in the verbal tenses are not the only ones. We’ll need to deal with other parts of the sentence that will also suffer some modifications. Today, we’ll focus on those other changes in the reported speech in Spanish.

Reported speech in Spanish: changes in the personal marks

Obviously, when we use the reported speech, we need to focus on the people who are talking. We usually recreate a third person’s words. In the original conversation, that person was a part of it; nevertheless, in the reported speech they are absent. Because of this, we’ll need to make changes in the personal pronouns, possessive adjectives and verbal endings in the reported speech in Spanish.

Estudiante: “Yo aprobaré mi examen DELE”.

El estudiante dijo que él aprobaría su examen DELE.


Changes in the time

The original conversation happened in a specific moment in the past. So, if we need to replicate it, we’ll have to change the time frame, because we’ll be speaking in our present. Don’t worry, we won’t need a time machine; we’ll just have to adjust some words: adverbs, expressions of time and, of course, the verbal tenses that we studied in a previous article.

Profesor de Spanishviaskype: “Ahora mismo, tienes que estudiar este vocabulario para nuestra clase de conversación de mañana”.

El profesor me dijo que en ese mismo momento, tenía que estudiar aquel vocabulario para nuestra clase de conversación del día siguiente.

Reported speech in Spanish: changes in the space

In the reported speech in Spanish, we also need to keep in mind the expressions of space and location. We often refer to objects or people that are in a place in the original conversation. However, we might be in another location when we use the reported speech. In consequence, adverbs and adjectives of place may change.

Amigo: “Me encanta España. Aquí siempre puedo comer esta maravillosa comida”.

Mi amigo me confesó que le encantaba España; que allí siempre podía comer aquella maravillosa comida.

The questions also need to be changed

An interrogative sentence needs also some adjustments in the reported speech in Spanish. Actually, they will remain as interrogative sentences, but indirectly. If we need to replicate a total question (with a “yes” or “no” answer), we’ll use the conjunction “si”; on the other hand, if we have a partial question (with an interrogative word such as “qué, dónde, quién…”), that word will remain.

Estudiante: “¿Crees que puedo aprender español en un año? ¿Qué debo hacer para conseguirlo?”.

El estudiante me preguntó (que) si creía que podía aprender español en un año y qué debía hacer para conseguirlo.

As you can see, the reported speech in Spanish, is a good way to revise a large part of the grammar (verbal tenses, pronouns, adjectives…). There are many words that might suffer changes. If you need to learn all of them and you want to practice it, don’t hesitate and reserve lessons with us. Do you want to try it first? Of course, just contact us to reserve a trial lesson.