Cuando queremos comunicar o informar de lo que otra persona ha dicho, hay dos maneras de hacerlo: utilizando el estilo directo o el estilo indirecto.
Direct Speech (El estilo directo)
Cuando queremos informar exactamente de lo que otra persona ha dicho, utilizamos el estilo directo. Con este estilo lo que la persona ha dicho se coloca entre comillas (“…”) y deberá ser palabra por palabra.
“I am going to London next week,” she said. (“Voy a Londres la semana que viene,” ella dijo.)
“Do you have a pen I could borrow,” he asked. (“¿Tienes un bolígrafo que puedas prestarme?,” él preguntó.)
Alice said, “I love to dance.” (Alice dijo, “Me encanta bailar.”)
Chris asked, “Would you like to have dinner with me tomorrow night?” (Chris preguntó, “¿Te gustaría cenar conmigo mañana por la noche?”)
Reported Speech (El estilo indirecto)
El estilo indirecto, a diferencia del estilo directo, no utiliza las comillas y no necesita ser palabra por palabra. En general, cuando se usa el estilo indirecto, el tiempo verbal cambia. A continuación tienes una explicación de los cambios que sufren los tiempos verbales.
A veces se usa “” en las frases afirmativas y negativas para introducir lo que ha dicho la otra persona. Por otro lado, en las frases interrogativas se puede usar “” o “”.
Nota: Ten en cuenta también que las expresiones de tiempo cambian en el estilo indirecto. Fijate en los cambios de tiempo en los ejemplos más abajo y después, encontrarás una tabla con más explicaciones de los cambios de tiempo en el estilo indirecto.
|Direct Speech ||Reported Speech |
|Present Simple || Past Simple |
| “He is American,” she said. || She said he was American. |
| “I am happy to see you,” Mary said. || Mary said she was happy to see me.|
| He asked, “Are you busy tonight?” || He asked me I was busy that night. |
| Present Continuous || Past Continuous |
| “Dan is living in San Francisco,” she said. || She said Dan was living in San Francisco. |
| He said, “I’m making dinner.” || He told me he was making dinner. |
| “Why are you working so hard?” they asked. || They asked me why I was working so hard. |
| Past Simple || Past Perfect Simple |
| “We went to the movies last night,” he said. || He told me they had gone to the movies the night before. |
| Greg said, “I didn’t go to work yesterday.” || Greg said he hadn’t gone to work the day before. |
| “Did you buy a new car?” she asked. || She asked me I had bought a new car. |
|Past Continuous || Past Perfect Continuous |
| “I was working late last night,” Vicki said. || Vicki told me she’d been working late the night before. |
| They said, “we weren’t waiting long.” || They said they hadn’t been waiting long. |
| He asked, “were you sleeping when I called?” || He asked I’d been sleeping when he called. |
| Present Perfect Simple || Past Perfect Simple |
| Heather said, “I’ve already eaten.” || Heather told me she’d already eaten. |
| “We haven’t been to China,” they said. || They said they hadn’t been to China. |
| “Have you worked here before?” I asked. || I asked her she’d worked there before. |
| Present Perfect Continuous || Past Perfect Continuous |
| “I’ve been studying English for two years,” he said. || He said he’d been studying English for two years. |
| Steve said, “we’ve been dating for over a year now.” || Steve told me they’d been dating for over a year. |
| “Have you been waiting long?” they asked. || They asked I’d been waiting long. |
| Past Perfect Simple ||Past Perfect Simple (NO CHANGE) |
| “I’d been to Chicago before for work,” he said. || He said he’d been to Chicago before for work. |
| Past Perfect Continuous || Past Perfect Continuous (NO CHANGE) |
| She said, “I’d been dancing for years before the accident.” || She said she’d been dancing for years before the accident. |
Nota: Cuando hablamos de algo que no ha cambiado (que sigue siendo cierto) o de algo en el futuro, no es necesario cambiar el tiempo verbal.
I’m 30 years old,” she said. → She said she is 30 years old.
is sick.” → Dave said Kelly is sick.
Dave said, “Kelly
are going to Tokyo next week,” they said. → They said they are going to Tokyo next week.
I’ll cut my hair tomorrow,” Nina said. → Nina said she is cutting her hair tomorrow.
Modal Verbs (Los verbos modales)
El tiempo verbal cambia en el estilo indirecto también con algunos de los verbos modales.
Nota: Con “would”, “could”, “should”, “might” y “ought to”, el tiempo no cambia.
|Direct Speech ||Indirect Speech|
|Will || Would |
| “I’ll go to the movies tomorrow,” John said. || John said he would go to the movies the next day. |
| “Will you help me move?” she asked.|| She asked me I would help her move.|
|Can ||Could |
| Debra said, “Allen can work tomorrow.” || Debra said Allen could work the next day. |
| “Can you open the window, please?”, he asked. || He asked me I could open the window. |
|Must ||Had to |
| “You must wear your seat belt,” mom said.|| My mom said I had to wear my seat belt.|
| She said, “You must work tomorrow.” || She said I had to work the next day. |
|Shall ||Should |
| “Shall we go to the beach today?” Tom asked. || Tom asked if we should go to the beach that day.|
| “What shall we do tonight?” she asked.|| She asked me what we should do that night.|
|May || Might/Could |
| Jane said, “I may not be in class tomorrow.” || Jane said she might not be in class the next day.|
| “May I use the bathroom, please?”, the boy asked.|| The boy asked he could use the bathroom.|
Nota: A continuación tienes una tabla donde puedes observar los cambios que sufren las expresiones de tiempo cuando usamos el estilo indirecto.
|Direct Speech ||Indirect Speech|
| today || that day |
| tonight || that night |
| this week/month/year || that week/month/year |
| tomorrow || the next day |
| next week/month/year || the following week/month/year |
| yesterday || the day before or the previous day |
| last week/month/year || the week/month year before or the previous week/month/year |
| now || then/at that moment |
| Otros cambios || |
| here || there |