在英语里，我们可以用两种方法转述人的话语。第一种是直接引语(The Direct Speech);第二种是间接引语(The Indirect Speech)，也可叫“The Reported Speech”)。
① a. He said, "I am working now."
b. He said that he was working then.
② a. She asked me, "Do you like to sing?"
b. She asked me if I liked to sing.
③ a. "Go out!" the man said to the boy.
b. The man ordered the boy to go out.
①b, ②b, ③b是间接引语，其形式和①a, ②a, ③a不同。
④ He said that he would come tomorrow.
这里的副词“tomorrow”要变成“the next day”。理由是：间接引语里的时间副词或短语， 一般上要把其中的时间向前推，如： tomorrow: the next day; today: that day; last night: the night before; now: then; ago: before that time 等。
⑤ I asked what is wrong with him.
这里的“is”要变成“was”。须知：主句“I asked”和分句 “what is wrong with him”的动词时态必须配合。既然主句的动词 “asked”是过去时态，分句的动词也要过去时态“was”。此外，动词时态一般上也要推前，因此简单过去时态(Simple Past Tense)要变成过去完成时态(Past Perfect Tense)，如：went : had gone; left : had left.
⑥ John told her don't do that again.
这里的“don't do”要变成“not to do”才对。理由是：祈使句变成间接引语时的形式是不定式动词：“to + verb / not to + verb”，如：to come / not to come; to do / not to do.
⑦ She asked me where was I going.
这里的“was I”词序不对， 要变成“I was”才是，因为间接疑问句(indirect question)里的词序和叙述句一样，是正常词序，不是倒装法，如：
⑧ He wanted to know who that girl was.
⑨ John asked Helen if she was free.
⑩ She asked me whether I could help her.
……who was that girl.
……if was she free.
……whether could I help her.
关于间接疑问句，还有一点必须注意的是，直接疑问句里的疑问词要照用， 如例⑧的“who”。如果没有疑问词，就要借重连接词“ if”或“ whether”之助，如例⑨和⑩便是。
11. He said, "Alas! I am undone."
12. "Bravo! You have done a good job, Mary," said the teacher.
13. "Good Heaven!' Tom cried, "I'll never lie again."
14. He exclaimed that he was undone.
15. The teacher praised Mary, saying that she had done a good job.
16. Tom called upon Heaven to witness his determination not to lie again.