Direct speech and reported speech are the two ways we can say what someone has said.
Directed speech: "I am your neighbour," said James.
Reported speech: James said that he was my neighbour.
Because we are talking about something that happened in the past, we use past tense verbs in reported speech: said not say; was not am.
In the sentence "James said that he was my neighbour", said is a reporting verb (was is a reported verb). There are other reporting verbs we can use depending on the statement. We can also use the verbs like told, offered and promised. Let's take a look at some examples.
"My brother is buying a car" said Anne (direct speech) becomes Anne told me (that) her brother was buying a car.
Use told + person + what was said. Don't use told with to: Anne told to me (that) her brother was buying a car is not correct.
Use offered + to + infinitive verb.
"I'll do the shopping for you", said Simon becomes Simon offered to do the shopping for us .
Use promise + to + infinitive verb
"I'll buy you lunch", said Mark becomes Mark promised to buy me lunch.
OR Promise + clause (change the tense of the verb):
Mark promised (that) he would buy me lunch.
Take a look at these other reporting verbs and choose the best one for each sentence. For extra practice, rewrite the sentences using reported speech.