CHAPTER 5 – Definition – Reported speech – Discours indirect

A discours indirect (reported speech) is when someone’s words are reported to someone else through the use of an introductory verb followed by que.

For example:

Marie dit que sa mère est allée au supermarché. (Marie says that her mother went to the supermarket)

By contrast, the following sentence quoted directly (direct speech) will be:

Marie dit: “Ma mère est allée au supermarché” (Marie said: “My mother went to the supermarket) —

Notice the presence of quotation marks that encapsulate Marie’s actual words (in French actually, we use the guillemets). Notice also the appearance of the colons (deux points before quoting the exact words).