Estilo directo e indirecto en inglés (Reported Speech)

Estilo (discurso) directo e indirecto en inglés: explicación simple con ejemplos

– Reported Speech en inglés-

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Discurso / Estilo directo e indirecto en inglés

En español e inglés, para informar de las palabras de alguien o de sus propias palabras, se puede usar el habla directa o indirecta. Pueden ser afirmaciones, preguntas, pedidos, consejos …

Al pasar del estilo directo al indirecto, a menudo es necesario cambiar los pronombres personales, demostrativos y posesivos dependiendo de quién dice qué:

  • I se convierte en he / she
  • me se convierte en him / her
  • my se convierte en his / her
  • we se convierte en they
  • this se convierte en that
  • us se convierte en them
  • mine se convierte en his / hers
  • ours se convierte en theirs
  • our se convierte en their

He aquí algunos ejemplos:

Estilo directo Estilo indirecto
She says: «My dad likes onion soup.» She says that her dad likes onion soup.
Kevin said, ‘I’m tired.’  Kevin said (that) he was tired.
Have you ever been to Japan? She asked me if I had ever been to Japan.
Open the door! He told me to open the door.

Nota: That a menudo está implícito en el discurso indirecto. No es obligatorio ponerlo y, por lo tanto, se indica entre paréntesis en esta lección.

Introduciendo verbos

Para relacionar las palabras de alguien con el discurso directo e indirecto, necesita un verbo introductorio.

Los dos más comunes son tell (decirle a alguien) y say (decir), pero hay muchos más posibles como:

  • ask → preguntar
  • reply → responder a
  • warn → advertir
  • answer → contestar
  • point out → informar
  • state → afirmar
  • write → escribir
  • add → agregar
  • exclaim → exclamarse
  • protest → protestar
  • report → informar
  • explain → explicar
  • think → pensar
  • admit → admitir
  • declare → declarar
  • mention → mencionar
  • suggest → sugerir
  • advise → asesorar
  • claim → pretender que
  • forbid → prohibir
  • order → ordenar
  • hope → esperar
  • inquire → informarse
  • want to know → querer saber
  • wonder → preguntarse

¿Say o tell?

Tenga cuidado de distinguir SAY de TELL. Los dos verbos se traducen como ‘decir’, pero su uso es diferente. Con TELL, se cita al interlocutor: el nombre o el pronombre se coloca inmediatamente después de tell (tell somebody something).

Con SAY, la persona de contacto no se cita necesariamente; si es así, lo presentamos por la preposición to (say something to somebody):

  • He says (that) he is English. → Dice que es inglés.
  • He tells me (that) he is English. → Me dice que es inglés.

Sin embargo, tell se usa en algunas expresiones sin mencionar un contacto:

  • tell the truth → decir la verdad
  • tell a story → contar una historia
  • tell the time → decir la hora

Nota: la formulación ‘He said to me…’ es posible pero parece incómoda. Preferiblemente use ‘He told me…’.

LAS MODIFICACIÓNES  DE TIEMPO

El pasaje al discurso indirecto implica modificaciones de tiempo, dependiendo de si el verbo está en el presente o en el pasado.

Si el verbo introductorio está al presente, el tiempo verbal (o modal) no cambia.

  • «I’m sorry.» → He says he is sorry. 
  • «I hate driving» → He says he hates driving.

Cuidado, si las declaraciones reportadas siguen siendo verdaderas ahora, , ¡no cambie el tiempo!

  • He said this morning (that) he hates driving. (Todavía odia conducir).

Si el verbo introductorio está en el pasado, el tiempo verbal cambia:

Como regla general, la concordancia de tiempos se aplica como en español.

Ejemplos de cambios de horarios principales:

 

Estilo directo Estilo indirecto
Presente simple
He said: «I am happy»
Pretérito
He said (that) he was happy.
Présent continu / progressif
He said: «I‘m looking for my phone»
Past Continuous
He said (that) he was looking for his phone.
Pretérito
He said: «I visited Paris last year»
Past Perfect Simple
He said (that) he had visited Paris the previous year.
Present Perfect
He said: » I‘ve lived in London for a long time «
Past Perfect
He said (that) he had lived in London for a long time.
Past Perfect
He said: «They had cleaned the kitchen when I arrived«
Past Perfect
He said (that) they had cleaned the kitchen when he had arrived.
Past Continuous
He said: «I was watching TV when the accident occurred«
Past Perfect Continuous
He said (that) he had been watching TV when the accident had occurred.
Present Perfect Progressive
He said:»I have been swimming for one hours.»
Past Perfect Continuous
He said (that) he had been swimming for one hours.
Past Perfect Continuous
He said: «I had been reading a book when the light went off«
Past Perfect Continuous
He said (that) he had been reading a book when the light had gone off.
Futuro simple (will+verbo)
He said: «I will open the door.»
Condicional (would+verbo)
He said (that) he would open the door.
Condicional (would+verbo)
He said: «I would buy a plane if I were rich»
Condicional (would+verbo)
He said (that) he would buy a plane if he had been rich.

LOS MODALES

Los modales could, should, would, might, needn’t, ought to, used to no cambian cuando se relacionan con el discurso indirecto.

Los que cambian son will → would, can → could, may → might:

  • I will come with you. → Tina promised she would come with me. 
  • I can help you. → He said he could help me. 
  • It may be a good idea. → I thought it might be a good idea.
Modales Estilo directo Estilo indirecto
will «They will call you.» He told her that they would call her.
would* «I would help, but I’m sick.» She said (that) she would help but she was sick.
can «I can do it.» He said he could do it.
could* «I could swim when I was four» She said (that) she could swim when she was four.
should*  «I should call my mother» She said (that) she should call her mother.
may «May I go out?» He wanted to know if he might go out.
must «She must apply for the job.» He said that she must/had to apply for the job.

* no cambian

LAS MARCAS DE TIEMPO, LUGAR Y DEMOSTRATIVOS

Las expresiones de tiempo, lugar y los demostrativos cambian si el contexto del discurso indirecto es diferente al del discurso directo.

She said «I saw him yesterday.» → She said she had seen him the day before. (Ella dijo que lo vio el día anterior)

Estilo directo Estilo indirecto
Marcas de tiempo
today that day
now then
yesterday the day before
… days ago … days before
last week the week before
next week the following week
next year the following year
tomorrow the next day / the following day
Marcas de lugar
here there
Demostrativos
this that
these those

 

Órdenes y prohibiciones al estilo indirecto

Para informar un orden o una prohibición con el discurso indirecto, usaremos verbos como tell, order o forbid… Atención, recuerde reemplazar Don’t con NOT cuando es el verbo principal en la oración.

Para las oraciones afirmativas debes usar to + infinitivo

Para oraciones negativas debes usar not to + infinitivo

  • Don’t worry! → He told her not to worry.
  • He said, «go to bed!» → He ordered the child to go to bed.
  • Don’t marry him! → She forbade me to marry him.
  • Please don’t be late. → She asked us not to be late.

Preguntas al discurso indirecto

Si hay una palabra interrogativa como where/who/when/why… … en discurso directa, la mantenemos en forma indirecta:

  • What are you doing? → She asked me what I was doing. (Ella me preguntó qué estaba haciendo).
  • Who was that beautifl woman? → He asked me who that beautiful woman had been.
  • Where do you live? → He wanted to know where I lived.
  • «Why don’t you speak Spanish?” → He asked me why I didn’t speak Spanish.

Si es una pregunta cerrada que debe responderse con sí / no, usamos if o whether:

  • «Do you like chocolate?» → She asked me if I liked chocolate.
  • «Are you living here?» → She asked me if I was living here.
  • «Have you ever been to Paris?» → He asked me if I had ever been to Paris.

Cuando la pregunta contiene un modal, este modal es pretérito en la pregunta reportada:

  • How will he react? → He wondered how he would react.

Algunos ejemplos de preguntas indirectas:

  • I wondered what they were talking about.
  • I don’t know if they’ll come or not.

OTRAS TRANSFORMACIONES

Las expresiones de consejos como must, should y ought generalmente se informan utilizando los verbos advise o urge:

  • «You must read this book.» → He advised / urged me to read that book.

La expresión let’s generalmente se informa usando el verbo suggest, con el gerundio o con should:

  • «Let’s go to the cinema.» → He suggested going to the cinema. O He suggested that we should go to the cinema.

 

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