Indirect speech

The indirect speech in everyday and written language:

 

1. When the indirect speech is used in everyday spoken language, only the indicative is used and almost never the Konjunktiv I. In this case, the indirect speech is expressed by a subordinate clause that is or is not introduced by a conjunction.

 

direct speech  
indirect speech
Peter hat behauptet: "Ich war gerstern nicht zu Hause." Peter hat behauptet, dass er gerstern nicht zu Hause gewesen ist.
  subordinate clause introduced by a conjunction

 

 

2. In the written language, and especially in mass media texts, the Konjunktiv I or II are mainly used to report someone's statement. In this case, the indirect speech is expressed by a subordinate clause that is or is not introduced by a conjunction.

 

direct speech  
indirect speech
Der Parteichef hat erklärt: "Ich werde zurücktreten". Der Parteichef hat erklärt, dass er zurücktreten werde. Der Parteichef hat gesagt, er werde zurücktreten .
  subordinate clause introduced by a conjunction subordinate clause not introduced by a conjunction

 

 

A summarised view of how the indirect speech is expressed in everyday and written language is presented below:

 

  everyday language   written language
expression of indirect speech
mood indicative Konjunktiv I / II
clause type subordinate clause introduced by a conjunction subordinate clause introduced by a conjunction
subordinate clause not introduced by a conjunction