We use reported speech to talk about what someone has said.
Imagine a person says something:
“I want to play football,” said Claire.
Later, we want to talk about – or ‘report’ – what that person said:
Claire said that she wanted to play football.
Reported speech is either direct or indirect:
|“I want to play football,” said Claire.||Direct speech|
|Claire said that she wanted to play football.||Indirect speech|