Discorso indiretto tedesco: Discorso riferito e domande indirette

Indirect speech, also known as reported speech, is a fundamental aspect of language that allows us to convey what someone else has said without quoting them directly. In German, mastering indirect speech is crucial for effective communication. Let’s look into how indirect speech and indirect questions work in the German language, along with examples to illustrate their usage.


Reported Speech in German

Reported speech in German involves conveying someone else’s words or thoughts indirectly, often with changes to tenses, pronouns, and other elements. Here’s how reported speech is formed in German:

Steps for Forming Reported Speech:

  1. Introduce Reporting Verb: Begin with a reporting verb such as “sagen” (to say), “erklären” (to explain), or “berichten” (to report).

  2. Change Pronouns and Verb Tenses: Adjust pronouns and verb tenses according to the context and tense sequence rules.

  3. Use Appropriate Conjunctions: Use conjunctions like “dass” (that) to introduce the reported clause.


Direct Speech: Anna sagt, “Ich bin müde.” Discorso riferito: Anna sagt, dass sie müde ist.


Indirect Questions in German

Indirect questions are questions embedded within a statement or another question. They are commonly used to express curiosity or request information indirectly. Here’s how indirect questions are formed in German:

Steps for Forming Indirect Questions:

  1. Introduce Indirect Question: Start with an introductory phrase or clause expressing the nature of the question.

  2. Use Question Word Order: Maintain the word order of a statement, rather than a question.

  3. End with a Period: Indirect questions are followed by a period, not a question mark.


Direct Question: “Wo ist der Bahnhof?” Indirect Question: Er fragt, wo der Bahnhof ist.