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How do I change this direct speech into reported speech?

Father said,"Never say never."
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  • Why don't you try to do it and then ask us?
    – Lambie
    Feb 17 '18 at 17:28
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Lambie's suggestion is a good one, but in case you don't know how or where to begin, let me first start by saying that there are a number of ways you could do this. One of them would be:

Father told me to never say never.

Other variations could be:

Never say never is what my father told me.

Father told me that I should never say never.

Personally, I don't think this is well suited for reported speech. In my opinion, it isn't just reported speech; it is a set phrase that some would even call trite or cliché, which further supports that it should be placed inside of quotation marks. This would explain the few examples I found of it, but even so, such usage will sometimes make its way through a publishing house.* Case in point:

When I began working with a little white man, he told me to never say life is too hard.

Source: When Family Matters

I am not sure what motivated you to post the question. If it is an exercise for a class, the instructor probably just wants to know that you know the difference between directly quoted speech and reported speech and how to properly form those two types of sentences, regardless of whether or not a good writer would choose to do that in real life. If that's the case and you need more help with this topic, the link below might be a good place to start:

Reported Speech


*I should add that this particular example comes from a book whose publisher is AuthorHouse, which is a self-publishing service. It probably explains why I was able to find any similar example at all to the one you provided. Consequently, I would consider this merely a practice exercise and not something you would ordinarily do for formal (or academic writing) or anything you planned to publish, online or otherwise.

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