She said, “I am afraid we are rather late!” Change into Indirect Speech
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Indirect Speech: She exclaimed that she was afraid that they were rather late.
Explanation: When the reporting verb is in the past (said) and the direct speech is in the present indefinite tense (simple present tense), then the indirect (reported) speech will change into the past indefinite tense.
Present Indefinite Tense > Past Indefinite Tense.
And if the sentence is exclamatory, we use reporting verbs like exclaimed, admired, cried etc based on the sentence.