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Direct Speech

In direct speech, we convey the message of the speaker in his own actual words without any change
to another person.

Indirect Speech
In indirect speech, we convey the message of the speaker in our own words to another person.

Procedure of changing direct speech into indirect speech

1. Remove comma and inverted commas.


2. Put "that" between the reporting and reported speeches.(it is optional to put "that" between the
reporting and reported speech)
3. Change the 1st letter of reported speech into small letter except for "I"
4. Change the pronoun of the direct speech according to the rules described in table 2
5. Change the tense of the direct speech appropriately according to rules described in table 3.
6. Change the words expressing nearness in time or places of the direct speech into its appropriate
words expressing distance as per table 1

Rules for changing Direct into Indirect Speech

The past tense is often used when it is uncertain if the statement is true or when we are reporting objectively.
Indirect Speech Conversion Direct Speech Condition

Present Tenses in the Direct Speech If the reporting or principal verb is in the Past Tense.
are changed into Past Tense.

If in direct speech you find say/says or will say.


Do Not Change Tense of reported
Direct speech the words within the quotation marks talk of a universal truth or habitual action.
Speech in Indirect Speech sentence
The reporting verb is in a present tense.

When there are two sentences combined with the help of a conjunction and both sentences have got different tenses. then change the
tenses of both sentences according to the rule.
Words expressing nearness in time or places are generally changed into words expressing distance.

Change of place and time Direct Speech Word Indirect Speech Word

Here There

Today that day

this morning that morning

Yesterday the day before

Tomorrow the next day

next week the following week

next month the following month

Now Then

Ago Before

Thus So

Last Night the night before


This That

These Those

Hither Thither

Hence Thence

Come Go

Change in Pronouns

The pronouns of the Direct Speech are changed where necessary, according to their relations with the reporter and his hearer, rather
than with the original speaker. If we change direct speech into indirect speech, the pronouns will change in the following ways.

Rules Direct Speech Indirect Speech

The first person of the reported speech changes She says, "I am in tenth class." She says, "I am in tenth class."
according to the subject of reporting speech.

The second person of reported speech changes He says to them, "You have completed He tells them that they have
according to the object of reporting speech. your job." completed their job.

The third person of the reported speech doesn't She says, "She is in tenth class." She says that she is in tenth
change. class.

Change in Tenses
The past perfect and past perfect continuous tenses do not change.

Rules Direct Speech Indirect Speech

Simple Present Changes "I always drink coffee", she said She said that she always drank coffee.
To
Simple Past

Present Continuous Changes "I am reading a book", he explained. He explained that he was reading a book
To
Past Continuous

Present Perfect Changes She said, "He has finished his work" She said that he had finished his work.
To
Past Perfect

Present Perfect Continuous "I have been to Spain", he told me. He told me that he had been to Spain.
Changes
To
Past Perfect Continuous

Simple Past Changes "Bill arrived on Saturday", he said. He said that Bill had arrived on Saturday
To
Past Perfect

Past Perfect Changes "I had just turned out the light," he He explained that he had just turned out the
To explained. light.
Past Perfect (No Change In Tense)

Past Continuous Changes "We were living in Paris", they told me. They told me that they had been living in
To Paris.
Past Perfect Continuous

Future Changes "I will be in Geneva on Monday", he said He said that he would be in Geneva on
To Monday.
Present Conditional

Future Continuous Changes She said, "I'll be using the car next Friday." She said that she would be using the car next
To Friday.
Conditional Continuous

Changes in Modals

Rules Direct Speech Indirect Speech

CAN changes into COULD He said, "I can drive a car". He said that he could drive a car.

MAY changes into MIGHT He said, "I may buy a computer" He said that he might buy a computer.

MUST changes into HAD TO He said, "I must work hard" He said that he had to work hard.

These Modals Do Not Change: Would, could, might, should, ought to.

Would They said, "we would apply for a visa" They said that they would apply for visa.

Could He said, "I could run faster" He said that he could run faster.

Might John said, "I might meet him". John said that he might meet him.

Should He said, "I should avail the opportunity" He said that he should avail the opportunity.

Ought to He said to me, "you ought to wait for him" He said to me that I ought to wait for him.

Changes for Imperative Sentences

Imperative sentences consist any of these four things:

Order
Request
Advice
Suggestion

Most commonly used words to join clauses together are ordered, requested, advised and suggested. Forbid(s)/ forbade is used for the
negative sentences.

Mood of Sentence in Direct Speech Reporting verb in indirect verb

Order ordered

Request requested / entreated

Advice advised / urged

Never told, advised or forbade (No need of "not" after "forbade")

Direction directed

Suggestion suggested to

Warning warn

(If a person is addressed directly) called

Exclamatory Sentences

Exclamatory sentences expresses emotions. Interjections such as Hurrah, wow, alas, oh, ah are used to express emotions. The word
"that" is used as join clause.
Rules for conversion of Exclamatory Direct Speech Sentences into Indirect Speech Sentences

Exclamatory sentence changes into assertive sentence.


Interjections are removed.
Exclamation mark changes into full stop.
W.H words like , "what" and "how" are removed and before the adjective of reported speech we put "very"
Changes of "tenses" , "pronouns" and "adjectives" will be according to the previous rules.

Mood of Sentence in Direct Speech Reporting verb in indirect verb

sorrow in reported speech Exclaimed with sorrow/ grief/ exclaimed sorrowfully or cried out

happiness in reported speech exclaimed with joy/ delight/ exclaimed joyfully

surprise in reported speech exclaimed with surprise/ wonder/ astonishment"

appreciation and it is being expressed strongly applauded

Interrogative Sentences

Interrogative sentences are of two types:


Interrogative with auxiliaries at the beginning.
Interrogatives with who, where, what, when, how etc., i.e. wh questions.
Rules for conversion of Interrogative Direct Speech Sentence into Indirect Speech Sentences
There are some rules to change direct to Indirect speech of Interrogative sentence:

RULES

Changes Direct Speech Condition Indirect Speech Condition

Reporting Verb said/ said to Asked, enquired or demanded.

If sentence begins with auxiliary joining clause should be if or whether.


verb
Joining Clause
If sentence begins with "wh" then no conjunction is used as "question-word" itself act as joining clause.
questions

Punctuation Question Mark Full Stop

sentences is expressing positive do/does is removed from sentence.


feeling

Helping Verbs if 'No' is used in interrogative do/does is changed into did.


sentences

Did or has/have Had

Helping verbs (is, am, are, was, were) are used after the subject.

Adverbs and pronouns are converted according to the table 1 and table 2 respectively.

Punctuation in Direct Speech

In direct speech, various punctuation conventions are used to separate the quoted words from the rest of the text: this allows a reader
to follow what's going on.

Here are the basic rules:

RULES EXAMPLES

The words that are actually spoken should be enclosed in inverted commas 'He's very clever, you know.'
Start new paragraph every time when a new speaker says something. 'They think it's a more respectable job,'
said Joe.
'I don't agree,' I replied

Comma, full stop, question mark, or exclamation mark must be present at the end of 'Can I come in?' he asked.
reported sentences. This is placed inside the closing inverted comma or commas. 'Just a moment!' she shouted.
'You're right,' he said.

If direct speech comes after the information about who is speaking, comma is used to Steve replied, 'No problem.'
introduce the piece of speech, placed before the first inverted comma.

If the direct speech is broken up by information about who is speaking, comma (or a 'You're right,' he said. 'It feels strange.'
question mark or exclamation mark) is used to separate the two reported speech 'Thinking back,' she said, 'he didn't
expect to win.'

Rules for conversion of Indirect Speech to Direct Speech

1. To change from Indirect to Direct Speech, keep the rules of the Direct Speech are applied in the
reverse order.
2. Use the reporting verb, "say" or "said to" in its correct tense.
3. Remove the conjunctions "that, to, if or whether etc". wherever necessary.
Insert quotation marks, question mark, exclamation and full stop, wherever necessary.
4. Put a comma before the statement.
5. Write the first word of the statement with capital letter.
6. Change the past tense into present tense wherever the reporting verb is in the past tense.
7. Convert the past perfect either into past tense or present perfect as found necessary.
8. Be careful about the order of words in the question.
The following table will enable to find the kind of sentence:

Indirect (Conjunction) Direct (Kind of Sentence)

That Statement (or) Exclamatory sentence

to, not to Imperative

requested + to Begin the imperative sentence with "please"

if or whether Interrogative sentence (Helping Verb + Subject + Main Verb + ...?)

What, When, How etc., (Wh or How + Helping Verb + Subject + Main Verb + ...?)