Direct & Indirect Speech

Pratice Direct & Indirect Speech Questions and answers.


Direct and Indirect Speech

What is Direct Speech?

Quoting the exact words of the speaker is called.

Example - Rahul said, "I am reading a book now".

What is Indirect Speech?

Reporting of what a speaker said without quoting his exact words.

Example - Rahul said that he was reading a book then.

Direct and Indirect Speech - Important Rules

Rule Description

Put the adverbs of nearness into those of distance.

Direct Speech - Indirect Speech

  • now - then
  • here - there
  • this - that
  • these - those
  • ago - before
  • thus - so
  • today - that day
  • tonight - that night
  • yesterday - the day before
  • the previous day tomorrow - the next day (or) the following day
  • last week - the week before
  • next week - the week after

If the reporting verb is in the Present or Future tense, don't change the tense of the verb in the Indirect speech.


  • Direct Speech: Rahul says, “I eat a pineapple.
  • Indirect Speech: Rahul says, that he eats a pineapple.

If the reporting verb is in the Past Tense, you need to change the verb in the indirect speech.

  1. Present Tense becomes Past Tense.

    • Direct Speech: Jatin said, “I write a letter.
    • Indirect Speech: Jatin said that he wrote a letter.
  2. Past Tense becomes Past Perfect or remains unchanged.

    • Direct Speech: Anita said, “I bought a book yesterday.
    • Indirect Speech: Anita said that she had bought a book the day before.
  3. Present Continuous becomes Past Continuous.

    • Direct Speech: Pinky said, “I am going to college.
    • Indirect Speech: Pinky said that she was going to college.
  4. Past Continuous becomes past perfect continuous.

    • Direct Speech: Neelam said, “I was playing cricket”.
    • Indirect Speech: Neelam said that he had been playing cricket.
  5. Present Perfect becomes past perfect.

    • Direct Speech: Kunal said, “I have done my homework”.
    • Indirect Speech: Kunal said that he had done his homework.
  6. Present Perfect Continuous becomes past perfect continuous.

    • Direct Speech: He said, “I have been reading a book”.
    • Indirect Speech: He said that he had been reading a book.
  7. ‘Will’ and ‘Shall’ are changed to ‘would’.

    • Direct Speech: He said, “I will go to Australia tomorrow”.
    • Indirect Speech: He said that he would go to Australia the next day.

    • may - might
    • can - could
    • must - had to (or) must


    • Direct Speech: Jatin said, “I must go now”.
    • Indirect Speech: Jatin said that she must (or) had to go then.

Statement or Assertive Sentence

Question: Which one of the following statement is incorrect?

  • (A) He said that
  • (B) He told me that
  • (C) He told that

Answer: Option (C) is the incorrect statement.


  1. Direct Speech: “I will work hard to pass the exam” said Lalit.

    Indirect Speech: Lalit said he would work hard to pass the exam.

  2. Direct Speech: “I’m going to the hospital now” said Dhruv.

    Indirect Speech: Dhruv said that he was going to the hospital then.


Imperative Sentence (Order or Request)

(1) Use ‘to’: In case of an affirmative sentence (without don’t).


  • Direct Speech: “Be careful” said he to her.
  • Indirect Speech: He ordered her to be careful.

(2) Use ‘not to’: If the sentence begins without Don’t.


  • Direct Speech: “Don’t talk in the class” said the teacher to the boys.
  • Indirect Speech: The teacher advised the boys not to talk in the class.

Interrogative Sentence (Questions)

(1) Use ‘if’ or ‘whether’: If the sentence inside the quotation marks begins with a helping verb (Auxiliary verb).


  • Direct Speech: Malik said to Salman, “Do you like mangoes?”
  • Indirect Speech: Malik asked Salman if he liked mangoes.

(2) Use the given interrogative word (who, what, when, where, why, etc.) if it does not begin with the helping verb.


  • Direct Speech: Mohan said to Sohan, “Why didn’t you attend the meeting yesterday”?
  • Indirect Speech: Mohan asked Sohan why he had not attended the meeting the day before.

(3) Changing the reporting verb (say, said) into ‘ask’ or ‘enquire’ in its correct tense.


  • Direct Speech: “Won’t you help me to carry this bag?” said Raju to Shyam.
  • Indirect Speech: Raju asked Shyam if he would not help me to carry that bag.

Exclamatory Sentence

(1) Omit the interjections such as Oh, O, Alas, how, what, hurrah.


  • Direct Speech: O, what a beautiful flower that is!” said she.
  • Indirect Speech: She exclaimed joyfully that that was a very beautiful flower.
  • Example:

(2) Add the word ‘very’ to the adjective or adverb if necessary.


  • Direct Speech: “What a horrible sight!” we all exclaimed.
  • Indirect Speech: We all exclaimed that it was a very horrible sight.

(3) Change the reporting verb (say, said) to ‘exclaim joyfully


  • Direct Speech: How beautiful she is!” said Raja.
  • Indirect Speech: Raja exclaimed joyfully that she was very beautiful.

(4) Use ‘exclaim’ sorrowfully for sorrowful incidents.


  • Direct Speech: “Alas! I have broken my brother’s watch” said he.
  • Indirect Speech: He exclaimed sorrowfully that he had broken his brother’s watch.