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
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.
Present Tense becomes Past Tense.
- Direct Speech: Jatin said, “I write a letter.
- Indirect Speech: Jatin said that he wrote a letter.
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.
Present Continuous becomes Past Continuous.
- Direct Speech: Pinky said, “I am going to college.
- Indirect Speech: Pinky said that she was going to college.
Past Continuous becomes past perfect continuous.
- Direct Speech: Neelam said, “I was playing cricket”.
- Indirect Speech: Neelam said that he had been playing cricket.
Present Perfect becomes past perfect.
- Direct Speech: Kunal said, “I have done my homework”.
- Indirect Speech: Kunal said that he had done his homework.
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.
‘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.
Direct Speech: “I will work hard to pass the exam” said Lalit.
Indirect Speech: Lalit said he would work hard to pass the exam.
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.
(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.
(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.