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What are direct And indirect speech

What is Direct Speech?:

Definition: When we repeat the actual words of the speaker, it is called direct speech. We use quotation marks or inverted commas.

Examples: He said, "I am busy."

What is Indirect Speech?:

Definition: When we do not repeat the speaker's actual words, it is called indirect or reported speech. We use our own words, without changing their meaning. We do not use quotation marks here.

Examples: He said that he was happy.

Reporting Verb: These are verbs which are used for citing or reporting another speaker's ideas. These can be used both in quoting or paraphrasing. Most commonly used reporting verbs are say and tell.
For example: (He said, She said,)

Direct and Indirect Speech

How to change direct speech in to indirect speech:

1. The word "that" is used as a conjunction between the reporting verb and the reported speech.

2. If the reporting verb is in present tense or future tense, then the tense of reported speech will not change.

3. If reporting verb is in past tense, then the tense of reported speech will change.

4. If reported speech talks about universal truth, then the tense of reported speech will not change.

5. Remove comma and inverted commas.

6. Change the tense and the pronoun of the direct speech according to the rules.

7. Words expressing nearness in time or places are usually changed in to words expressing distance.

Tense Changes in Indirect speech:

This table shows the changes in tense in indirect speech.

Direct speech Indirect speech
Simple Present
He said, "I am tired."
Simple Past
He said that he was tired.
Present Continuous
She said, "I am playing with my doll."
Past Continuous
She said that she was playing with her doll.
Present Perfect
Max said, "I have made this painting."
Past Perfect
Max said that he had made that painting.
Present Perfect Continuous
He said, "I have been playing piano for three hours."
Past Perfect Continuous
He said that he had been playing piano for three hours.
Past Simple
Alice said, "I got a new car last week."
Past Perfect
Alice said that she had got a new car the week before.
Past Perfect
He said, "They had gone when I arrived."
Past Perfect
He said that they had gone when he had arrived.
Past Continuous
They said, "We were playing in the garden."
Past Perfect Continuous
They said that they had been playing in the garden.
Simple Future
She said, "I will read this book next week."
Would + Verb
She said that she would read that book the following week.
Future Continuous
He said, "I will be going to school tomorrow."
Would be
He said that he would be going to school the next day.

The following table shows the time and the place words that will change in the indirect speech.

Direct speech Indirect speech
Today That day
Tomorrow The next day
Next week The following week
Now Then
Today That day
Tomorrow The next day
Next week The following week
Last week The week before
Here There
This That
These Those

Changes in Modals:

The following table shows the changes in modal verbs. The modal verb "can" changes in to "could", "may" changes in to "might" and "must" changes in to "had to".

Changes in Modal Verbs
Modal Direct speech Indirect speech
Can He said, "I can play tennis." He said that he could play tennis.
May Sara said, "I may buy a dress." Sara said that she might buy a dress.
Must He said, "I must go home." He said that he had to go home.

Note: would, could, should and might do not change in indirect speech.

Indirect speech for interrogative sentences:

Direct speech Indirect speech
He said, "When will they study?" He asked when they would study.
He said to me, "Do you like cake?" He asked me if i liked cake.
He said to me, "Where do you play?" He asked me where I played.
she said to me, "What are you making?" She asked me what I was making.
They said to me, "Are you going there?" They asked me if I was going there.

Indirect speech for imperative sentences:

Imperative entences express request, advice, or command. When we change these sentences in to indirect speech we add the words ordered, requested, suggested or not to (do something).

Direct speech Indirect speech
He said, "clean the window." He ordered to clean the window.
He said to me, "please give me some money." He requested me to give him some money.
He said to me, "do not smoke." He advised me not to smoke.

Indirect speech for exclamatory sentences:

Direct speech Indirect speech
He said, "hurrah! I got first prize." He exclaimed with joy that he had got first prize.
He said, "wow! What a beautiful flower it is." He exclaimed with wonder that it was a beautiful flower.
He said, "Oh no! I lost my key." He exclaimed with sorrow that he had lost his key.

See Also:

English Grammar:

Physics:

Biology:

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