Quoting the exact words of the speeker is called “The Direct Speech”.
David said, “I am writing a letter now”.
Indirect Speech :
Reporting of what a speaker said without quoting his exact words is called ‘Indirect Speech’.
David said that he was writing a letter then.
Rules For changing Direct Speech into Indirect Speech.
Rule :1. The adverbs of nearness should be put into those of distance.
the previous night
the day before (or) the previous day
the next day (or) the following day
the week before (or) the previous week
the week after (or) the following week
the month before (or) the previous month
a month after
Rule :2. Tenses.
If the reporting verb is in the Present or Future tense (e.g., say, will say) there is no change in the tense of the verb in the Indirect speech. Antony says, “I eat a mango”. (D.S.) Antony says, that he eats a mango”. (I.S.)
If Reporting Verb is in the Past Tense. the tense of the verbs in the reported speech or Indirect Speech must be generally changed.
1. Present Tense in the Direct becomes p.ast tense. Johnsi said, “I write a letter”. (D.S) Johnsi said that she wrote a letter. (I.S)
2. Past Tense in the direct becomes past perfect or remains unchanged. Angel said, “I brought a pen yesterday”. (D.S) Angel said that she had bought a pen the day before. (I.S)
3. Present Continuous in the direct becomes past continuous. John said, “I am going to church”. (D.S) John said that he was going to church. (I.S)
4. Past Continuous in the direct becomes past perfect continuous. Nelson said, “I was playing cricket”. (D.S) Nelson said that he had been playing cricket. (I.S)
5. Present Perfect in the direct becomes past perfect. Kamal said, “I have done my home work”. (D.S) Nelson said that he had done his home work. (I.S)
6. Present Perfect Continuous in the direct becomes past perfect continuous. He said, “I have been reading a novel”. (D.S) He said that he had been reading a novel. (I.S)
7. ‘Will’ and ‘Shall’ are changed to ‘would’. He said, “I will go to London tomorrow”. (D.S) He said that he would go to London the next day. (I.S)
had to (or) must
Johnsi said, “I must go now”. (D.S) Johnsi said that she must (or) had to go then. (I.S)
Exception to the above rule: If the direct speech contains the Universal Truth, the tense of the direct speech remains unchanged even if the reporting verb is in the past.
The teacher said, “The sun rises in the East”. (D.S) The teacher said that the sun rises in the East. (I.S)
Statement (or) Assertive Sentence Rules :
Remove the quotation marks in the statement
Use the conjuction ‘that’
Change the reporting verb ‘say to’ into ‘tell’
Change the reporting verb ‘said to’ into ‘told’
He said that (correct)
He told me that (correct)
He told that (Incorrect)
1. “I will work hard to get first class” said Lazar (D.S.) Lazar said he would work hard to get first class. (I.S.)
2. “You can do this work” said Nelson to Johnsi (D.S.) Nelson told Johnsi that he could do that work. (I.S.)
3. He says, “I am glad to be here this evening”(D.S.) He says that he is glad to be there that evening. (I.S.)
4. “I‘m going to the library now” said David (D.S.) David said that he was going to the library then. (I.S.)
Imperative Sentence (Order or Request) Rules :
Remove the quotation mark in an Imperative sentence.
Use ‘to’ if it is an affirmative sentence. (without don‘t)
Use ‘not to’ if the sentence begins without Don‘t.
Don‘t use ‘that’
Omit the word ‘please’. Use the word ‘request’ instead of ‘say’.
If the direct speech contains a request or a command, the reporting verb (say, said) change to tell, request, order, command etc. In its correct tense.
1. “Don‘t talk in the class” said the teacher to the boys. (D.S.) The teacher advised the boys not to talk in the class. (I.S.)
2.“Please give me something to eat. I am hungry” the old man said to them. (D.S.) The old man requested them to give him something to eat and said that he was hungry (I.S.)
3. “Be careful” said he to her. (D.S.)
He ordered her to be careful. (I.S.)
4. “Bring me a cup of tea” said Nelson to Andriya. (D.S.)
Nelson asked Andriya to bring him a cup of tea. (I.S.)
Interrogative Sentence (Questions) Rules :
Remove the quotation marks and question mark in the interrogative sentence.
Use ‘if’ or ‘whether’ if the sentence inside the quotation marks begins with a helping verb (Auxiliary verb).
Use the given interrogative word (what, when, where, why, who, whom, whose, which, now etc.) if it does not begin with the helping verb.
Don‘t use ‘that’
Changing the reporting verb (say, said) into ‘ask’ or ‘enquire’ in its correct tense.
Omit helping verb like ‘do, does, did’. But don’t omit them when they are with ‘not’.
1. “Won’t you help me to caary this box?” said I to my friend. (D.S.) I asked my friend if he would not help me to carry that box. (I.S.)
2. Mohan said to Stalin, “Why did not you attend the meeting yesterday”? (D.S.) Mohan asked Stalin why he had not attended the meeting the day before. (I.S.)
3. “How often do you go to the theatre?” said David to John. (D.S.)
David asked John how often he went to the theatre. (I.S.)
4. Mohamed said to Sultan, “Do you like mangoes?” (D.S.) Mohamed asked Sultan if he liked mangoes. (I.S.)
Exclamatory Sentence Rules :
Change the exclamatory sentence into satement or Assertive
Remove the quotation marks and exclamatory mark.
Use the conjunction ‘that’
Omit the interjections such as Oh, O, Alas, how, what, hurrah.
Add the word ‘very’ to the adjective or adverb if necessary.
If the verb is not given, use ‘Be’ form verb (is, was, are, were, am) in its correct tense according to the subject.
Change the reporting verb (say, said) to ‘exclaim joyfully’
Use ‘exclaim’ sorrowfully for sorrowful incidents.
1. “O, what a beautiful flower that is!” said she. (D.S.) She exclaimed joyfully that that was a very beautiful flower. (I.S.)
2. “What a horrible sight!” we all exclaimed. (D.S.) We all exclaimed that it was a very horrible sight. (I.S.)
3. “Alas! I have broken my brother’s watch” said he. He exclaimed sorrowfully that he had broken his brothers watch. (I.S.)
4. “How beautiful she is!” said Boon. (D.S.) Boon exclaimed joyfully that she was very beautiful. (I.S.)
There are two ways of relating what a person has said: direct and indirect.
In direct speech we repeat the original speaker’s exact words: He said, “I have written the exercise”.
The direct speech is found in conversations in books, in plays and quotations.
In Indirect speech we give the exact meaning of a remark in speech, without necessarily using the speaker’s exact words. He said that he had written the exercise.
II. Look at the following examples of Direct and Indirect Speech:
1. He said, “John will be in London on Tuesday.”. He said that John would be in London on Tuesday.
2. “I never eat meat”, he explained. He explained that he never ate meat.
3. He said, “I wish I knew.”. He said that He wished he knew.
4. She says, “I shall be there.”. She said that she will be there.
5. He said, “She is coming this week.”. He said that she was coming that week.
6. He said, “I bought this pearl for my mother.”. He said that he had bought that pearl for his mother.
7. He said, “Where is she going?”. He asked where she was going.
8. He said, “Lucy, when is the next bus.”. He asked Lucy when the next bus was.
9. ”Is anyone there?” she asked. She asked if anyone was there.
10. The mother said, “Lie down, David.”. The mother asked David to lie down.
11. He said, “Don’t move, boys.” He asked the boys not to move.
12. He said, “Please say nothing about this.”. He asked her to say nothing about that.
III. Reported Speech - Mixed Type
1. “I don’t know the way. Do you?” he asked. He said that he didn’t know the way and asked her if she did.
2.She said, “Oh! It’s a snake. Don’t go near it, children.” She exclaimed with disgust that it was a snake and told the children not to go near it.
3. “I the floods get any worse we must leave the house”, he said.
(must = will have to) He said that if the floods got any worse they would have to leave the house.
4. “I have just received a letter”, he said; “I must go home at once”. He said that he had jus treceived a letter and would have to go home at once.
(i) In all these sentences the reported part has more than one clause and tense. So both the parts need attention to be converted into the Indirect speech from the Direct. This type of sentence is called Mixed Type.
(ii) When statements and questions are mixed, each section must be introduced by an appropriate verb, viz. tell, say, explain, remark etc., for statements and ask, enquire, want to know, wonder etc., for questions. A useful connective device for plus statement is ”adding that”...
eg. “I’m off to the pictures. Where are you going?” He said that he was off to the pictures and wanted to know where I was going.
Reported Speech - Statement - Rules
Whatever may be the tense of the Reporting Sentence, if the Reported Sentence tells a universal fact, no change is made in the tense of the Reported Sentence.
Example No. 1: Direct Speech: the mohter is saying to the child, “The third day of the week is Tuesday.”. Step 1: The Reported Sentence is: “The third ... .... Tuesday.” Step 2: It is a Statement and a universal fact. Step 3: So, the conjunction word is -- “that”. Step 4: ‘is saying to’ changes into ‘is telling’. Step 5: No change of pronoun. Step 6: It is a universal fact. So, no change of tense is necessary. Step 7: No change of extension. Now, the Indirect Speech is: The mother is telling the child that the third day of the week is Tuesday.
Example No. 2: Direct Speech: The History teacher says, “Megellan was the first navigator ot come around the world.”. Step 1: The Reported Sentence is: “Megellan ... .... world.” Step 2: It is a statement. Step 3: The conjunction word is -- “that”. Step 4: ‘Says’ does not change. Use it as it is. Step 5: There are no pronoun to get changed. Step 6: No change of tense is made. Step 7: No extensive word to get changed. Now, the Indirect Speech is:
The History teacher says that Megellan was the first navigator to come around the world.
The following models have been answered for you:
1. The teacher has said to the pupils, “Sea-water is different from the river water.”. The teacher has told the pupils that sea-water is different from river water.
2. David answered, “The Mines are under the ground”. David answered that the Mines are under the ground.
3. John said to his brother, “The U.N.O. is a world organisation”. John told his brother that the U.N.O. is a world organisaiton.
4. The Science teacher told the class, “Ice floats on water.”. The Science teacher told the class that ice floats on water.
Definitions for Interrogative Sentences
Here, we do not consider the changes under all the rules separately. We will consider them under two divisions. You know the two types of Interrogative Sentences:
Inverted questions requiring ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ answers -- 1st type.
Questions that begin with interrogative words -- 2nd type
At first we shall deal with the First type:
Take an Example No. 1:
Direct Speech: The boy said to the fruit-seller, “Are all these mangoes sweet?”
Step 1: Identify the Reported Sentence.
Step 2: Know what kind of sentence the Reported Sentence is.
Step 3: Look for the correct Conjunction. (The Conjunction of the First type is “If or Whether”)
Step 4: Change of ‘said to’ -- Since it is an interrogative sentence ‘said to ’ changes into ‘asked’.
Step 5: Look for the change of pronouns.
Step 6: Look for the change of tenses. The Reported Sentence is in past tense. The Reported Sentences is in present tense. So, the Reported Sentence should be changed into past tense, corresponding to the tense, of the Reporting Sentence.
The verb is ‘are’ -- Its past tense is ‘were’.
Step 7: Look for the change of extension words.
‘These’ changes into ‘those’.
The Indirect Speech is: The boy asked the fruit-seller if all those mangoes were sweet.
Example No 2:
Direct Speech : The grandfather said to his grandsons, “Did you not like my story yesterday?”
Step 1: The Reported Sentence is: “Did you ... day?”
Step 2: It is an Interrogative Sentences. It is of the First type.
Step 3: So its conjunction word is: If or Whether.
Step 4: So ‘said to’ changes into ‘asked’.
Step 5: Look for the pronouns. (i) The first one is: ‘You’ (subject)
‘You’ -- refers to grandsons. They are in the third person plural number.
So the third person of ‘You’ (subject, plural)
It is -- ‘they’. ‘You’ changes into ‘they’.
‘You’ -- grandsons.
‘You’ -- they. (ii) The next on is ‘My’.
‘My’ -- refers to ‘the grandfather’ -- in the third person.
So, take the third person of ‘My’ - -It is ‘His’.
‘My’ changes into ‘His’.
Step 6: Look for the change of tenses.
Step 7: Extensive word ‘Yesteday’ changes into ‘the day before’. Now, the Indirect Speech is-
The grandfather asked his grandsons if they had not liked his story the day before.