Direct and Indirect Speech

Direct and Indirect Speech

Direct and Indirect Speech

Direct and Indirect Speech:

Direct and Indirect Speech is also called the Reported Speech. When we want to retell or report what the other person says, generally we follow two methods – one is Direct and the other one is Indirect. These methods are called Direct and Indirect Speeches in English Grammar. Here, Direct and Indirect Speech rules, more than 100 sentences with examples, worksheets, and quizzes are provided. 

Direct Speech:

When we repeat or quote the actual words of a speaker, we call it a Direct Speech.

 Examples:

  • He said, “I am very busy now”.
  • The teacher said to the boys, “Have you done your homework?”
  • Mamata  said to Manasa, “What are you doing?”
  • The teacher said to the boy, “Read the lesson aloud”.

Indirect Speech:

When we report (or summarise) what a person has said without repeating his exact words, we call it an Indirect Speech.

Examples:

  • He said that he was busy then.
  • The teacher asked the boys if they had done their homework.
  • Mamatha asked Manasa what she was doing.
  • The teacher advised the boy to read the lesson aloud.

 

Steps to change from Direct to Indirect Speech:

  • Here, each sentence has two parts – Reporting Verb and Reported Verb.
  • Reporting Verb: The part which has no inverted commas.
    • He said to me
    • She says to her
    • They will say 
    • We told him etc.,
  • Reported Verb: The part which has inverted commas.
    • “I am going to meet my friend”.
    • “Where are you going?”
    • “We’ll surely win the match”.
    • that he had to attend the interview.
  • The quotation marks (inverted commas) are used in Direct Speech but in Indirect Speech, we don’t.
  • A comma is used to separate a Reporting Verb from Reported Verb in Direct Speech.
  • The pronoun may be changed according to the context.
  • The verb/tense in the Reported verb will be changed when only the Reporting Verb contains Past Tense.
  • When the Reporting Verb contains Past Tense, the Tense is changed as follows:

 

Direct Speech  Indirect Speech
Present Simple becomes Past Simple
Present continuous becomes Past Continuous
Present perfect becomes Past Perfect
Present Perfect Continuous becomes Past Perfect Continuous
Past Simple becomes Past Perfect
Past Continuous becomes Past Perfect Continuous
shall becomes should
will becomes would
can becomes could
may becomes might
have to, has to becomes had to
have, has becomes had
must becomes had to
am, is becomes was
are becomes were
do/ does becomes did
Words expressing nearness in time and place are generally changed into words expressing distance when we change Direct into Indirect speech:
now becomes then
this becomes that
these becomes those
here becomes there
ago becomes before
today becomes that day 
hither  becomes thither
thus  becomes so
hence  becomes thence 
come  becomes go
used to, ought to remains as used to, ought to
tomorrow becomes the next day or the day after
the day after tomorrow  becomes in two days time / two days after
yesterday becomes the day before or the previous day
the day before yesterday  becomes two days before
next week/month/ year becomes the following week/month /year
last night/week/ month becomes the night before or the previous night/week/month

 

Note:

Tense will not be changed in the Reported Speech:

If the Reporting Verb is in the Present and Future Tenses.

Examples: 

  • He says to me, “I do not help you”.
  • He tells me that he does not help me.

 

  • I shall say to you, “He will be visiting you soon”.
  • I shall tell you that he will be visiting you soon.

 

  • They have said, “My friends have already visited this place earlier.
  • They have said that their friends have already visited that place earlier.

 

If the Reported Verb expresses Universal Truths, Proverbs, Scientific Facts, Habitual Actions.

Examples: 

  • He said, “The Sun rises in the East”.
  • He said that the Sun rises in the East.

 

  • My friend said to me, “Honesty is the best policy”.
  • My friend told me that honesty is the best policy.

 

  • The old man said to me,  “ I get up early in the morning at 5.00 am daily”.
  • The old man told me that he gets up early in the morning at 5.00 am daily. 

 

After the wish, would rather, had better, it is time.

Examples: 

  • She said,  “I wish I were rich enough to buy Benz.”
  • She wished (that) she were rich enough to buy Benz.

 

  • He said to his friends, “They had better go.” 
  • He told his friends that they had better go.

 

Declarative Sentences: (Statements)

Rules for changing Direct into Indirect Speech.

  • The Reporting Verb can be changed as under:
    • said to  becomes told
    • said      remains as  said
    • says to  becomes    tells
    • says      remains as  says
  • The conjunction ‘that’ is used. Sometimes it may be omitted.
  • No inverted commas are used.
  • A full stop is kept at the end of the sentence.

Examples:

DS: She said to her friend, “ I have broken the glass”.

IS: She told her friend that she had broken the glass.

 

DS: He said, “ I forgot to post the letter”.

IS: He said that he had forgotten to post the letter.

 

DS: Aruna said to me: “ I am staying with my aunt now”.

IS: Aruna told me that she was staying with her aunt then.

 

DS: She said to me, “I know your address”.

IS: She told me that she knew my address.

 

DS: He said to me, “ I do not like you”.

IS: He told me that he did not like me.

 

DS: Leela said, “ I ate a cockroach yesterday by mistake”.

IS: Leela said that she had eaten a cockroach yesterday by mistake.

 

DS: She said to her friend, “ I do not want to marry a man who does not want to marry me”.

IS: She told her friend that she did not want to marry a man who did not want to marry her.

 

DS: He said to me, “ I had a bad dream last night”.

IS: He told me that he had had a bad dream last night.

 

DS: He said, “ I was on leave yesterday”.

IS: He said that he had been on leave the day before.

 

DS: He said to me, “I saw a big accident while I was going to my office”.

IS: He told me that he had seen a big accident while he had been going to his office. 

 

DS: He said to me, “ I am a wise man”.

IS: He told me that he was a wise man.

 

DS: Mother said to her son, “ I am preparing a delicious dish for you”.

IS: Mother told her son that she was preparing a delicious dish for him.

 

DS: Mahesh said,” I have read this novel”

IS: Mahesh said that he had read this novel.

 

DS: She said to me, “ I have been practising it for two hours”.

IS: She told me that she had been practising that for two hours.

 

DS: Sneha said to Neha, “ I have had my breakfast just now”.

IS: Sneha told Neha that she had had her breakfast just then.

 

DS: His brother said to him, “We have to go to school today”.

IS: His brother told him that they had to go to school that day.

 

DS: She said to me. “We will be late for the classes”.

IS: She told me that we would be late for the classes.

 

DS: He said to me, “You must not play this match”.

IS: He told me that I must not play that match.

 

DS: I had a terrible dream last night,” said my friend.

IS: My friend said that he had had a terrible dream the night before.

 

DS: He said to a man. “You will have to follow the queue”.

IS: He told a man that he would have to follow the queue.

 

DS: The singer said, “We can not find a singer like Balu”.

IS: The singer said that they could not find a singer like Balu.

 

The Tense in the Reported Speech is not changed.

Examples:

DS: Everybody says, “Balasubrahmanyam is the greatest of all singers”.

IS: Everybody says that Blasubrahmanyam is the greatest of all singers.

 

DS: “Light travels in a straight line,” the teacher explained.

IS: The teacher explained that light travels in a straight line.

 

DS: She said, “ Sugar is sweet”.

IS: She said that sugar is sweet.

 

DS: He said, “I play chess every evening”.

IS: He said that he plays chess every evening.

 

DS: He says to me, “I am going to college”

IS: He tells me that he is going to college.

 

DS: My friend says, “I may come tonight”.

IS: My friend says that he may come that night.

Interrogative Sentences: (Questions)

Rules for changing Direct into Indirect Speech.

  • The reporting verb said/said to is changed to

                           asked, enquired, questioned, interrogated, wanted to know etc.,

  • When the question was introduced by a helping verb we use “ if” or weather” as a link word.

 

  • When the question is introduced by an interrogative word (when, what, where, why, which, who, whose, whom, and how), the same word is used as a link word in Indirect Speech.  No conjunction is used.

 

  • When we change the sentence from Direct to Indirect, it should be in a declarative pattern i.e., the verb is placed after the subject, and in the end, a full stop is placed.

 

Yes/No – Questions:

Examples:

DS: He said to me, “Are you going to market?”

IS: He asked me if I was going to market.

 

DS: She said to me, “Have you done your work?”

IS: She asked me if I had done my work.

 

DS: He said, “Can you drive a car?”

IS: He asked if I could drive a car.

 

DS: The anchor said to the singer, “Are you starting to sing now?”

IS: The anchor asked the singer if he was starting to sing then.

 

DS: She said to her, “Will you accompany me to my school?”

IS: She asked me whether she would accompany her to her school. 

 

DS: He said to me, “Do you see English movies?”

IS: She asked me whether I saw English movies.

 

DS: She enquired, “Is anyone attending our programme?”

IS: She enquired if anyone was attending their programme.

 

DS: The police said to the thief, “Did you steal things from this house?”

IS: The police interrogated the thief if he had stolen things from that house.

 

DS: She questioned him,  “Have you prepared any questions on this topic?”

IS: She questioned him if he had prepared any questions on that topic.

 

DS: Harsha said to Varsha, ‘Will you help me solve this problem?’

IS: Harsha asked Varsha if she would help him solve that problem.

 

DS: The receptionist asked me, ‘Can I tell you this important one?’

IS: The receptionist asked me if she could tell me that important one.

 

DS: “Shall I know who is waiting outside?” her father enquired.

IS: Her father enquired whether he would know who was waiting outside.

WH – Questions:

Examples:

DS: She said to me, “Where have you gone?”

IS: She asked me where I had gone.

 

DS: He said to me, “What is your name?”

IS: He asked me what my name was.

 

DS: The boy asked, “Where can I get an application form?”

IS: The boy asked where he could get an application form.

 

DS: He said to the boy,  “Where is the post office?”

IS: He asked the boy where the post office was.

 

DS: My friend said to me, “Where were you going when I saw you yesterday?”

IS: My friend asked me where I had been going when he had seen me the day before.

 

DS: I asked her, “What was Kibbu doing when I spoke to you?”

IS: I asked her what Kibbu had been doing when I had spoken to her.

 

DS: Gourishankar said to his friend, “How do you feel today?”

IS: Gourishankar asked his friend how he felt that day.

 

DS: My son asked me, “When did you learn karate?”

IS: My son asked me when I had learnt karate.

 

DS: The leader enquired, “Whose name is written on these books?”

IS: The leader enquired whose name was written on those books.

 

DS: He said to me, “ What is my brother’s name?”

IS: He asked me what my brother’s name was.

 

DS: She said to me, “How long have you been attending these classes?”

IS: She asked me how long I had been attending those classes.

 

DS: He said to his sister, “How did you enjoy the London tour?”

IS: He asked his sister how she had enjoyed the London tour.

 

DS: His friend questioned him, “Why didn’t you reveal the secret when I first met you?”

IS: His friend questioned him why he had not revealed the secret when he first met him.

Imperative Sentences: (Orders, Commands or Requests)

Rules for changing Direct into Indirect Speech.

  • The reporting verb used in Imperative Sentences are:
    • said or said to is changed to: asked, told, advised, ordered, requested,         commanded, urged, begged, persuaded, recommended, warned etc.)
  • The link word used here is “to”
  •  When we begin a sentence with Let us, the link word “that” and Reporting Verb                 suggested or proposed should be used.
  • No inverted commas are used.
  • A full stop is kept at the end of the sentence.

Examples:

DS: He said to the boy, “Go out”.

IS: He ordered the boy to go out.

 

DS: The teacher said, “ Get your notes, Harish”.

IS: The teacher told Harish to get his notes.

 

DS: They said to us, “Grow more trees”.

IS: They advised us to grow more trees.

 

DS: The judge said to the witness, “Tell the truth”.

IS: The judge ordered the witness to tell the truth.

 

DS: She said to me, “Please help me”.

IS: She requested me to help her.

 

DS: He said, “Please, sit down Laxman”. 

IS: He requested Laxman to sit down

 

DS: Mother said to the boys, “Don’t quarrel with each other, children”. 

IS: Mother warned children not to quarrel with each other.

 

DS: He said to me, “Don’t shout here”.

IS: He told me not to shout there.

 

DS: My friend said, “Study medicine”.

IS: My friend advised me to study medicine.

 

DS: The TC said to the passengers, “ Please, show me your tickets”.

IS: The TC asked the passengers to show him their tickets.

 

DS: The manager said to them, “Don’t allow anybody to come into my chamber”.

IS: The manager warned them not to allow anybody to come into his chamber.

 

DS: The office boy said to them, “Please, leave your shoes outside the office”.

IS: The office boy requested them to leave their shoes outside the office.

 

DS: His brother said to him, “Don’t say everything about this to our mother”.

IS: His brother warned him not to say everything about that to their mother.

 

DS: His father said to him, ”Don’t waste your time on the internet”.

IS: His father advised not to waste his time on the internet.

 

DS: Mother said to the boy, ”Don’t keep muddy things in your pocket”.

IS: Mother commanded the boy not to keep muddy things in his pocket.

 

DS: The teacher said to the students, “Don’t waste your time”.

IS: The teacher advised the students not to waste their time.

 

DS: The traffic SI said to the student, “Show me your license”.

IS: The traffic SI asked the student to show him his license.

 

DS: She said to her brother, “Don’t forget to call me once you reach”.

IS: She advised her brother not to forget to call her once he reached.

 

DS: She said to me, “Could you please switch on the light?”

IS: She requested me to switch on the light. (or)

IS: She asked me if I could switch on the light.

 

DS: He said to her, “Would you show me that picture, please?” 

IS: He requested her to show him that picture. (or)

IS: He asked her if she would show him that picture.

Direct and Indirect Speech sentences with Let: 

Examples:

DS: He said to me, “Let him come to you.”

IS: He told me to let him come to me. 

 

DS: Mother said to the boy, “Let your father finish his dinner.”

IS: Mother told the boy to let his father finish his dinner.

 

DS: The teacher said to the students, “Let me explain this problem first”

IS: The teacher told the students to let her explain that problem first.

 

DS: The tour guide said to me, “Let them visit the entire city”.

IS: The tour guide told me to let them visit the entire city.

Direct and Indirect Speech sentences with Let us:

Examples:

DS: He said to me, “Let us go to a movie”.

IS: He suggested that we should go to a movie.

 

DS: The captain said to the players, “Let us practise well to win the match”.

IS: The captain suggested the players that they should practise well to win the match.

 

DS: The teacher said to the students, “Let us complete the remaining problems”.

IS: The teacher suggested to the students that they should complete the remaining problems.

 

DS: The officer said, “Let us eradicate this drug mafia”.

IS: The officer suggested that the drug mafia should be eradicated.

 

DS: PM Modi suggested to all the countries, “Let’s all stand united in the crisis”. 

IS: PM Modi suggested that all the countries should stand united in the crisis.

 

DS: Ranbir said to his friends,” Let’s have a grand party on my birthday”.

IS: Ranbir proposed to his friends that they should have a grand party on his birthday.

 

DS: He said, “Let’s follow physical distance for some days”.

IS: He suggested that they should follow physical distance for some days.

 

DS: The controller said,” Let’s not postpone the exams any further”.

IS: The controller proposed that the exams should not be postponed any further.

 

DS: She said, “Let’s not interfere in each other’s business.”

IS: She said they should not interfere in each other’s business”.

 

DS: My friend said to me, “Let’s not interrupt him when he explains this topic”.

IS: My friend suggested that we should not interrupt him when he explained that topic.

Exclamatory Sentences:

Interjections:  Alas!, Hurrah!, Oh!, What!, How! etc.,

Rules for changing Direct into Indirect Speech.

  • The reporting verbs used in Exclamatory Sentences are:
    • said or said to   is changed to  exclaimed, wondered, remarked, wished,            prayed, praised, applauded, exclaimed with delight/joy/wonder/sorrow 
  • The link word  “that” is used here. 
  • The exclamatory sentences are changed into statements.
  • No inverted commas are used.
  • A full stop is kept at the end of the sentence.

Examples:

DS: He said, “Oh God! I have lost my purse”.

IS: He exclaimed bitterly that he had lost his purse.

 

DS: The captain said, “Hurrah! We have won the match”.

IS: The captain exclaimed with joy that they had won the match.

 

DS: She said, “Alas! the poor fellow is dead”.

IS: She exclaimed with sorrow that the poor fellow was dead.

 

DS: He said, “How beautiful the Taj is!”

IS: He exclaimed that the Taj was very beautiful.

 

DS: He said to me, “May your son soon recover!”

IS: He prayed that my son might soon recover.

 

DS: He said to her, “Good morning!. How are you?”.

IS: He wished her good morning and asked how she was.

 

DS: He said to her. “Goodbye! I will meet you tomorrow”.

IS: He wished her goodbye and told her that he would meet her the next day.

 

DS: He said, “What a catch!” ((Means it was a wonderful catch)

IS: He exclaimed that it had been a wonderful catch.

 

DS: The captain said to the bowler, “Bravo! Well done”.

IS: The captain applauded the bowler.

 

DS: The boy said, “How foolish I am to make this silly mistake!”

IS: The boy exclaimed with sorrow that he was very foolish to make that silly mistake.

 

DS: The man said, “Oh God! You are there to save me out of this problem”.

IS: The man prayed that God was there to save him out of that problem.

 

DS: The student said, Wow! I have got the first rank again”.

IS: The student exclaimed with wonder that he had got the first rank again.

 

DS: He said to me, “What a pity you did not attend my birthday party!”

IS: He exclaimed that it was a pity that I had not attended his birthday party.

 

DS: She said to her friend, “What a grand party you have arranged!”

IS: She exclaimed that her friend (she) had arranged a very grand party.

 

DS: The guest said to the students, “What a memorable event it is!”

IS: The guest remarked that it was a memorable event.

 

DS: My friend said to me, “What an excellent car you have bought!” 

IS: My friend remarked that I had bought a very excellent car.

 

DS: My grandfather said, “May you have a long life!”

IS: My grandfather wished me that I might have a long life.

 

DS: Dravid said to me, “How intelligent you are!”

IS: Dravid praised that I was intelligent.

 

DS: The customer said, “What a cool offer it was!”

IS: The customer exclaimed with delight that it had been a cool offer.

 

DS: He said, Alas! How cruel her parents have been”

IS: He exclaimed with sorrow that her parents had been very cruel. 

 

Recommended Readings:

Active Voice and Passive Voice

Tenses in English Grammar