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Direct and Indirect Speech

Direct and Indirect Speech

Direct Speech: the message of the speaker is conveyed in his own actual words without any change.
Example,
He said to her, “You are very beautiful.”

Indirect Speech: the message of the speaker is conveyed or reported in our own words.
Example,
He told her that she was very beautiful.

• The part of the sentence before the comma and inverted comma is called reporting speech/clause and the part of the sentence in the inverted commas is called reported speech.

Basic rules of changing a direct speech into an indirect speech:
• All inverted commas or quotation marks are omitted and the sentence ends with a full stop.
• Generally, conjunction ‘that’ is added before the indirect statement.
• Verbs and pronouns are changed accordingly.

Conversion according to the reporting verb:
• If the reporting verb is in the Present or Future Tense, the tenses of the Direct Speech do not change.
• He will say, “I will arrive on time.”
• He will say that he will arrive on time.

• When the reporting or principal verb is in the Past Tense, all Present tenses of the direct speech are changed into the corresponding Past Tenses.
• He said, “I am working.”
• He said that he was working.

• The Tense in Indirect Speech is not changed if the reported speech is a universal truth, fact or a habitual action.
• They said, “Earth is round.”
• They said that Earth is round.

Changes in Modals:
• Can changes into could.
• Will changes into would.
• May changes into might.

Change in time and place:
• Today- that day
• Tomorrow- the next day
• Yesterday- the previous day, the day before
• Tonight- that night
• Here- there
• Last- the previous
• Ago- before
• Now- then
• This- that
• These- those

Interrogative Sentences:
• ‘Said to’ is changed into ‘asked’.
• ‘Question mark’ is changed into full stop.
• Tense and pronouns are changed accordingly.
• If the reported speech begins with ‘wh-family’ words like what, where, why, when, etc., no conjunction is used.

Examples,
1. She said to me, “Did you come yesterday?”
She asked me if I had come the previous day.

2. He said to me, “Where are you?”
He asked me where I was.


Exercise

Change the following sentences from direct speech to indirect speech.

1. Mother said to me, “Who wrote the Ramayana?”
a. Mother said to me who had written the Ramayana.
b. Mother asked me who wrote the Ramayana.
c. Mother asked me who had written the Ramayana?
d. Mother asked me who had written the Ramayana.

2. The teacher asked the girl, “Did you do this?”
a. The teacher said to the girl if she had done that.
b. The teacher asked the girl why she did that.
c. The teacher asked the girl if she had done that.
d. The teacher asked to the girl if she had done that.

3. She said, “We went to see the Taj Mahal last Sunday.”
a. She said that they went to see the Taj Mahal the previous Sunday.
b. She said that they had gone to see the Taj Mahal the previous Sunday.
c. She said that they had gone to see the Taj Mahal the last Sunday.
d. She told that they had gone to see the Taj Mahal the previous Sunday.

4. I told him, “I will talk to you tomorrow.”
a. I told him that I would talk to him the next day.
b. I told him that I will talk to him the next day.
c. I told him that I would talk to you the next day.
d. I told him that I will talk to you the next day.

5. Jessica said to me, “She is singing very well.”
a. Jessica told to me that she is singing very well.
b. Jessica told me that she was singing very well.
c. Jessica told me that I am singing very well.
d. Jessica told me that you are singing very well.

6. The child said to his mother, “Can you bring me the moon?”
a. The child asked his mother to bring him the moon.
b. The child asked his mother if she can bring him the moon.
c. The child asked his mother if she could bring him the moon.
d. The child asked his mother if she can bring me the moon.

7. She said to me, “My parents are coming tomorrow.”
a. She told me that my parents were coming tomorrow.
b. She told me that your parents are coming the next day.
c. She told me that why your parents are coming tomorrow.
d. She told me that her parents were coming the next day.

8. She told me, “I did not intend to hurt you.”
a. She told me that she had not intended to hurt me.
b. She told me that she did not intend to hurt me.
c. She told me that I had not intended to hurt him.
d. She told me that she did not intend to hurt him.

9. She said to me, “Please call me tomorrow.”
a. She requested me to call her tomorrow.
b. She told me to call him the next day.
c. She requested me to call her the next day.
d. She asked me if I could call her the next day.

10. The teacher said, “The Earth moves round the Sun.”
a. The teacher said that the Earth moved round the Sun.
b. The teacher said that the Earth has been moving round the Sun.
c. The teacher said that the Earth will move round the Sun.
d. The teacher said that the Earth moves round the Sun.


Answers

1. D
2. C
3. B
4. A
5. B
6. C
7. D
8. A
9. C
10. D

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