Direct Speech & Indirect Speech


Also called Direct – Indirect speech, narration is an important topic in English grammar. Official report writing requires a sound knowledge of indirect speech. In précis writing also it is equally important. Following information on the topic will throw light on the topic.


Direct Speech :- A sentence in the following format is called a direct speech :-

He said to me, “Mohan Plays football.”

This is a direct speech as it contains a comma and inverted commas.


Indirect Speech :- A sentence in the following format is called an indirect speech :-

He told me that Mohan played football.

This is an indirect speech as it has two clauses but it does not contain a comma and inverted commas.


Let us examine the direct speech :-

He said to me, “Mohan Plays football.”
<<------------->> <<----------------------------->>
<<-Reporting speech->> <<--Reported speech-->>
<<-Reporting verb->> <<--Reported verb-->>
<<--(said)-->> <<------------(play)---->>

From direct to indirect speech, the reporting verb changes as follows :-

REPORTING VERB

TENSE DIRECT INDIRECT
Present say to/says to
say/says
tell/tells
say/says
Past said to
said
told
said
Future will say to/shall say to
will say / shall say
will tell/shall tell
will say/ shall say

Note :- ‘to’ can’t be used with tell, tells or told.



Some important changes in the Reported Speech :-

REPORTED SPEECH

DIRECT INDIRECT
This That
These Those
Now Then
Today That day
Tomorrow The next day
Yesterday The previous day
Here There
To night That night
Ago Before
Come Go
Last week The previous week
Next week The following week
Thus So


Some examples:-

1. He said to me, “Mohan plays football.”

He told me that Mohan played football.

2. Ram said to me, “Mohan will visit Shimla.”

Ram told me that Mohan would visit Shimla.


3. He says to me, “Mohan plays football.”

He tells me that Mohan plays football.

4. The teacher said, “Honesty is the best policy.”

The teacher said that honesty is the best policy.

5. The headmaster said to the peon, “Ring the bell.”

The headmaster ordered the peon to ring the bell.

6. I said, “Bravo! I have won the match.”

I exclaimed with joy that I had won the match.

7. He said to me, “Do you play football?”

He asked me if I played football.

8. Father said to his son, “Who is knocking at the door?”

Father asked his son who was knocking at the door.

9. He said to me, “Good morning.”

He wished me good morning.

10. He said to me, “Good morning sir.”

He respectfully wished me good morning.

11. I said to him, “May you live long!”

I prayed that he might live long.

12. He said to me, “Don’t touch my bag.”

He warned me not to touch his bag.

ACTIVE VOICE & PASSIVE VOICE

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