Learn & Improve Your English


Direct and Indirect Speech (Narration) Part-1


    Author:     Member Level: Gold    Points: 25 (Rs 25)

When the exact words used by a speaker are reproduced with in quotation marks, is called direct speech. When the substance of a speech is conveyed in the reporter’s words, it is called indirect speech. This can be understood with the help of following example:

Suppose your teacher told you that you needed a new dictionary. You want to convey this to your father. You can do it either of these two ways.

1. Father, my teacher said to me, “You need a new dictionary”.
2. Father, my teacher told me that I needed a new dictionary.

In first sentence you have too repeat your teacher’s exact words. In order to make it clear that you are repeating the same words actually spoken by the teacher, they are put with in quotation marks. This method of quoting someone is called direct speech or direct narration

In second sentence you have put it in your own words what the teacher said. This method of quoting someone is called indirect speech or indirect narration

The exact words of the speaker which are put within the quotation marks or inverted commas are called reported speech. The verb introduces the reported speech is called reporting verb

Note the following points about Direct speech or Direct narration

1. The direct speech is always enclosed within inverted commas.

2. The first word of the direct speech begins with capital letter.

3. The direct speech is separated from the rest of the sentence by a comma (,)

Note the following points about Indirect speech or Indirect narration

1. No inverted commas are used.

2. No comma is used to separate the reported speech from the rest of sentence.

3. A conjunction, if necessary, is used to join the reported speech with the rest of the sentence.

Tenses, pronouns and words denoting nearness of time and position undergo certain changes. For example:

Direct Speech: Manjit said, “I am happy today”.
Indirect Speech: Manjit said that she was happy today.

Rules for changing Tenses

If the reporting verb is in present tense (first form of verb, has, have, is, am, are, do, does) or future tenses (will, shall) are used, the tense of the verbs in reported speech remains unchanged. For example:

Direct Speech: The teacher says, “The examinations will begin on Monday”.
Indirect Speech: The teacher says that the examinations will begin on Monday.

In the above sentence we do not change the form of will begin as in the reporting verb of the sentence we have verb says which is in present tense so the tense of the reporting speech will remain unchanged.

If the reporting verb is in past tense (second form of verb, had, was, were, did) are used, the tense of the verbs in reported speech are changed into corresponding past tenses.Rules for changing them are given below.

Rule(a) The simple present (First form of verb, do, does) is changed into simple past (second form of verb, did).

Rule(b) The present continuous (is, am, are with First form of verb +ing) is changed into past continuous (was, were with First form of verb +ing).

Rule(c) The present perfect (has, have with third form of verb) is changed into past perfect (had with third form of verb).

Rule(d) The simple past (second form of verb, did) is changed into past perfect (had with third form of verb).

Rule(e) The past perfect (had with third form of verb) is left unchanged.

Rule(f) Shall is changed into should; will changed into would; may is changed into might; can is changed into could.

Rule(g) If the reported speech express universal truth or a habitual facts, its tense remain unchanged.





Sample Usage

Rule(a)

Direct Speech: He said, “Suresh needs a new uniform”.
Indirect Speech: He said that Suresh needed a new uniform.

Rule(b)

Direct Speech: The teacher said, “Madhuis working sincerely”.
Indirect Speech: The teacher said that Madhuwas working sincerely.

Rule(c)

Direct Speech: Alok said, “Indiahas won the match”.
Indirect Speech: Alok said that Indiahad won the match.

Rule(d)

Direct Speech: Satish said, “Vivekcame very late”.
Indirect Speech: Satish said that Vivekhad come very late.

Rule(e)

Direct Speech: Ashish said, “The bellhad already gone”.
Indirect Speech: Ashish said that the bellhad already gone.

Rule(f)

Direct Speech: He said, “It may rain in the evening”.
Indirect Speech: He said that itmight rain in the evening.

Direct Speech: The teacher said, “Some boys will stay back”.
Indirect Speech: The teacher said that some boyswould stay back.

Rule(g)

Direct Speech: The teacher said, “The earth revolves round the sun”. (It is a universal truth)
Indirect Speech: The teacher said that the earth revolves round the sun.

Direct Speech: She said, “Karan always speaks politely”. (It is a habitual fact)
Indirect Speech: She said that Karan always speaks politely.



Next Resource: Using the sign of Exclamation
Previous Resource: Using a Capital Letter

Return to Index

Post New English Language Resource


Related Resources


Awards & Gifts
Top Contributors
TodayLast 7 Daysmore...

 
ISC Technologies, Kochi - India. © All Rights Reserved.