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Direct and Indirect Speech (Narration) Part-2


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Please click this link Direct-Indirect-Speech-Part-1 to know about the Rules for changing Tenses as these are given in the previous

Rules for the change of pronouns

Rule (1) Pronouns and possessive adjectives of the first person are changed into pronouns and possessive adjectives of the same person as that of the subject of the reporting verb. For example:

Direct: You said, ‘’ I have done my work.’’
Indirect: You said that you had done your work.

Rule (2) Pronouns and possessive adjectives of the second person are changed into pronouns and possessive adjectives of the same person as that of the object of the reporting verb. For example:

Direct: Vijay said to me,’’ You have done your work.’’
Indirect: Vijay told me that I had done my work.

P.S. - The change of the reporting verb from said to told. Also note that told is not followed by the preposition to.

Rule (3) Pronouns and possessive adjectives of the third remain unchanged.

Direct: I said, ‘’ He has done his work,’’
Indirect: I said that he had done his work.

Change of words denoting time and position

When we change direct speech into direct, some words denoting nearness of time or position are changed into suitable words denoting distance. This change is made if the reporting verb is in the past tense.

Direct Speech – Indirect Speech

This / These - That / Those
Here – There
Now – Then
Ago- Before
Today- That day
Tonight – That night
Yesterday – The previous day / The day before
Tomorrow – The next day / The following day
Last night – The previous night
Next week – The following weak

Conversion of assertive sentences into direct speech

To convert assertive sentences from direct into indirect speech, we follow these rules

(a) The reporting verb said is changed into told if it is followed by an object; if there is no object, it is left unchanged.

(b) That is used as a conjunction in place of , and “--------“

(c) Tenses, pronouns and words denoting nearness are changed according to the rules already stated.

For example:

Direct: The old woman said to her son, ‘’I love you very much. ‘’
Indirect: The old woman told her son that she loved him very much.

Conversion of interrogative sentences into direct speech

(a) The reporting verb is changed into ask or enquire.

(b) The interrogative form is changed into the assertive form. The mark of interrogation is dropped.

(c) No conjunction is used when the sentence begins with question words like who, whose, whom, what, which, when, why, etc.

(d) If or whether is used as a conjunction if the sentence begins in the verb.

(e) Tenses, pronouns and words denoting nearness are changed according to the rules already stated.

For example:

Direct: She said to me,’’ How old are you?’’
Indirect: She asked me how old I was.

Conversion of imperative sentences into indirect speech

(a) The reporting verb is changed to order, request, advice or some other suitable word.

(b) The verb of the reported speech is changed into an infinitive.

(c) Tenses, pronouns and verbs denoting nearness are changed according to the rules already stated.

For example

Direct: The principal said to the peon, ‘’ Ring the bell immediately.’’
Indirect: The principal ordered the peon to ring the bell immediately.



Sample Usage

Example for change of pronouns :< /b>

Direct: He said,’’ I have done my work. ‘’
Indirect: He said that he had done his work

Direct: I said to you, ‘’You have done your work.’’
Indirect: Vijay told you that you had done your work.

Direct: He said to me,’’ She is suffering from fever.’’
Indirect: He told me that she was suffering from fever.

Examples for Change of words denoting time and position

Direct: The receptionist said, ‘’The principal is busy today ‘’.
Indirect: The receptionist said that the principal was busy that day.

Direct: His father said, ‘’ We will construct a house here.’’
Indirect: His father said that they would construct a house there.

Direct: They said, ‘’ We saw this place three days ago.’’
Indirect: They said that they had seen that place three days before.

Examples for Conversion of assertive sentences into direct speech

Direct: You said, ‘’I am feeling very happy today.’’
Indirect: You said that you were feeling very happy that day.

Examples for Conversion of interrogative sentences into direct speech

Direct: My father said to me, ‘’ What is troubling you, my child?’’
Indirect: My father affectionately asked me what was troubling me.

Examples for Conversion of imperative sentences into indirect speech

Direct: The doctor said to me, ‘’ Stop eating fried and spicy things.’’
Indirect: The doctor advised me to stop eating fried and spicy thing.

Direct: Indu said to her mother,’’ Please give me some money.’’
Indirect: Indu requested her mother to give her some money.


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Previous Resource: Subject- Verb Agreement

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