Direct and indirect speech definition, rules, examples and exercises in 2020

Direct speech and indirect (Reported) speech-Definition, Rules, examples and exercises

Introduction-

Generally, we talk with each other face to face or through phones. This type of speech is called as Direct Speech. When we tell what we talked to any third person, then that speech is called as Indirect or reported speech.

Here we are going to learn how we can transform direct speech to indirect speech of 4 types of sentences that is 1) Statements 2) Interrogative sentences 3) Exclamatory sentences 4) Imperative sentences.

Most of the rules for it are common but some are specific.

Definition of direct speech and indirect speech

There are two kinds of speeches. They are Direct speech and Indirect speech.

Direct speech-

Indirect speech-

What is reporting verb and reported speech

To understand direct and indirect speech, first know the definition of Reporting verb.

Reporting Verb—The verb that conveys the speaking action in both direct and indirect speech is called as reporting verb.

e.g.1)He said, ”He is ready.” Direct speech.

2) He said that he was ready. Indirect speech.

In both the above given sentences, said is reporting verb as it conveys the action of speaking.

Reported speech—when we tell someone else what other person has said then it is called as reported speech. We can tell this reported speech in direct or indirect speech.

How to change direct speech sentences into indirect speech

From meaning point of view there are 4 types of sentences. They are 1)Statements 2)Interrogative sentences(Questions) 3)Exclamatory sentences 4)Imperative sentences.

Here we will all the rules, reporting verbs, tense changes, pronoun changes, exceptions and all the necessary details for transformation of direct speech into indirect speech.

1)How to change statements(assertive/declarative sentences) into indirect speech?

Here we will see all the rules and necessary changes for transforming statements into indirect speech.

Rules and guidelines for changing statements-

Rule 1)Reporting verb SAID or TOLD is used for statements to transform them in indirect speech.

When to use said and told-

Generally said is used when we don’t know to whom is the speech addressed.

e.g. 1)He said, ’’We can do this.’’

Indirect—He said that they could do that.

When we clearly know the addressee of the speech we use told as reporting verb. Never use to after told.

e.g. 1) He said to his friends, ‘’We can do this.’’

Indirect—He told his friends that they could do that.

2)He said, ‘’Friends, we can do this.’’

Indirect—He told (his) friends that they could do that.

Simple trick is that when there is said to then use told.

According to the reference we can use remarked, observed, pointed out, replied, answered, explained, boasted as reporting verbs.

e.g.1) John said,’’ I will win all the medals.

John boasted that he would win all the medals.

Rule 2) Use THAT as conjunction after reporting verb to join both parts of the sentence.

e.g. 1) She said, ‘’I will learn now.’’

Indirect—She said that she would learn then.

Rule 3) Remove comma used after reporting verb and double inverted commas used for reported speech.

e.g. 1) We said, ‘’John, You have to come here.’’

Indirect—We told John that he had to come there.

Rule 4)If the reporting verb is in the present or future e.g. say, says, will say then don’t change the tense of reported speech.

e.g. 1)He says, ‘’I am the leader.’’

Indirect—He says that he is the leader.

2)They say, ‘’We are ready .’’

Indirect-They say that they are ready.

Rule 5)If reporting verb is in the past then change its tenses as follows.

Change of tenses from direct to indirect speech.

Direct Speech Indirect Speech
1)Simple present tense -Simple past
2)Present continuous -Past continuous
3)Present perfect Past perfect
4)Present perfect continuous Past perfect continuous
5)Simple past Past perfect
6)Past continuous Past perfect continuous
7)Past perfect No change
8)Past perfect continuous No change
9)Future(will/shall) Would

Rule 6) Changes in helping verbs while changing direct speech to indirect speech.

Direct speech Indirect speech
1)am/is/are Was/were
2)was/were Had been
3)have/has Had
4)Will/shall Would
5)can Could
6)may Might
7)do/does did

Rule 7) Changes in pronouns when changing direct to indirect speech.

Direct speech Indirect speech
1)I He/she
2)we They
3)you(singular) He/she
4)you(plural) They
5)me Him/her
6)us Them
7)your(singular) His/her
8)your(plural) Their
9)our Their
10)you (object singular) Him/her
11)you (object plural) Them
12)my His/her

Rule 8) Changes in Adverbs showing time and place While changing direct to indirect speech.

Direct speech Indirect speech
1)This That
2)These Those
3)Here There
4)Now Then
5)Today That day
6)Tonight That night
7)Tomorrow The next day
8)Yesterday The previous day
9)Last night The previous night
10)Next week The following week
11)Last week The previous week
12)Ago before

Rule 9) If the reported speech is universal truth then don’t change its tense.

e.g. 1) Teacher said, “The earth is round.’’

Indirect-Teacher said that the earth is round.

Rule10) If the speaker is telling his own words in first person then these pronouns are not changed in the indirect speech.

e.g. 1) I said, “I can move my bag here.”

Indirect-I said that I could move my bag there.

Rule11) If there are expressions like gratitude, apology, greetings, in reported speech then use thanked, apologized, greeted as per the meaning of the sentence.

e.g. 1) He said, “Thank you brother, I will never forget it.”

Indirect-He thanked brother and said that he would never forget it.

Rule 12) When you change CAN to COULD then use onlyV1 after it.

e.g. John said, “I can come.”

Indirect-John said that he could come.

Note -Most of the above rules are applicable to other sentence types except reporting verb and conjunction.

Examples of statements (Assertive/declarative) sentences for changing from direct to indirect speech.

e.g. 1)He said, “I am tired and I want something to eat.”

Indirect-He said that he was tired and he wanted something to eat.

2)John said, “My brother works in this company.”

Indirect-John said that his brother worked in that bank.

3)Father said to his son, “You will receive your birthday present this week. “

Indirect-Father told his son that he would receive his birthday present that week.

4)The person said, “I am a painter and I am doing my painting work now.”

Indirect-The person said that he was a painter and he was doing his painting work then.

5)Riya said to Rita, “I have been waiting for you since morning.”

Indirect-Riya told Rita that she had been waiting for her since morning.

2)How to change interrogative (wh-Questions)sentences into indirect speech?

Here we will see how interrogative sentences are changed into indirect speech with rules and examples.

Rule 1)Use asked as reporting verb.

Rule 2)Use wh word(Who/what/when/where etc.) as a conjunction.

Rule 3)Change interrogative (Question) sentence into assertive sentence and then do necessary changes.

e.g. 1)He said, “What can I learn?

Use asked as reporting verb and what as conjunction and change Can I learn into assertive as I can learn.

Indirect-He asked what he could learn.

Rule 4)Use statements’ rules of tenses, helping verbs, pronouns, adverbs showing place and time here also.

Only don’ use statements’ reporting verb and conjunction.

Examples of interrogative sentences for changing from direct to indirect speech.

e.g. 1)She said, “Why are we trying it here?”

Interrogative-Are we trying it here

Assertive-We are trying here.

Indirect-She asked why they were trying it there.

2)Teacher said to his students, “When will you understand my point?”

Indirect-Teacher asked his students when they would understand his point.

3)John asked, “How will I do this?”

Indirect-John asked how he would do that.

4)He asked the boy, “What do you want?

Indirect-He asked the boy what he wanted.

5)They asked the driver, “Where are we going?”

Indirect-They asked the driver where they were going.

3)How to change interrogative (Yes/no type or verbal-Questions) sentences into indirect speech?

Now we will learn the process of changing interrogative(Y/no or verbal questions) in indirect speech.

Rule 1)Use asked as reporting verb.

Rule 2)Us IF or whether as conjunctions.

Rule 3)Transform interrogative sentence into assertive sentence

Rule 4) Use statements’ rules of tenses, helping verbs, pronouns, adverbs showing place and time here also.

e.g. 1)He said, “Is it right?

First we will use asked as reporting verb then if as conjunction and after that we will change interrogative sentence into assertive sentence.

Is it right—-It is right

Indirect-He asked if it was right.

2)She said, “Have I forgotten my bag?

Indirect-She asked if she had forgotten her bag.

3)They asked, “Are we ready for our challenge?

Indirect-They asked if they were ready for their challenge.

4)How to change exclamatory sentences into indirect speech

we will see how to change exclamatory sentence in indirect speech.

Rule 1)Use exclaimed as reporting verb.

Rule 2)Use that as conjunction.

Rule 3)Change exclamatory sentence into assertive sentence.

Rule 4) Use statements’ rules of tenses, helping verbs, pronouns, adverbs showing place and time here also.

e.g. 1)He said, “How happy I am!”

We will use exclaimed as reporting verb and that as conjunction and then transform exclamatory sentence into assertive sentence.

How happy I am—I am very happy.

Indirect-He exclaimed that he was very happy.

2)She said, “What a big tree it is!”

Indirect-She exclaimed that it was a very big tree.

3)He said, “How brave I am!”

He exclaimed that he was very brave.

5)How to change imperative sentences into indirect speech?

Now it is the time to learn about changing

Rule 1)Use told/asked/ordered/advised/requested/urged/begged/suggested as reporting verb as per the meaning of the sentence.

Rule 2)Use to as conjunction in imperative sentence which does not have subject (You is assumed).It begins with main verb and by adding to before it , we make it infinitive.

Rule 3) If there is don’t in the sentence, it becomes not to

E.g. 1) She said to her brother, “Don’t disturb me.”

Indirect-She told her brother not to disturb her.

Rule 4) Imperative sentences with let’s are changed as follows.

Reporting verb-suggested, conjunction- that, let’s is changed to they should

e.g. 1) He said, “Let’s play cricket.”

He suggested that they should play cricket.

Rule 4) Use statements’ rules of tenses, helping verbs, pronouns, adverbs showing place and time here also.

e.g. 1) He said, “ Please, Open the door now.”

Indirect-He requested to open the door.

2)Teacher told the students, “Follow my instructions.”

Indirect-Teacher ordered the students to follow his/her instructions.

3)She said, “Please accept my invitation.”

Indirect-She urged to accept her invitation.

Here we have finished detailed study of changing direct speech into indirect speech.

Now we will see its exercise.

Exercise of direct speech to indirect speech

Change the given sentences into indirect speech.

1)He said, “I have finished my today’s work.’’

Answer-He said that he had finished his that day’s work.

2)She said, “What will we do now?”

Answer-She asked what they would do then.

3)They said, “Can we sit here?

Answer-They asked if they could sit there.

4)John said, “What a nice flower it is!”

Answer-John exclaimed that it was a very nice flower.

5)The beggar said, “Please help me.”

Answer-The beggar requested to help him.

Conclusion for direct speech to indirect speech conversion-

In this way we have come to the concluding part of this topic about definition, rules, examples, exercises for changing direct speech to indirect speech.

We have seen that in statements we use said and told as reporting verbs and that as a conjunction.

For interrogative sentences asked is reporting verb and in wh-questions we use wh-words as conjunctions and in yes/no question sentences use if/whether as conjunction

Exclaimed is used as reporting verb in exclamatory sentences and that is conjunction. Don’t forget to change exclamatory sentence to assertive sentence.

In imperative sentences, we use told/asked/ordered/advised/requested as reporting verb and to as conjunction.

I hope you will like this explanation. Do give your valuable suggestions and feedbacks through comments.

With love+ respect from team learnhatkey.com

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