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Direct and Indirect Speech

In this section, We are going to see how the conversion of Direct to Indirect Speech is done. We may report the words of a speaker in two ways.
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Direct Speech We may quote the actual words of the speaker. This method is called Direct Speech.

Indirect Speech We may report what he said without quoting his exact words. This method is called Indirect Speech or Reported Speech. There are two speeches- Reporting Speech and Reported Speech Example: Direct: Ali said, (Reporting Speech) I am very busy now. (Reported Speech)

Indirect: Ali said that he was very busy then. Change of Pronoun/possessive adjective in indirect speech The first person pronoun and possessive adjectives I, my, me, mine, We, our, us, ours of the reported speech change according to the person of the subject of the reporting speech. He said, I am selling my car. He said that he was selling his car. The second person pronoun /possessive adjectives, You, your, yours of reported speech change according to the person of the object of reporting speech. He said to me, You have eaten meal. He told me that I had eaten meal. The third person pronouns, he, she, it, they in the reported speech do not change. He said to me, He is working in a small factory. He told me that he was working in a small factory. When the reporting or principal verb is in the Past Tense, all the Present Tenses in the Direct Speech are changed into Past Tense.

Direct: He said, I have passed the examination. Indirect: he said that he had passed the examination. Direct : He said, I am unwell. Indirect: He said that he was unwell. The tenses will not change if the statement is still relevant or if it is a universal truth. Direct: The teacher said, The earth goes round the sun. Indirect: The teacher said that the earth goes round the sun. If the reporting verb is in present tense, the tenses of the Reported Speech do not change. Direct: He says, I have passed the examination. Indirect: he says that he has passed the examination. Change of Tense Direct Present Indefinite Do Present Continuous Is/are/am Present Perfect Has/have Present Perfect Continuous Has been/have been Past Indefinite Went Past Perfect Had Can May Shall Indirect Past Indefinite Did Past Continuous was/were Past Perfect had Past Perfect Continuous had been Past Perfect had gone Past Perfect had could might should

Will Change of Time and Place Adverbs Now It Today Here This This week These Thus Tomorrow

would

Then That That day There That That week Those So The following day the next day the day after The following week the next week the week after The previous day the day before Two days before

Next week Yesterday The day before yesterday Last week Ago 2 weeks ago Tonight Today Last Saturday

The previous week the week before Before 2 weeks previously 2 weeks before That night That day The previous Saturday the Saturday before The following Saturday the next Saturday the Saturday after that Saturday The following day

Next Saturday

The next day

1. How the questions used in the Direct Speech are changed into Indirect Speech? Use asked instead of said\said to. Change the interrogative form of sentence into positive form. Do not use That. Direct: He said to me, What are you doing? Indirect: He asked me what I was doing. Direct: A stranger asked me, Where do you live? Indirect: A stranger enquired where I lived. 2. Use asked instead of said\said to. Insert if or whether. Change the interrogative form of sentence into positive form. Direct: He said, Will you listen to such a man? Indirect: He asked them whether they would listen to such a man. Direct: His angry mother jeered, Do you suppose you know better than your father? Indirect: His angry mother jeered and asked whether he supposed that he knew better than his father. 3. How the Commands and the Requests in the Direct Speeches are changed into indirect Speeches? Command Use ordered/told/forbade instead of said/said to. Add objective pronouns like me, us him, her, them etc. Then use To and first form of verb. Direct: Raja said to John, Go away. Indirect: Raja ordered John to go away. Direct: He said to his peon, Get out. Indirect: He ordered his servant to get out. Please Use request instead of said\said to. Add objective pronoun like me, us, hem, her etc. Then use To and first form of verb. Direct: He said to Mary, Please wait here till I return. Indirect: he requested Mary to wait there till he returned. 4. How the Exclamation and the Wishes in the Direct Speeches are changed into Indirect Speeches? Use exclaimed with joy/sorrow/wonder instead of said\said to. Use That.

Direct: He said, Alas! I failed in the exams. Indirect: he exclaimed with sorrow that he had failed in the exams. Direct: He said, Hurrah! We have won the match. Indirect: He exclaimed with joy that they had won the match. 5. If the sentence of a reported speech begins with Let, the verb said of the reporting speech is changed into suggested. Use That and add Should after pronoun. Direct: He said, Lets go for a walk. Indirect: He suggested that we should go for a walk. Or Indirect: He suggested going for a walk. 6. Conditional Sentences Conditional sentence of Type I change its tense when the reporting verb in past tense. But conditional sentences of Type II & III do not change. Type I: Direct: He said, if I work hard I will succeed in the exams. Indirect: He said that if he worked hard he would succeed in the exams. Type II: Direct: He said, If I went to Lahore I would bring toys. Indirect: He said that if he went to Lahore he would bring toys. Type III: Direct: He said, If I had been a doctor I would have helped the poor people. Indirect: He said that if he had been a doctor he would have helped the poor people. 7. Optative Sentence These sentences usually begin with May in the reported speech. To change into indirect speech, use prayed instead of said\said to. Add That and convert may into might. Prayed for me, prayed to God. Direct: He said, May God bless you. Indirect: He prayed that God might bless me. 8. Farewells Greetings While converting greetings and farewells into indirect speech, we use such verbs greet, welcome, say (goodbye), bid (farewell) etc.

Direct: She said to me, Good Morning. Indirect: She greeted me.