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Direct and Indirect Speech | Reported Speech | Rules, Examples, Exercises

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Direct and Indirect Speech Video


Definition of Direct Speech:

Direct Speech is the form of speech where you can describe the exact statement of a person in his own words.
It is written under the quotation marks in a sentence.

The direct speech sentence has two parts; reporting speech and the reported speech.

Definition of Indirect Speech:

Indirect speech is a form of speech where a person describes his experience of some specific event, situation or refers to a person in his own words. It is written without quotation marks.

That’s to say indirect speech is the interpretation of an event or situation by a person, in his own words.
Let’s take a few examples.

Reported Speech Examples:

Direct Speech Indirect Speech
He said, “I am preparing to visit Australia.” He said that he was preparing to visit Australia.
She said, “It is raining outside.” She said that it was raining outside.
Alex said, “Writing is always a hard task for me.” Alex said that writing was always a hard task for him.
They said, “We are quite happy here.” They said that they were quite happy there.

Direct and Indirect Speech is an integral part of English study.

It is equally essential for school students, college studies and university studies.

Direct and Indirect speech has specific rules of study like a reported speech for assertive, imperative, optative and exclamatory sentences.

In addition to that reported speech rules with tense changes, pronoun changes and modal verbs etc. must be studied.

Direct and Indirect Speech Rules

Rule No: 1

Rule No: 1. No Quotation marks
Quotation marks are omitted in Indirect speech.

Direct and Indirect Speech wh Questions Examples:

Direct Speech Indirect Speech
Lara says,  “I like cooking rice.” Lara says that she likes cooking rice.
Father said to me, ” I am waiting for you outside.” Father told me that he was waiting for us outside.
The beggar said, “I am thankful to God.” The beggar said that he was thankful to God.
The students said, “We would like to visit the library.” The students said that they would like to visit the library.

Rule No: 2

Rule No: 2. Use of 'that'
Use of the word “that” to connect the reporting speech with the reported speech. However, there is a certain exception where ‘that’ is excluded.
Direct Speech Indirect Speech
He said, “we are going to a dancing concert.” He said that they were going to a dancing concert.
She said, ” I have to obey my father’s commands.” She said that she had to obey her father’s commands.
The Policemen said, “Did you see anyone here.” The Policemen asked if I had seen anyone there.
I said, “We should listen to the demands of students.” I said that we should listen to the demands of the students.

Rule No: 3

Rule No: 3. Change of Subjects in indirect speech
In indirect speech pronoun of reporting speech is changed according to the sense of the sentence. Like I into he/she, me into mine, this into that, etc. However, there is a certain exception in this rule.
Direct Speech Indirect Speech
Maria said, ” I am learning a new language.” Maria said that she was learning a new language.
Maria said, ” I hope we are safe here.” Maria said that she hoped they were safe there.
She said, “What are you doing here?” She asked what I was doing there.
Alex said, ” It is raining today.” Alex said that it was raining that day.

 

Rule No: 4

Rule No: 4. Change in verb form
In the indirect speech the form of the verb is changed from the first form to second and third form, keeping in view other rules

Direct and Indirect Speech dialogue examples with answers

Direct Speech Indirect Speech
Lara said, “I am waiting for my turn here.” Lara said that she was waiting for her turn there.
Sara said, ” I have worked hard this time.” Sara said that she had worked hard at that time.
They said, “We are not ready today.” They said that they were not ready that day.
He said, “It is a better plan.” He said that it was a better plan.

Rule No: 5

Rule No: 5. Change in Tense Form
Tense are changed as per the sequence of tenses in indirect speech.

Direct and Indirect Speech sentences examples

Direct Speech Indirect Speech
Alex says, ” I love to learn reported speech.” Alex says that he loves to learn reported speech.
Alex said, “I am in the classroom.” Alex said that he was in the classroom.
Maria said, ” I will learn English soon.” Maria said that she would learn English soon.
Lara will say, ” I am writing a letter.” Lara will say that he is writing a letter.

Rule No: 6

Rule No: 6. For Universal truth
Things that are universal truth are eternal statements, are not changed in verb forms and sequence of tenses as following examples.

Direct and Indirect speech rules examples

Direct Speech Indirect Speech
Sunny said, ” Earth is round.” Sunny said that earth is round.
Martin said, ” There is God.” Martin said that there is God.
Maria said, ” Honesty is the best policy.” Maria said that honesty is the best policy.
Father said, “Truth never fails.” Father said that the truth never fails.

Use of Direct and Indirect Speech with rules and examples

Study the following brief to understand the varying usage of direct indirect speech with all types of Sentences.

(1) Assertive Sentences

Those sentences that show a statement, affirmation or negation, are called assertive sentences

How to change Direct Indirect Speech for Assertive Sentences?
1. ‘Said’ in reporting verb is changed into ‘told’ when takes an objective pronoun with it, e.g. “said to me” into “told me”.

2. All other basic rules of changing direct and indirect speech.

Study the Examples below
Direct Speech Indirect Speech
She said, “I am not coming to attend the wedding.” She said that she was not going to attend the wedding.
He said, “I have been watching my favourite movie.” He said that he had been watching his favourite movie.
I said, “I am looking for a job here. I said that I was looking for a job.
She said to me, “It is not a profitable business.” She told me that it was not a profitable business.

(2). Direct Indirect Speech Change for Imperative Sentences

When a sentence shows, command, order, request, advice etc. and end with an exclamation mark, it is called an imperative sentence.

Basic Rules
1. The reporting verb ‘said’ is changed as per the nature of the sentence. i.e. into ordered, commanded, suggested, or advised.

2. If the reported speech part has the word ‘please’ in the start, change it into requested or implored.

Study the Examples Below
Direct Speech Indirect Speech
He said, “Please help me; I don’t want to leave this job.” He requested to help him as he didn’t want to leave that job.
The commander said, “March one, soldiers!” The commander ordered soldiers to march on.
The teacher said to the student, “Shut the books quickly.” The teacher ordered the student to shut the books quickly.
She said to the servant, “Clean the room again quickly.” She ordered the servant to clean the room again quickly.

(3). Direct and Indirect Speech For Interrogative Sentences

These are question sentences and end with question marks.

How to Make Direct and Indirect Speech of Interrogative Sentences?
1. Use ‘if or whether if the reported speech is starting with auxiliary verbs.

2. No change if reported speech starts with Wh words (what, where, when, why),

3. change the reporting verb ‘said’ into asked, questioned or inquired

Study the Examples Below
Direct Speech Indirect Speech
She said, “Do you know who am I?” She asked whether I knew who she was.
He said, “What is the street number of your house?” He asked what the street number of his house was.
Father said, “Do you still intend to leave your job?” Father said whether I still intended to leave my job.
She said, “Why are you crying here?” She asked why I was crying there.

100 Examples of Direct and Indirect Speech

(4). Direct and Indirect Speech with Optative Sentences

The sentence in which we express hope, the prayer of any wish, is called optative sentences. These sentences use the mark of exclamation at the end of the sentence.

What are the rules of reported speech for Optative Sentences?
1. Understand the sentence whether it shows prayer, hope or wish.

2. Omit the word ‘May’ or ‘Would that from the start of reported speech and replace said with ‘prayed’ and ‘wished’, respectively.

3. Replace mark of Exclamation with a full stop.

Study the Examples Below
Direct Speech Indirect Speech
The beggar said, “May God, you be lucky today.” The beggar prayed that I might be lucky that day.
He said, “Would that! father had not listened to his call.” He wished that his father had not listened to his call.
She said, “O that! a single last chance to meet my son.” She wished for a single last chance to meet her son.
The teacher said, “May God bless you a success.” The teacher prayed that God might bless me for success.

(5). Exclamatory Sentences

Those sentences that express sorrow, wonder, joy are called exclamatory sentences. They take an interjection as Alas, hurrah, vow etc. with them and take a mark of exclamation.

Rules For Exclamatory Sentences
1. Understand the sentence, whether it shows joy, grief, or wonder.

2. Omit the interjection.

3. Replace the reporting verb ‘said’ with suitable word showing wonder, grief or joy (exclaimed with joy/wonder/grief)

Study the Examples Below
Direct Speech Indirect Speech
He said, “Alas! I left a perfect job.” He exclaimed with sorrow that he left a perfect job.
She said, “Hurrah! My brother has got the first position in the Exam. She exclaimed with joy that her brother had got the first position in the Exam.
He said, “Bravo! the captain did a wonderful batting.” He applauded the captain and said that he had done a wonderful batting.
Mother said, “Aha! I have lost my only son.” Mother exclaimed with sorrow that she had lost her only son.

Frequent Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is direct and indirect speech?

Direct and Indirect Speeches are two different type of form of speech.

Direct Speech is the form of speech where you can describe the exact statement of a person in his own words.

Indirect speech is a form of speech where a person describes his experience of some certain event, situation or refers to a person in his own words.

What is a direct speech and examples?

50 examples of direct and indirect speech

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