Direct Speech & Indirect Speech

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1. Direct Speech 

We may quote the actual words of the speaker. This method is called Direct Speech/quoted speech. 

2. Indirect Speech 

We may report what he said without quoting his exact words. This method is called Indirect Speech or Reported Speech. 

Example: 

• Direct: Clinton said, “I am very busy now.” 
• Indirect: Clinton said that he was very busy then. 

• Direct : He said, “ my mother is writing letter.” 
• Indirect: He said that his mother was writing letter. 

 

How change from Direct to Inderect?

It will be noticed that in Direct Speech, we use inverted commas to mark off the exact words of the speaker. In Indirect Speech we do not use the inverted commas.

It will be further noticed that in changing the above Direct Speech into Indirect speech, certain changes have been made.

Thus: 

i. We have used the conjunction ‘that’ before the Indirect Statement. 

ii. The pronoun “I” is changed to “HE”. (The Pronoun is changed in Person) 

iii. The verb “am” is changed to “was”. 

iv. The adverb “now” is changed to “then”. 

. A simple present tense becomes simple past tense. 

Example: 

• Direct : He said, “I am unwell.” 
• Indirect: He said that he was unwell. 

. A present continuous tense becomes a past continuous. 

Example: 

• Direct : He said, “ my mother is writing letter.” 
• Indirect: He said that his mother was writing letter.

 

More Examples: 

• Direct: “I know her address”, said John. 
• Indirect: John said that he knows/knew her address. 

In this Indirect Speech, both the past tense and the present tense make the sentence a correct one. 

• Direct: The teacher said, “The earth goes round the sun.” 
• Indirect: The teacher said that the earth goes/went round the sun. 

• Direct: She said, “German is easy to learn.” 
• Indirect: She said that German was/is easy to learn. 

The past tense is often used when it is uncertain if the statement is true or when we are reporting objectively. 

Tense change

As a rule when you report something someone has said you go back a tense: (the tense on the left changes to the tense on the right):

Direct speech

 

Indirect speech

Present simple 
She said, “It’s cold.”

Past simple 
She said it was cold.

Present continuous 
She said, “I’m teaching English online.”

Past continuous 
She said she was teaching English online.

Present perfect simple 
She said, “I’ve been on the web since 1999.”

Past perfect simple 
She said she had been on the web since 1999.

Present perfect continuous 
She said, “I’ve been teaching English for seven years.”

Past perfect continuous 
She said she had been teaching English for seven years.

Past simple 
She said, “I taught online yesterday.”

Past perfect 
She said she had taught online yesterday.

Past continuous 
She said, “I was teaching earlier.”

Past perfect continuous 
She said she had been teaching earlier.

Past perfect 
She said, “The lesson had already started when he arrived.”

Past perfect 
NO CHANGE – She said the lesson had already started when he arrived.

Past perfect continuous
She said, “I’d already been teaching for five minutes.”

Past perfect continuous 
NO CHANGE – She said she’d already been teaching for five minutes.

 

One thought on “Direct Speech & Indirect Speech

    ripon1987 said:
    April 25, 2013 pukul 7:30 am

    Thank you very much. You may get educational tutorials

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