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Direct-Indirect

Speech
In English Grammar

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Direct-Indirect (or Reported) Speech

He said to me, John is a good boy.


Direct Speech
He told me that John was a good boy.
Indirect (Reported) Speech

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Direct-Indirect Speech
Direct Speech sentences are
mostly used in writing; the actual
spoken words by somebody else are
written as they are, and are placed
within a pair of quotation marks .
Mary said, John is a good boy.
John is a good boy actual spoken words
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Direct-Indirect Speech

Mary and Joseph were arguing. Tom heard Mary


say to Joseph I will kill you., and then he (Tom)
told us what Mary said, in her own words.
(Tom said to us)
Mary said to Joseph, I will kill you.
Direct Speech

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Direct-Indirect Speech

Mary and Joseph were arguing. Tom heard Mary

say to Joseph I will kill you., and then he (Tom)


told us what Mary said not in her own words but
in an indirect way, i.e. he reported Marys words.
This speech is mostly used in conversation.
(Tom told us)
Mary told Joseph that she would kill him.
-- Indirect Speech

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Direct-Indirect Speech

To understand the difference between the


direct speech sentence and the indirect
(reported) speech sentence, we need to learn
the changes that take place changes in verb
tense, in punctuation marks and in personal
pronouns.
The changes we see are applied only when the
main verb in the introductory clause of the
Direct Speech sentence is in Past Tense!

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Direct-Indirect Speech
John said to Mary, I am your friend.
Direct Speech
introductory clause
actual spoken words

said = main verb in introductory clause


simple past tense
said to in direct speech changes to told in
indirect speech
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Direct-Indirect Speech Changes 1 Tense

Sue said to Peter, I understand the problem.


Direct Speech
understand main verb simple present tense

Sue told Peter that she understood the problem.


Indirect Speech
understood main verb simple PAST tense
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Direct-Indirect Speech Changes 2


the other changes punctuation
Sue said to Peter
,

I understand the problem.

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Direct-Indirect Speech changes 3


Other changes
Sue said to Peter, I understand the problem.
Direct Speech

Sue told Peter that she understood the problem.


Indirect Speech

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Direct-Indirect Speech -- Changes


4
Tense

She

said to him, They are boxing. Direct

are boxing main verb present continues tense

She told him that they were boxing.

Indirect

were boxing main verb PAST continues tense

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Direct-Indirect Speech Changes


5 Tense

She said to me, He has given me some medicine.


Direct Speech
has given main verb present perfect tense
She told me that he had given her some medicine.
Indirect Speech
had given main verb PAST perfect tense
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Direct-Indirect Speech -- Changes 6


Tense

Kate said, I have been waiting here for an hour.


Direct Speech
have been waiting - main verb - present perfect continues

Kate said that she had been waiting there for an hour.
Indirect Speech
had been waiting - main verb - PAST perfect continues
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Direct-Indirect Speech Changes 7 Tense

He said, She played golf in the morning.


Direct Speech
played -- main verb -- simple past tense

He said that she had played golf in the morning.


Indirect speech
had played -- main verb -- past perfect tense
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Direct-Indirect Speech -- note


The simple past tense in the
subordinate clause (actual spoken
words) in the direct speech sentence,
when changed into indirect speech,
sometimes changes into past perfect
tense and sometimes remains
unchanged.
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Direct-indirect Speech note


(continued)

He said, I bought a house. Direct Speech


bought main verb simple past tense
(A) He said that he had bought a house. Indirect
had bought main verb past perfect tense changed

(B) He said, I had a dream last night. Direct Speech


had main verb simple past tense
He said that he had a dream last night. Indirect Speech
had main verb -- simple past tense -- unchanged
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Direct-Indirect Speech Changes 8


Tense

She said to me, He was swimming in the pool.


Direct Speech
was swimming -- main verb -- past continues tense

She told me that he had been swimming in the pool.


Indirect Speech
had been swimming -- main verb -- past perfect continues tense
Past continues tense becomes PAST PERFECT CONTINUES TENSE
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Direct-Indirect Speech Changes 9 Tense

The Modal Auxiliary (helping) Verbs are


changed into their past forms:
can
could; may
might; will
would;
shall
should

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Direct-Indirect Speech Changes 10 Tense

She said to me, They will take their test tomorrow.


Direct speech
She told me that they would take their test the next day.
Indirect Speech
will becomes would!
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Direct-Indirect Speech Changes


Personal Pronouns
1st

person

2nd

3rd

number

singular

plural

singular

plural

singular

plural

gender

common

common

common

common

Male female
Neuter

Male

you

you

He she it

They they they

you

Him her it

Them them them

Nominative

We

female Neuter

(subjective)

case
Objective
(accusative)

me

us

you

My
mine

Our
ours

Your Your His her its


yours yours His hers its

myself

ourselves

yourself

case
Possessive
(genitive)

case
Reflexive

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Himself herself
itself

Their their their


Theirs theirs theirs
themselves
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Direct-Indirect Speech changes


personal pronouns
Personal Pronoun I =
first person
singular
common gender (male or female)
subjective case
Personal Pronoun him =
third person
singular
masculine gender (male)
objective case
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Direct-Indirect Speech Changes Personal


Pronouns

He said to her, I love you.

Direct Speech

He third person, singular, male, is related to I


first person, singular, male: so, in indirect speech
I becomes HE.
Her third person, singular, female, is related to
you second person, singular, female: so in
indirect speech you becomes HER.
He told her that he loved her. Indirect Speech
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Direct-Indirect Speech -- changes -- Personal Pronouns

The girl said to the spider, You have eaten my pie.

Direct Speech

The girl told the spider that it had eaten her pie.

Indirect Speech
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Direct-Indirect speech changes Personal Pronouns

Jane said to Paul, I cant help you.

Direct Speech

Jane told Paul that she couldnt help him.


Indirect Speech
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Direct-Indirect Speech changes personal


Pronouns

The boy said to me, You arent my


friend. Direct

The boy told me that I wasnt his friend.


Indirect

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Direct-Indirect Speech Changes


Conjunctions 1

While changing a Direct Speech Sentence


into an Indirect Speech Sentence, we use
a conjunction to join both the clauses -the introductory clause and the actual
spoken words, subordinate clause.
To join the two clauses in a statement
sentence, we use the conjunction that.
(The conjunction that is normally not
mentioned as it is understood.)

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Direct-Indirect Speech changes Personal Pronouns

The mouse said, Mother, I am hungry. Direct

The mouse told its mother that it was hungry.


Indirect

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Direct-Indirect Speech Changes -Conjunction 2


There are two types of questions: wh
questions, i.e. questions beginning with
any of the wh words, such as who,
which, what, how, etc.
And yes or no questions, i.e. questions
beginning with any of the auxiliary
(helping) verbs, such as are, is, can,
will, has, etc.
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Direct-Indirect Speech Changes


Conjunction 3
When we change an yes or no question
sentence from direct into indirect, we use
the conjunction if or whether .
Though there is some difference between
the conjunctions if and whether, at this
basic level, using just if for all the yes or
no questions is justified.
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Direct-Indirect Speech Changes


Conjunctions 2

A woman said to me, Is she really driving?


Interrogative sentence yes or no question
Direct Speech

A woman asked me if she was really driving.


Indirect Speech
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Direct-Indirect Speech -- Changes note 1


The word order of the question sentence is

different from that of the statement sentence.


In a statement sentence the subject comes
first and the verb comes second, but in
interrogative (question) sentence, the verb
comes first and the subject comes second:
He is a boy. Statement Sentence
He subject first; is verb second
Is he a boy? Interrogative (question) sentence
Is verb first; he subject second.
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Direct-Indirect Speech Changes note 2


While changing an interrogative sentence

from direct to indirect, the main verb in the


introductory clause, usually said, is changed
into asked, enquired, wanted to know etc.
And the word order is inversed:
He said to her, Is this bag yours? Direct
He asked her if that bag was hers. -- Indirect

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Direct-Indirect Speech Changes conjunction 4

He said to her, What has he done? Direct


wh question direct speech
He asked her what he had done.

Indirect

For wh questions, no conjunction is used; the wh word


in the direct speech sentence is used as it is!
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Direct-Indirect Speech -- Changes -Conjunction 5

She

said to them, Who wants to help me?


Direct Speech

She

asked them who wanted to help her.


Indirect Speech

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Direct-Indirect Speech Changes conjunction 6

He said to her, Do you like this frog? Direct


Do yes or no question
He asked her if she liked that frog. Indirect
conjunction if for yes or no question

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Direct-Indirect Speech Changes


conjunction 7

The man said to the boy, Can you see those stars or not?
Direct Speech
can yes or no question
The man enquired the boy whether he could see those stars or not.
Indirect Speech
whether or not
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Direct-Indirect Speech Changes conjunctions 8

She said to the students, Who knows the answer?


Direct Speech
She asked the students who knew the answer.
Indirect Speech
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Direct-Indirect Speech Changes


conjunctions 9
While changing the Imperative Sentences

from direct to indirect, we do not use any


conjunctions at all; we change the verb of
the subordinate clause (actual spoken
words) to its to infinitive form, and the
main verb in the introductory clause is
changed into requested, ordered,
wanted to know, warned, shouted, etc.
depending on the context!
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Direct-Indirect Speech Changes conjunction 10

The policeman said to the drivers, Stop! Direct Speech


The policeman shouted at the drivers to stop.
Indirect Speech

to stop to infinitive form of the main verb stop


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Direct-Indirect Speech Changes


conjunctions 11

He said to the visitors, Keep quiet, please.


Direct Speech
He requested the visitors to keep quiet.
Indirect Speech

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Direct-Indirect Speech changes


conjunction 12

The manager said to him, Dont postpone your work.


Direct Speech
Dont = do not negative
The manager warned him not to postpone his work.
Indirect Speech

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Direct-Indirect Speech -- Changes


-- conjunction 13

The mother said, Dont cry, baby Dont cry.


Direct Speech
The mother told the baby repeatedly not to cry.
Indirect Speech
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Direct-Indirect Speech changes


conjunctions 14
When the verb let in the subordinate

clause (actual spoken words) of the direct


speech sentence expresses a suggestion,
we use the verb word suggested in the
introductory clause of the indirect speech
sentence, and the word let is not
mentioned in the indirect speech sentence,
instead we use the helping verb should
with the main verb!
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Direct-Indirect Speech
changes conjunctions 15

She said to her friends, Lets go for a picnic. -- Direct


Let suggestion
She suggested to her friends that they should go for a
picnic.
Indirect
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Direct-Indirect Speech Changes


Exclamatory Sentence

While changing an exclamatory sentence from


direct to indirect, we have to rewrite the entire
sentence (expression) in order to give the desired
emotion!
Therefore, youve got to wait until you have
mastered the other kinds of sentences!!
Best of Luck!!!
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