Direct (Quoted) & Indirect (Reported) Speech/ Narration
1. Direct (Quoted) Speech (Narration):
When quote the actual words of a speaker, is called direct (quoted) speech.
2. Indirect (Reported) Speech (Narration):
When we don’t quote the actual words of a speaker, we change in a way that the meaning will not be changed, is called indirect speech or reported speech or narration.
e.g. Ahmad said to them, “I have a beautiful car.”
Reporting speech Reported Speech
Rules of changing direct speech into indirect speech
When the reporting verb of “reporting speech” is in the past then the following changes of tenses will occur.
1. Simple present tense changes to simple past tense.
2. Present continuous tense changes to past continuous tense.
3. Present perfect tense changes to past perfect tense.
4. Will and shall changes to would and should.
5. Would and should changes would and should have + 3rd. V.
6. Simple past tense changes to past perfect tense.
7. Past continuous tense changes to past perfect continuous tense.
8. Past perfect and past perfect continuous tenses won’t change.
9. The tenses must not be changed if reported speech expresses “universal truth”.
10. If reporting verb of “reporting speech” is in the present tense, the tenses of direct speech don’t change.
a. If the reporting verb of “reporting speech” is in the future tense, again the tenses of the direct speech don’t change.
11. The first person subjective (I, we), objective (me, us) or possessive (my, mine, our, ours) (pronoun or adjective) changes according to the subject of reporting speech.
12. The second person subjective (you) objective (you) or possessive (your, yours) (pronoun or adjective) changes according to the object of reporting speech.
Note: The second person (you, your, yours) pronoun changes according to situation into 1st person, 2nd person, or 3rd person if there won’t be any object in reporting speech.
1. The third person subjective (he, she, it, they), objective (him, her, it, them), possessive (his, her, hers, it, its, their, theirs) pronoun or adjective doesn’t change.
2. Beside the following changes also take place:
1 This Changes to That
2 These Changes to Those
3 Now Changes to Then
4 Tomorrow Changes to Next day
5 Yesterday Changes to The previous day
6 Today Changes to That day
7 Tonight Changes to That night
8 Last night Changes to The previous night
9 Here Changes to There
10 There Changes to At that place
11 Ago Changes to Before
12 Sir, madam Changes to Respectfully
13 Good morning/night Changes to Greeted
14 Next day Changes to The next day, the following day.
15 Hello, yes, alright, no Changes to Are not used(removed)
16 Can, may, must Changes to Could, might, must= had to
17 Would, could, should, might, ought to Changes to Don’t change
Direct (Quoted) & Indirect (Reported) speech / Narration
1. Declarative Or Assertive Sentences Of Indirect:
1. Change “said to” of reporting speech into told while only “said” remains “said”.
2. Change the “Comma (,)” and “inverted commas, quotation marks (“”)” into ‘that’, usually not used in current usage.
3. For other changes follow the above mentioned rules of indirect speech.
Examples for declarative sentences:
1. Police said, “We killed all the crazy dogs of the city.”
Police said (that) they had killed all the crazy dogs of the city.
2. We said to them, “You will give us party.”
We told them (that) they would give us party.
3. You said to me, “She is an English teacher here.”
You told me (that) she was an English teacher there.
4. He said, “You have not broken the chair.”
He said (that) I had not broken the chair.
5. Altaf said to his fast friend, “You had a beautiful motorcycle yesterday.”
Altaf told his fast friend (that) he had had a beautiful motorcycle the previous day.
6. Teacher said to the students, “Earth is round.”
Teacher told the students (that) earth is round.
2. Interrogative sentences of indirect (reported) speech (narration)
1. The reporting verb (said) changes to asked.
2. We change the comma (,) and inverted commas (“”) into (if or whether) provided that question must be asked with “helping verbs or modal auxiliary verbs”
3. If the interrogative sentences are from W.H words, the W.H words remain in their place. There we don’t use (if or whether).
4. Interrogative sentences are made positive sentences.
5. In place of question mark (?) we use full stop (.).
Examples of interrogative sentences
1. I said to them, “Where are you going?”
I asked them where they were going.
2. She said to you, “Have you ever visited these places?”
She asked you if you had ever visited those places.
3. He said, “What their names and addresses are?”
He asked what their names and addresses were.
4. The driver said, “Did you ask for screwdriver or pliers?”
The driver asked whether you had asked for screwdriver or pliers.
5. The singer said to the doctor, “Had you composed that tragedy song?”
The singer asked the director if he had composed that tragedy song.
6. Mother said to her son, “Where do you roam these days?”
Mother asked her son where he roamed those days.
3. Imperative sentences of indirect (reported) speech (narration)
1. The reported verb will change into (full infinitive).
2. The reporting verb will change into “ordered, requested, advised, forbade” according to the tense of reported speech.
Note: After “forbade”, don’t use “not” because itself gives negative sense.
Note: If a person is addressed directly, the reporting verb changes into “called”.
Examples of imperative sentences
1. He said, “Nadir, wait for me.”
He requested Nadir to wait for me.
2. I said to them, “Stop boasting about your bravery.”
I ordered them to stop boasting about their bravery.
3. Ahmad said, “Don’t follow him.”
Ahmad forbade to follow him.
4. They said to us, “Work honestly please.”
They requested us to work honestly.
5. Father said, “Pray God my children.”
Father advised to pray God his children.
6. Teacher said to the students, “Work hard.”
Teacher advised the students to work hard.
4. Exclamatory sentences of indirect (reported) speech (narration)
1. Interjections (Alas!, Hurrah!, Oh!, Wow!, Hmm! Etc.) removed.
2. We put (that) instead of comma and inverted commas.
3. W.H words like, (what and how) are removed and before the adjective we put “very”.
4. The reporting verb changes according to the tense of reported speech. Into (exclaimed with sorrow, exclaimed with wonder, exclaimed with joy etc.)
Examples for Exclamatory sentences
1. Mother said, “Alas! My son was fail in Final examination.”
Mother exclaimed with sorrow that her son had been fail in final examination.
2. We said to them, “Hurrah! You could not defeat us.”
We exclaimed with joy that they could not defeat us.
3. She said, “Wow! This is a new English house.”
She exclaimed with wonder that that was a new English house.
4. The driver said, “How a beautiful car it is!”
The driver exclaimed with surprise that it was a beautiful car.
5. The bodybuilder said, “Hmm! He has a very strong muscle.”
The bodybuilder exclaimed with wonder that he had a very strong muscle.
6. I said to him, “Oh! I lost his book.”
I exclaimed with grief that I had lost his book.
5. Optative sentences of indirect (reported) speech (narration)
1. “May” will change into “might” while reported verb will remain unchanged.
2. The exclamatory mark (!) will change into full stop.
3. “that” comes instead of comma and inverted commas.
4. The reporting verb changes into “wished or prayed”.
5. “Would that, O’ that, wished” are removed.
Examples of optative sentences
1. She said, “May you live long my son!”
She prayed that I might live long her son.
2. They said, “They wish that they had cycles!”
They wished that they had had cycles.
3. I said, “Would that I were in London this time!”
I wished that I had been in London that time.
4. He said to him, “May you reach there safe and sound!”
He prayed that he might reach at that place safe and sound.
5. The thief said, “O’ that I would steal all the gold of jeweler!”
The thief wished that he would steal all the gold of jeweler.
1. Mary said, “Are you going to eat in the cafeteria?”
2. John said, “Did you mail that letter for me?”
3. Ali said to me, “Where are you going on your vacation?”
4. I said to her, “Do you like my new hat?”
5. John said to me, “Wait five minutes for me.”
6. The teacher said to us, “Don’t make so much noise.”
7. He asked me, “Try to come on time.”
8. He said, “I will be here at noon.”
9. Mary said, “The train will probably arrive on time.”
10. The doctor said, “Mr. Smith will improve quickly.”
11. Smith said, “I will refuse their offer.”