English Grammar

Direct/Indirect Speech

In exams, there are questions where you to convert the indirect speech into direct speech and vice versa. Thus, students cannot afford to skip direct/indirect speech or make any mistakes in it. Because in the exam you have to attempt all the questions. 

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Direct/Indirect Speech

Direct/Indirect Speech

                                    Direct/Indirect Speech

Rules for converting direct/indirect Speech

Following are the golden rule to convert the direct/indirect speech

  • Step 1: Make a note of the reporting verb that is used to decide the tense of the indirect speech. 
  • Step 2: Change the place and time to indicate the actual place and time that is meant by the speaker. 
  • Step 3: Also, use an appropriate pronoun for the object and the subject. 
  • Step 4: Additionally, make a proper structure/word order of the sentence. 

Now, we will discuss each of these steps in detail

Step 1: Deciding the conversion and tense of the verb

Case 1: Ram said, ‘I go to the class every day’. 

Case 2: Ram says, ‘I go to the class every day.’

In both the cases above, ‘say’ is the verb that conveys the action of speaking. Also, in the 1st case, the reporting verb say is given in the past tense – said. While in case 2, the reporting verb is given in the present tense. 

So, here the rule is for all verbs to be in the corresponding past tense. Also, this is followed if the reporting verb is in the past tense. Thus, Ram said, ‘I go to the class every day’ will change to Ram said that he went to the cleverly day. 

The 2nd rule here is that if the reporting verb is in the future or present tense then the tense is not changed. So, Ram says, ‘I go to the class every day’ will be changed to Ram says that he goes to the class every day. 

Step 2: Changes are done in the word expressing Place, Time, and Connection

Place or time mentioned in the sentence should be changed accordingly to indicate the actual time or place. 

On 1st, April 2015: ‘I will come tomorrow,’ he said.

On 2nd June 2015: He said that he would come the next day. 

‘She was not here,’ Ramya said. She said that she was not there. 

Step 3: Selection of pronoun for the object and the Subject

Case 1: He will say to his friends, “I have started learning arts.” => He will tell his friends that he has started learning arts. 

In this, the speaker along with the reporter is the same. So, the pronoun should be the first person which is a pronoun. 

Case 2: The professor said to me, “I hope you will bring the book to my class.” => The professor hoped that I would bring the book to her class. 

Here, the professor is the speaker while the student is the reporter. So, the pronoun of the professor should be in thirx people. Also, the pronoun of the reporter should be in the first person. 

Practice Questions on Direct/Indirect Speech

Q. Rina said, “I am not doing well in the exams.”

A. Rina said that she is doing well in the exams. 

B. Rina said that she was not doing well in the exams.

C. Rina said that she has not done well in the exams.

D. None of the above

Answer: B. Rina said that she was not doing well in the exams.

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