Rules For Direct and Indirect Speech (Basic to Advanced)

 Basic Rules of Narration Change

Rules For Direct and Indirect Speech 

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Some rules are mandatory for all types of sentences at the time of narration change. The rules are below.

  1. How to identify direct and indirect speech
  2. How to identify “Reporting Verb” and “Reported Speech”
  3. How to identify “Sentence”
  4. Change words or phrases [Direct to Indirect]
  5. Change Tense [Direct to Indirect]
  6. Change Person/ Noun/ Pronoun

How to Identify Direct and Indirect Speech

Direct Speech:  We will find a quotation mark in the direct speech.

The boy said to me, “I will sell my mobile phone.”

Indirect Speech: We will not find a quotation mark in the direct speech.

The boy told me that he would sell his mobile phone.

Rules For Direct and Indirect Speech

How to Identify the “Reporting Verb” and “Reported Speech”

Reporting Verb: The part which is separated by a comma is called reporting verb.

Example:  Badal said to Gopal, “I will sing a song.”

“Badal said to Gopal,” this part is reporting verb.

Rules For Direct and Indirect Speech

Reported Speech: The part which is under an inverted comma is called reported speech.

Example: Badal said to Gopal, “I will sing a song.”

“I will sing a song.” This part is reported speech.

Five Types Sentence [Rules For Direct and Indirect Speech]

How to Identify Assertive Sentences

Assertive sentence: It is very easy to identify assertive sentences. Just find the below points in the sentence. If you get the points, you will be quite sure that the sentence is an assertive sentence.

  • The sentence will be ended with a full stop (.) mark.
  • The sentence will be started with a doer or subject.

Example:

  1. He is not playing cricket now.
  2. You have not helped me.
  3. The headmaster has punished the student.
  4. The girl danced here.

Rules For Direct and Indirect Speech

How to Identity Interrogative Sentence

Interrogative sentence: If you got two points, the sentence is an interrogative sentence.

  • The sentence ends with a question (?) mark.
  • The sentence starts with a helping verb or wh-word.

Example:

  1. Did they come here yesterday?
  2. Does your sister read English newspapers daily?
  3. Do the trees give us fruits?
  4. What should you do now?
  5. When could he return the money?

Rules For Direct and Indirect Speech

How to Identify Imperative sentence

Imperative sentence: Find the below points in a sentence. If you get the points, the sentence must be an imperative sentence.

  • The sentence starts with “Finite verb” in affirmative and “Do not finite verb” in negative.
  • Normally the imperative sentence begins with “Let/Do not /Never/Please /Kindly /Always/Be /Have/Give”.
  • You will get the terms “Please or Kindly” at the end of the sentence or starting of the sentence.
  • The doer (subject -You) of the sentence is implied.
  • The sentence will be ended with a full stop (.) mark.

Example:

  1. Prepare your lessons.
  2. Don’t jump here.
  3. Please don’t reject my form.
  4. Kindly, switch off the light.
  5. Please come to the point.
  6. Let us discuss the matter.
  7. Be active.

Rules For Direct and Indirect Speech

How to Identify Optative Sentences

Rules For Direct and Indirect Speech

Optative sentence: Optative sentence has the below features.

  • The sentence ends with a full stop (.) mark.
  • The sentence starts with “Long”, “Wish” and “May”.

Example:

  1. May you live a happy life.
  2. May God give you a son.
  3. Long live our prime minister.
  4. Wish you good luck.

Rules For Direct and Indirect Speech

How to Identify Exclamatory Sentences

Exclamatory sentence: It is very easy to identify the exclamatory sentences. If you find the below points in the sentence, you will be quite sure that the sentence is an exclamatory sentence.

  • Interjection or What, How is at the beginning of the sentence.
  • Sometimes the verb is implied.
  • At the end of the sentence, there is an exclamation mark (!).
  • Sometimes you will find the words (Alas!, Adieu!, Oh!, Fie!, Hurrah!, Hus!, Bravo! ) at the starting of the sentence.

Example:

  1. What a fine movie!
  2. How happy the man is!
  3. How fat!
  4. What a good boy!
  5. Fie! You smoke.
  6. Were they young!
  7. Had you 100000 dollar!

Rules For Direct and Indirect Speech

Change Words or Phrases Direct to Indirect

There are some words and phrases that are changed in indirect speech. The words and phrases are given below. 

Direct Speech Indirect Speech
Now Then
Here There
This That
These Those
Come Go
Thus So/that way
Hither Thither
Hence Thence
Ago Before
Today That day
This day That day
Tonight That night
Tomorrow The next day
Yesterday The previous day
Last night The previous night
Next week The following week
Yesterday morning The previous morning

Example:

Direct: Gobindo said, “I saw this ox yesterday.”

Indirect: Gobindo said that he had seen that ox the previous day.

Direct: She said, “I am eating rice now.”

Indirect: She said that she was eating rice then.

Direct: You said to me, “We shall come here.”

Indirect: You told me that you should go there.

 

Direct: They said, “We shall leave for Delhi tomorrow.”

Indirect: They said that they would leave for Delhi the next day.

 

Direct: Rana said to me, “I bought the book from the book fair last year.”

Indirect: Rana told me that I had bought the book from the book fair the previous year.

 

Direct: He said to you, “I shall meet with you next week.”

Indirect: He told you that he would meet with you the following week.

Change Tense Direct to Indirect (Present and Future Tense)
  1. If the reporting verb is in the Present Tense, there is no change in the tense used in the reported speech when direct speech is transformed into indirect speech.

Rules For Direct and Indirect Speech

Example:

Direct: The boy says, “My hobby is gardening.”

Indirect: The boy says that his hobby is gardening.

 

Direct: He says, “I like you.”

Indirect: He says that he likes you.

 

Direct: We say to you, “You can play cricket.”

Indirect: We tell you that you can play cricket.

Rules 2 Reporting Verb Future Tense
  1. If the reporting verb is in the Future Tense, there is no change in the tense used in the reported speech when direct speech is transformed into indirect speech.

Rules For Direct and Indirect Speech

Rules For Direct and Indirect Speech

Example:

Direct: Ram will say, “I have done this work.”

Indirect: Ram will say that he has done that work.

Direct: The judge will say to me, “You are not guilty.”

Indirect: The judge will tell me that I am not guilty.

 

Direct: Your friend will tell you, “I have got my first salary.”

Indirect: Your friend will tell you that he has got his first salary.

 

Rules 3 Reporting Verb Past Tense and Reported Speech Present Tense

Reporting Verb Past Tense and Reported Speech Present Tense

  1. If the reporting verb is in the Past Tense, there is a change in the tense used in the reported speech when direct speech is transformed into indirect speech.

Rules For Direct and Indirect Speech

Rules For Direct and Indirect Speech

Example:

Direct: Riya said, “I know the gentleman.”

Indirect: Riya said that he knew the gentleman.

Direct: Mitali said, “I am doing the sums now.”

Indirect: Mitali said that he was doing the sums then.

Direct: Rajat said, “Kamal has invited me to the party.”

Indirect: Rajat said that Kamal had invited him to the party.

 

Direct: The man said, “The boys have been swimming in the pond since morning.”

Indirect: The man said that the boys had been swimming in the pond since morning.

 

Rules 4 Reporting Verb Past Tense and Reported Speech Past Tense
  1. If we find reporting verb Past Tense and reported speech Past Tense in the direct speech, we change Tense at the time of narration change.

Rules For Direct and Indirect Speech

Rules For Direct and Indirect Speech

Example:

Direct:  Mother said, “I cooked fish yesterday.”

Indirect: Mother said that she had cooked fish the previous day.

 

Direct: Liton said, “I was playing football in the field.”

Indirect: Liton said that he had been playing football in the field.

 

Direct: We said to you, “Kiran had purchased a laptop.”

Indirect: We told you that Kiran had purchased a laptop.

 

Direct: She said to us, “The students had been shouting for ten minutes.”

Indirect: She told us that the students had been shouting for ten minutes.

 

Rules 5 Reporting Verb Past Tense and Reported Speech Future Tense
  1. If we find reporting verb Past Tense and reported speech Future Tense in the direct speech, we change Tense at the time of narration change.

Rules For Direct and Indirect Speech

Rules For Direct and Indirect Speech

Example:

Direct: Your father said to me, “Kakoli will pass the examination.”

Indirect: Your father told me that Kakoli would pass the examination.

 

Direct: He said to me, “You will fail the test.”

Indirect: He told me that I would fail the test.

 

Direct: Ranjan said to his father, “I shall enlist my name in the army.”

Indirect: Ranjan told his father that he would enlist his name in the army.

 

 

Rule 6 Reporting Verb Past Tense and Reported Modal Sentence
  1. If we find reporting verb Past Tense and reported speech Modal Sentence in the direct speech, we sometimes change Tense at the time of narration change.

Rules For Direct and Indirect Speech

Example:

Direct: You said to me, “You can speak English.”

Indirect: You told me that I could speak English.

 

Direct: The man said to him, “You may win the match.”

Indirect: The man told him that he might win the match.

 

Direct: The teacher said to the girl, “You should practice it.”

Indirect: The teacher told the girl that she should practice it.

 

Direct: My grandfather said to me, “You ought to apologize for your misbehavior.”

Indirect: My grandfather told me that I ought to apologize for my misbehavior.

 

Direct: My father said to me, “You must wake up early.”

Indirect: My father told me that I must wake up.

 

Direct: The boy said, “I would play in this field.”

Indirect: The boy said that he would play in that field.

 

Direct: Naren said, “I could run a computer.”

Indirect: Naren said that he could run a computer.

 

Direct: The boys said to me, “We might catch fish in the river.”

Indirect: The boys told me that they might catch fish in the river.

 

 

Table of Changing Tense From Direct to Indirect Speech

Look at a glance changing of tense

 

Direct Speech Indirect Speech
Reporting Verb Reported Speech
Past Tense Present indefinite Past indefinite
Past Tense Present continuous Past continuous
Past Tense Perfect Past perfect
Past Tense Perfect Continuous Past perfect continuous
Past Tense Simple past Past perfect
Past Tense Past continuous Past perfect continuous
Past Tense Past perfect Past perfect
Past Tense Past perfect continuous Past perfect continuous
Past Tense Future (Shall/Will) Past (Should/Would)
Past Tense Can Could
Past Tense May Might
Past Tense Should Should
Past Tense Ought to Ought to
Past Tense Must Must
Past Tense Would Would
Past Tense Could Could
Past Tense Might Might
Change Person/ Noun/ Pronoun (First Person)
  1. If the subject of reported speech is first person (I, We), it indicates the subject of reporting verb. Or

I, my, me, we, us and our are changed on the base of subject of reporting verb.

Rules For Direct and Indirect Speech

Rules For Direct and Indirect Speech

Example:

Direct: Sujata said to me, “I have gone to this office with my elder brother.”

Indirect: Sujata told me that she had gone to this office with her elder brother.

 

Direct: The boys said to me, “We have completed our homework.”

Indirect: The boys told me that they had completed their homework.

 

Direct: Pratap said to me, “Tanmoy teaches me English.”

Indirect: Pratap told me that Tanmoy taught him English.

 

Direct: The old man said to me, “The sun gives us heat and light.”

Indirect: The old man told me that the sun gave them heat and light.

 

Change Second Person Direct to Indirect Speech
  1. If the subject of reported speech is second person (you, you), it indicates the object of reporting verb. The person is changed flowing them. Or

You and your are changed on the base of the object of reporting verb.

Rules For Direct and Indirect Speech

Rules For Direct and Indirect Speech

Example:

Direct: The man said to me, “You will bring your cycle.”

Indirect: The man told me that I would bring my cycle.

 

Direct: She said to the boy, “Your friend insulted you there”

Indirect: She told the boy that his friend had insulted him there.

 

Direct: The doctor said to us, “You can help your sister.”

Indirect: The doctor told us that we could help our sister.

Unchanged Third Person Direct to Indirect Speech
  1. Again if the subject of the reported speech is third person (He, She, It, They, Ram, Kamal and Gopal), it does not indicate the subject and object of reporting verb.

Rules For Direct and Indirect Speech

Rules For Direct and Indirect Speech

Example:

Direct: Rina said to me, “It is a fresh mango.”

Indirect: Rina told me that it was a fresh mango.

Direct: I said to you, “He is not a good boy.”

Indirect: I told you that he was not a good boy.

Direct: You said to us, “Ratan took a cup of tea.”

Indirect: You told us that Ratan had taken a cup of tea.

                                     

Direct: He said to you, “They do not study in the school.”

Indirect: He told you that they did not study in the school.

Direct: The old man said to us, “Gopal and Madan have stolen some mangoes.”

Indirect: The old man told us that Gopal and Madan had stolen some mangoes.

 

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