Category : 5th Class
When the substance or meaning of a person's speech is presented, it is called Indirect Speech.
For Example: Monu said that Mamta lived in London.
In sentence given above, the actual or exact words of the speaker is not presented. The substance or meaning of the speech has been presented. This speech is called Indirect Speech.
General Rules for Changing Direct Speech to Indirect Speech
There are three general rules for changing Direct Speech into Indirect Speech.
1. Change of Tense
2. Change of Person
3. Change of other parts of speech.
Change of Tense
(i) When the Reporting Verb is in Present or Future, the Tense of the Verb in the Reported Speech does not change.
Direct : Sneha says, "It is four o'clock."
Indirect : Sneha says that it is four o'clock.
Direct : Monica will say, "There is a Church in the village."
Indirect : Monica will say that there is a Church in the village.
(ii) When the reporting Verb is in the Past, the Tense of the Verb in the Reported Speech changes into the corresponding Past Tense as per the following table:
Direct Speech Indirect Speech
Simple Present Simple Past
Present Continuous Past Continuous
Present Perfect Past Perfect
Present Perfect Continuous Past Perfect Continuous
Simple Past Past Perfect
Past Continuous Past Perfect Continuous
Past Perfect No Change - remains same
Past Perfect Continuous No Change - remains same
Is / Am / Are Was / Were
Have / Has Had
Was/Were Had been
Direct : Shiv said, "The village is very far."
Indirect : Shiv said that the village was very far.
Direct : Shiv said, "The dog barked at the man."
Indirect : Shiv said that the dog had barked at the man.
Direct : Ravi said, "The horse was running on the road."
Indirect : Ravi said that the horse had been running on the road.
Direct : The teacher said, "The students had passed in the examination."
Indirect : The teacher said that the students had passed in the examination.
Direct : The doctor said, "The patient will recover soon."
Indirect : The doctors aid that the patient would recover soon.
(iii) When the Reported Speech has universal truth, the Tense of the Verb of the Reported Speech does not change even though the Reporting Verb is in the Past Tense.
Direct : The teacher says, "The earth is round."
Indirect : The teacher says that the earth is round.
Direct : Donald said to me, "The earth moves round the sun."
Indirect : Donald said to me that the earth moves round the sun.
Change of Person
The first, second and third persons used in Direct Speech within Inverted Commas, change as per the following
First Person : According to Subject of Reporting Verb.
Second Person : According to Object of Reporting Verb.
Third Person : No change - Remains same
Direct : Shiv said to me, "I am your friend."
Indirect : Shiv said to me that he was my friend.
Here I (First Person) of Reported Speech has changed according to Shiv (Subject) of Reporting verb and your (second person) has changed according to me (Object) of Reporting Verb.
Direct : Ravina said to me, "Ravi will read the book."
Indirect : Ravina said to me that Ravi would read the book.
Here Ravi, which is in Third Person, does not change.
Change of other Parts of Speech
Some words used in Reported Speech, which express nearness are changed into words expressing distance as per the following:
The next day
The previous day
The previous night
The following week
Direct : He said to me, "I will give you a pen today."
Indirect : He told me that he would give me a pen that day.
Direct : Reena said to Ravi, " I will go home today."
Indirect : Reena told Ravi that he would go home that day.
Direct : Seema said, "this is going to happen next week."
Indirect : Seema said that was going to happen the following week.
Special rules for changing direct speech to indirect speech.
There are some special rules which are applied in the conversion of different types of sentences from Direct to Indirect.
Rules for the Conversion of statements from Direct to Indirect
(i) The verb 'said to' of Reporting Verb changes into 'told'.
(ii) The comma is replaced by the conjunction 'that'
(iii) The Inverted Commas are omitted.
Direct : Rajesh said to him, "You are an intelligent boy."
Indirect : Rajesh told him that he was an intelligent boy.
Direct : We said to her, "You must keep your promise."
Indirect : We told her that she must keep her promise.
Rules for the Conversion of Questions from Direct to Indirect
(i) The verb 'said' of Reporting Verb is changed into 'asked' or 'enquired'.
(ii) The Commas Inverted Commas and Question Mark are omitted.
(iii) The sentence structure in the Reported Speech is changed from Question to Statement.
(iv) When the Question begins with an Interrogative word (what, who, how, where, when, whom, which, why etc.) in the Reported Speech, the same is retained in the Indirect Speech.
(v) When the Question begins with an Auxiliary Verb in the Reported Speech a Conjunction 'if' or 'whether' is used in the beginning of the Reported Speech.
Direct : Zacob said to me, "What is your name?"
Indirect : Zacob asked me what my name was.
Direct : The teacher said to the students, "Why did you not come to school today?"
Indirect : The teacher asked the students why they had not gone to school that day.
Direct : Sonal said to me, "Will you give me your pen?"
Indirect : Sonal asked me if l would give her my pen.
Direct : Rozy said to Lilly, "Have you cleaned the room."
Indirect : Rozy asked Lilly if she had cleaned the room.
Rules for the Conversion of Imperative Sentence into Indirect Speech.
(i) The Verb 'said to' of Reporting Verb is changed into 'ordered', 'requested', 'advised' or 'forbade' according to the sense of reported speech.
(ii) The Comma and Inverted Commas are omitted.
(iii) The conjunction 'to' is used to remove the inverted comma.
(iv) The word showing request (Please) is omitted.
Direct : My father said to me, "Open the door."
Indirect : My father ordered me to open the door.
Direct : Rosy said to me, "Please give me your watch."
Indirect : Rosy requested me to give her my watch.
Direct : The doctor said to the patient, "Take this medicine once daily."
Indirect : The doctor advised the patient to take that medicine once daily.
Direct : The boy said to me, "Don't buy this book."
Indirect : The boy for bade me to buy that book.
Rule for the Conversion of Exclamatory Sentence into Indirect Speech
(i) The Verb 'said to' of Reporting Verb is changed into 'exclaimed with joy / sorrow / surprise / anger / applause / fear / contempt / regret etc according to the sense of Reported Speech.
(ii) The Comma and Inverted Commas are omitted and the Conjunction 'that is' used.
(iii) Words showing Exclamations (Hurrah! , Alas!, Oh', etc.) are omitted.
(iv) The sentence structure is changed from Exclamatory to Statement.
Direct : The boy said, "Hurrah! I have won the prize."
Indirect : The boy exclaimed with joy that he had won the prize.
Direct : The man said, "Alas! I am ruined."
Indirect : The man exclaimed with sorrow that he was ruined.
Direct : The tourist said, "What a beautiful sunset!"
Indirect : The tourist exclaimed with surprise that it was a very beautiful sunset.
Direct : The teacher said, "What nonsense!"
Indirect : The teacher exclaimed with anger that it was a great nonsense.
Rules for the Conversion of Optative Sentence into Indirect Speech
(i) The verb 'said to' of Reporting Verb is changed into wished / prayed / desired /cursed, etc. according to the sense of the Reported Speech.
(ii) The commas and inverted commas are omitted and the Conjunction that is used.
(iii) The sentence structure is changed from Optative to Statement.
Direct : My father said to me, "God bless you!"
Indirect : My father wished that God might bless me.
Direct : The man said, "Long live the chairman!"
Indirect : The man wished that the chairman might live long.
Direct : He said, "Bravo! You have played well."
Indirect : He applauded me that I had played well.
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