Direct Speech and Indirect Speech

In day-to-day life, there are many instances, when you hear something said by a person and then you report the same to another person. This reporting of statements is termed as Report Speech.

The one who speaks is the SPEAKER and the other is a listener. When the listener reports it to a third person, he becomes the REPORTER.

Rules for changing direct speech into indirect speech

You have make a number of changes when you change from direct speech to indirect speech.

1. Remove the inverted commas.

2. Remove the comma separating the reporting verb from the actual words spoken.

3. Study the kind of utterance reported and introduce an appropriate reporting verb, if necessary. For example, replace "tell" or "say" with "ordered" for commands; "pleaded" for requests, etc.

4. Study the context to change the personal pronouns. I to he/she; we to they, etc. The change depends on who is reporting to whom. For example:

  • Rita: I hate to see you in saris. (to Anju)
  • Anju reporting to Rani: Rita said that she hates to see me in saris.
  • Rani reporting to Subhash: Rita said that she hates to see Anju/her in saris.

5. Make changes in words expressing nearness and time. For example:

  • this: that
  • here: there
  • tomorrow: the next day
  • Yesterday: the previous day/ the day before

6. For interrogatives, change "said" to "asked" or "enquired".

Examples

1. The criminal said, “I have committed the murder.”

The criminal admitted that he had committed the murder.

2. Asha said, “Oh! I’ve failed in Maths.”

Asha regretted that she had failed in Maths.

3. Ravi’s father said, “I think you could seek your uncle’s advice.”

Ravi’s father suggested that he could seek his uncle’s advice.

4. My brother said to me, “I’ll give you a watch if you stand first in class.”

My brother promised he would give me a watch if I stood first in class.

5. Manik told Shruti, “Last month I attended the science conference in Hyderabad.”

Manik informed Shruti that he had attended the science conference in Hyderabad last month.

6. He said, “Did you see my brother yesterday?”

He asked whether I saw his brother the previous day.