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Direct Speech and Indirect Speech

We report in two ways the message given by another person;      1. Direct Speech    2. Indirect Speech

 i) In Direct Speech, the Reporter uses the Exact Words of the Speaker.
  •     Varun said to Ganesh, "I have bought a book."
ii) In Indirect Speech (Reported Speech), the Reporter uses His Own Words.
  •     Varun told Ganesh that he had bought a new book.
Direct Speech and Indirect Speech

Transforming Direct Speech into Indirect Speech

1. Statements


  i) If the Reporting Verb in the Direct Speech is in the Present Tense, the tense of the verb in the Indirect
     Speech is not changed.
  •      Pinky says, "I love my country."
  •      Pinky says that she loves her country.
 ii) If the Direct Speech contains a universal truth or habitual action, the tense of the Direct Speech is not
     changed in the Indirect Speech.
  •      Rajesh said, "The sun rises in the east."
  •      Rajesh said that the sun rises in the east.
iii) 'Said' is kept without change.  But 'Said to' is changed to 'told'.
  •      Selvi said to Mahesh, "I shall take this pen."
  •      Selvi told Mahesh that she would take that pen.
iv) If the reporting verb is in the Past Tense, the Present Tense form of the Direct Speech changed into
     its corresponding Past Tense form in the Indirect Speech: e.g. Present Perfect changes into Past
     Perfect; shall to should; will to would.
  •      He said "I am not well."                        He said that he was not well.
  •      She said, "I have got the first prize."      She said that she had got the first prize.
 v) Here if the verb in the Direct Speech is in the Past Tense, it is changed into to Past Perfect Tense in
     the Indirect Speech: Simple Past Tense to Past Perfect Tense.
  •      My father said to me, "I went to Bangalore yesterday."     
  •      My father told me that he had gone to Bangalore the previous day.
vi) The First and Second Person Pronouns are changed into corresponding Pronouns of the Speaker or
     the Hearer (Learner) as the case my be:
  1.      I changes to I, He, She;
  2.      Me to Me, Him, Her;
  3.      We to We, They;
  4.      Us to Them;
  5.      Our to Their;
  6.      You to You, He, She;
  7.      You to You, Him, Her;
  8.      Your to Your, His, Her;
  9.      We to You, They;
  10.      You to Your, They;
  11.      You to You, Them;
  12.      Your to Your, Their;
I said to him, "I need your watch."                           I said to him that I needed his watch.
You said to me, "I don't want this pen."                   You told me that you didn't want that pen.
You (plural) said to the H.M. "We want a holiday."   You told the H.M. that you (plural) wanted a holiday.

2. In Imperative Sentences (Commands and Requests)

  • 'Said' and 'said to' change to 'asked' and 'ordered', 'requested'.
 i) The Captain said to his men, "Go ahead."
    The Captain ordered his men to go ahead.

ii) Peter said to Sheela, "Give me a cup of orange juice."
    Peter requested to Sheel to give him a cup of orange juice.

3. In Interrogative Sentences (Questions)

  • 'Said' or 'said to' changes to 'asked' or 'enquired'.
i) Santhosh said to Vinoth, "Are you interested in playing hockey?"
    Santhosh asked Vinoth if he was interested in playing hockey.

ii) The girl said, "Father, when will you return from your tour?"
    The girl asked her father when he would return from his tour.

4. In Exclamatory Sentences (Exclamations)

  • 'Said' or 'said to' changes to 'exclaimed' or 'wondered' or 'wished' or 'shouted' or 'cried out'.
  • Words like 'happily', 'joyfully', 'sorrowfully' are added according to the sense expressed.
  i) The boys said, "Hurrah! Our school team has won the match."
    The boys shouted happily that their school team had won the match.

ii) The lady said, "Alas! The poor man is dead."
    The lady exclaimed sorrowfully that the poor man was dead.
  • In Mixed Sentences, appropriate verbs like 'told', 'asked', 'ordered', 'requested', 'wondered' are used to introduce each kind of sentence.
i) Akbar said to his servants, "Where is the Holy Master's abode? Bring him to the court."
   Akbar asked where the Holy Master's abode was and ordered the servants to bring him to the court.

Note: To change Indirect Speech into Direct Speech the changes have to be done in the reverse order.

EXERCISE - I

Complete the sentences in reported speech.  Note the change of pronouns and tenses.

 1. "Where is my umbrella?" she asked.
     She asked___________

 2. "How are you?" Maran asked us.
     Maran asked us___________

 3. He asked, "Do I have to do it?"
     He asked___________

 4. "Where have you been?" the mother asked her daughter.
     The mother asked her daughter___________

 5. "Which dress do you like best?" she asked her friend.
     She asked her friend___________

 6. "What are they doing?" she asked.
     She wanted to know___________

 7. "Are you going to the cinema?" he asked me.
     He wanted to know___________

 8. The teacher asked, "Who speaks English?"
     The teacher wanted to know___________

 9. "How do you know that?" she asked me.
     She asked me___________

10. "Has Kayalvizhi talked to Kalai?" my friend asked me.
      My friend asked me___________

Answers: 

1. "Where is my umbrella?" she asked.
     She asked where her umbrella was.

 2. "How are you?" Maran asked us.
     Maran asked us how we were.

 3. He asked, "Do I have to do it?"
     He asked whether he had to do it.

 4. "Where have you been?" the mother asked her daughter.
     The mother asked her daughter where she had been.

 5. "Which dress do you like best?" she asked her friend.
     She asked her friend which dress he liked best.

 6. "What are they doing?" she asked.
     She wanted to know what they were doing.

 7. "Are you going to the cinema?" he asked me.
     He wanted to know if I was going to the cinema.

 8. The teacher asked, "Who speaks English?"
     The teacher wanted to know who spoke English.

 9. "How do you know that?" she asked me.
     She asked me how I knew that.

10. "Has Kayalvizhi talked to Kalai?" my friend asked me.
      My friend asked me if Kayalvizhi had talked to Kalai.

EXERCISE - II

Complete the sentences in reported speech.  Note the change of pronouns and tenses.

 1. "What's the time?" he asked.
     He wanted to know___________

 2. "When will we meet again?" she asked me.
     She asked me___________

 3. "Are you crazy?" she asked him.
     She asked him___________

 4. "Where did they live?" he asked.
     He wanted to know___________

 5. "Will you be at the party?" he asked her.
     He asked her___________

 6. "Can you meet me at the station?" she asked me.
     She asked me___________

 7. "Who knows the answer?" the teacher asked.
     The teacher wanted to know___________

 8. "Why don't you help me?" she asked him.
     She wanted to know___________

 9. "Did you see that car?" he asked me.
     He asked me___________

10. "Have you tidied up your room?" the mother asked the twins.
      The mother asked the twins___________


Answers:

 1. "What's the time?" he asked.
     He wanted to know what the time was.

 2. "When will we meet again?" she asked me.
     She asked me when we would meet again.

 3. "Are you crazy?" she asked him.
     She asked him if he was crazy.

 4. "Where did they live?" he asked.
     He wanted to know where they had lived.

 5. "Will you be at the party?" he asked her.
     He asked her if she would be at the party.

 6. "Can you meet me at the station?" she asked me.
     She asked me if I could meet her at the station.

 7. "Who knows the answer?" the teacher asked.
     The teacher wanted to know who knew the answer.

 8. "Why don't you help me?" she asked him.
     She wanted to know why he didn't help her.

 9. "Did you see that car?" he asked me.
     He asked me if I had seen that car.

10. "Have you tidied up your room?" the mother asked the twins.
      The mother asked the twins if they tidied up their room.

EXERCISE - III

Complete the sentences in reported speech.  Note the change of pronouns and tenses.

 1. "Stop talking, Joe" the teacher said.
     The teacher told Joe___________

 2. "Be patient" she said to him.
     She told him___________

 3. "Go to your room" her father said to her.
     Her father told her___________

 4. "Hurry up" she said to us.
     She told us___________

 5. "Give me the key" he told her.
     He asked her___________

 6. "Play it again, Sam" she said.
     She asked Sam___________

 7. "Sit down, Caron" he said.
     He asked Caron___________

 8. "Fill in the form, Sir" the receptionist said.
     The receptionist asked the guest___________

 9. "Take off your shoes" she told us.
     She told us___________

10. "Mind your own business" she told him.
      She told him___________


Answers:

 1. "Stop talking, Joe" the teacher said.
     The teacher told Joe to stop talking.

 2. "Be patient" she said to him.
     She told him to be patient.

 3. "Go to your room" her father said to her.
     Her father told her to go room.

 4. "Hurry up" she said to us.
     She told us to hurry up.

 5. "Give me the key" he told her.
     He asked her to give him the key.

 6. "Play it again, Sam" she said.
     She asked Sam to play it again.

 7. "Sit down, Caron" he said.
     He asked Caron to sit down.

 8. "Fill in the form, Sir" the receptionist said.
     The receptionist asked the guest to fill in the form.

 9. "Take off your shoes" she told us.
     She told us to take off our shoes.

10. "Mind your own business" she told him.
      She told him to mind his own business.


EXERCISE - IV

Complete the sentences in reported speech.  Note the change of pronouns and tenses.

 1. "Don't touch it" she said to him.
     She told him___________

 2. "Don't do that again" he said to me.
     He told me___________

 3. "Don't talk to me like that" he said.
     He told her___________

 4. "Don't repair the computer yourself" she warned him.
     She warned him___________

 5. "Don't let him in" she said.
     She told me___________

 6. "Don't go out without me" he begged her.
     He begged her___________

 7. "Don't forget your bag" she told me.
     She told me___________

 8. "Don't eat in the lab" the chemistry teacher said.
     The chemistry teacher told his students___________

 9. "Don't give yourself up" he advised her.
     He advised her___________

10. "Don't hurt yourselves, boys" she said.
      She told the boys___________


Answers:

 1. "Don't touch it" she said to him.
     She told him not to touch it.

 2. "Don't do that again" he said to me.
     He told me to do that again.

 3. "Don't talk to me like that" he said.
     He told her not to talk to him like that.

 4. "Don't repair the computer yourself" she warned him.
     She warned him not to repair the computer himself.

 5. "Don't let him in" she said.
     She told me not to let him in.

 6. "Don't go out without me" he begged her.
     He begged her not to go out without him.

 7. "Don't forget your bag" she told me.
     She told me not to forget my bag.

 8. "Don't eat in the lab" the chemistry teacher said.
     The chemistry teacher told his students not to eat in the lab.

 9. "Don't give yourself up" he advised her.
     He advised her not to give herself up.

10. "Don't hurt yourselves, boys" she said.
      She told the boys not to hurt themselves.

EXERCISE - V

Complete the sentences in reported speech.  Note the change of pronouns and tenses.

 1. She said, "Go upstairs."
     She told me___________

 2. "Close the door behind you" he told me.
     He told me___________

 3. "Don't be late" he advised us.
     He advised us___________

 4. "Stop staring at me" she said.
     She told him___________

 5. "Don't be angry with me" he said.
     He asked her___________

 6. "Leave me alone" she said.
     She told me___________

 7. "Don't drink and drive" she warned us.
     She warned us___________

 8. "John, stop smoking" she said.
     She told John___________

 9. "Don't worry about us" they said.
     They told her___________

10. "Meet me at the cinema" he said.
      He asked me___________


Answers:

 1. She said, "Go upstairs."
     She told me to go upstairs.

 2. "Close the door behind you" he told me.
     He told me to close the door behind me.

 3. "Don't be late" he advised us.
     He advised us not to be late.

 4. "Stop staring at me" she said.
     She told him to stop staring at her.

 5. "Don't be angry with me" he said.
     He asked her not to be angry with him.

 6. "Leave me alone" she said.
     She told me to leave her alone.

 7. "Don't drink and drive" she warned us.
     She warned us not to drink and drive.

 8. "John, stop smoking" she said.
     She told John to stop smoking.

 9. "Don't worry about us" they said.
     They told her not to worry about them.

10. "Meet me at the cinema" he said.
      He asked me to meet him at the cinema.

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