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Direct & Indirect Speech | English Grammar Advanced - Class 10 PDF Download

The words spoken by a person can be reported in two ways—Direct and Indirect. When we quote the exact words spoken by a person, we call it Direct Speech.
Example: Sohan said to Mohan, “I am going to school.”

The exact words spoken by Sohan are put within inverted commas. But when we give the substance of what Sohan said, it is called Indirect Speech.
Example: Sohan told to Mohan that he (Sohan) was going to school.


1. Reporting Clause and Reported Speech:
Sohan told Mohan that he was going to school. The words which generally come before the inverted commas are called the reporting clause, i.e. Sohan said to Mohan and the verb ‘said’, is called the reporting verb. The words spoken by Sohan and put within inverted commas are called the reported speech, i.e. “I am going to school.”

2. Rules for Changing Direct Speech into Indirect Speech:

  • In the Indirect speech, no inverted commas are used.
  • The conjunctions that, if, whether, are generally used after the reporting verb.
  • The first word of the reported speech begins with a capital letter.
  • The tense of the reporting verb is never changed.
  • The reporting verb changes according to sense: it may be told, asked, inquired

3. Rules for the Change of Pronouns:

  • The first person pronouns (I, me, my, we, us, our) in the reported speech change according to the subject of the reporting verb.
  • The pronouns of the second person (you, your, yourself) in the reported speech change according to the object of the reporting verb.
  • The pronouns of the third person do not change.

For example:

  • He said, “I like the book.”
    He said that he liked the book.
  • He said to me, “Do you like the book?”
    He asked me if I liked the book.
  • He said, “He likes the book.”
    He said that he liked the book.

4. Changes in words expressing nearness, time, auxiliaries, etc.

this
Changes into
that
there
Changes into
those
now
Changes into
then
here
Changes into
there
todayChanges intothat day
tomorrowChanges intothe next day
yesterdayChanges intothe previous day
last nightChanges intothe previous night
canChanges intocould
mayChanges intomight
shallChanges intoshould
willChanges intowould
agoChanges intobefore
justChanges intothen
comesChanges intogo
thusChanges intoso

5. Change in Tenses:

  • If the reporting verb is in the present or the future tense, the tense of the reported speech is not changed:
    Satish says, “I am flying a kite.”
    Satish says that he is flying a kite.
    Satish will say, “I want a glass of milk.”
    Satish will say that he wants a glass of milk.
  • If the reporting verb is in the past tense, then the tense of the reported speech will change as follows:
Direct
Indirect
Simple Present
write
Changes intoSimple Past
wrote
Present progressive
am/is/are writing
Changes intoPast Progressive
was/were writing
Present Perfect
has/have written
Changes intoPast Perfect
had written
Simple Past
wrote
Changes intoPast Perfect
had written
Past Progressive
was/were writing
Changes intoPast Perfect Progressive
had been writing
  • If the direct speech expresses a historical fact, universal truth, or a habitual fact, then the tense of the direct speech will not change:
    Direct: He said, “Honesty is the best policy.”
    Indirect: He said that honesty is the best policy.
    Direct: He said, “The sun rises in the east.”
    Indirect: He said that the sun rises in the east.

6. Changing Statements into Indirect Speech:

  • The reporting verb ‘said to’ is changed-to ‘told’, ‘replied’, ‘remarked’,
  • The reporting verb is not followed by an object, it is not changed.
  • The inverted commas are removed. The conjunction is used to connect the reporting clause with the reported speech.

The rules for the change of pronouns, tenses, etc. are followed.

  1. Direct: Ramu said, “I saw a lion in the forest.”
    Indirect: Ramu said that he had seen a lion in the forest.
  2. Direct: Satish said to me, “I am very happy here.”
    Indirect: Satish told me that he was very happy there.
  3. Direct: He said, “I can do this work.”
    Indirect: He said that he could do that work.
  4. Direct: Renu said to me, “I was washing the clothes.”
    Indirect: Renu told me that she had been washing the clothes.
  5. Direct: She said, “I am not well.”
    Indirect: She said that she was not well.
  6. Direct: He said to Sita, “I have passed the test.”
    Indirect: He told Sita that he had passed the test.
  7. Direct: I said to my friend, “He has been working very hard.”
    Indirect: I told my friend that he had been working very hard.
  8. Direct: My friend said to me, “I shall go to Delhi tomorrow.”
    Indirect: My friend told me that he would go to Delhi the next day.
  9. Direct: I said, “I agree to what he said.”
    Indirect: I said that I agreed to what he had said.
  10. Direct: The student said to the teacher, “I am sorry that I am late.”
    Indirect: The student told the teacher that he was sorry that he was late.

7. Rules for the Change of Interrogative (Questions) sentences:

  • The reporting verb “say’ is changed into ask, inquire,
  • The interrogative sentence is changed into a statement by placing the subject before the verb and the full stop is put at the end of the sentence.
  • If the interrogative sentence has a wh-word (who, when, where, how, why, etc) the wh-word is repeated in the sentence. It serves as conjunction.
  • If the interrogative sentence is a yes-no answer type sentence (with auxiliary verbs am, are, was, were, do, did, have, shall, etc), then ‘if or ‘whether’ is used as a conjunction.
  • The auxiliaries do, does, did in a positive question in the reported speech are dropped.

The conjunction is not used after the reporting clause.

  1. Direct: I said to him, “Where are you going?”
    Indirect: I asked him where he was going.
  2. Direct: He said to me, “Will you go there?”
    Indirect: He asked me if I would go there.
  3. Direct: My friend said to Deepak, “Have you ever been to Agra?”
    Indirect: My friend asked Deepak if he had ever been to Agra.
  4. Direct: I said to him, “Did you enjoy the movie?”
    Indirect: I asked him if he had enjoyed the movie.
  5. Direct: I said to her, “Do you know him?”
    Indirect: I asked her if she knew him.

8. Changing Commands and Requests into Indirect Speech:

  • In imperative sentences having commands, the reporting verb is changed into command, order, tell, allow, request,etc.
  • The imperative mood is changed into the infinitive mood by putting ‘to’, before the verb. In case of negative sentences, the auxiliary ‘do’ is dropped and ‘to’ is placed after ‘not’:
  1. Direct: She said to me, “Open the window.”
    Indirect: She ordered me to open the window.
  2. Direct: The captain said to the soldiers, “Attack the enemy.”
    Indirect: The captain commanded the soldiers to attack the enemy.
  3. Direct: I said to him, “Leave this place at once.”
    Indirect: I told him to leave that place at once.
  4. Direct: The teacher said to the students, “Listen to me attentively.”
    Indirect: The teacher asked the students to listen to him attentively.
  5. Direct: The Principal said to the peon, “Ring the bell.”
    Indirect: The Principal ordered the peon to ring the bell.

9. Sentences with ‘Let’.
‘Let’ is used in various meanings.

(i) ‘Let’ is used to make a proposal.

  • First change the reporting verb into ‘proposed’ or ‘suggested’.
  • Use ‘should’ instead of ‘let’.
    Example:
    Direct: He said to me, “Let us go home.”
    Indirect: He suggested to me that we should go home

(ii) ‘Let’ is used as ‘to allow’.

  • In Indirect Speech, we change the reporting verb to ‘requested’ or ‘ordered’.
  • We start Reported Speech with ‘to’.
    Direct: Ram said to Mohan, “Let him do it.”
    Indirect: Ram ordered Mohan to let him do that.
    Or
    Ram told Mohan that he might be allowed to do that.

10. Sentences with Question Tags
(i) In the indirect speech the question-tag is usually left.
(ii) In indirect speech these words are removed and the word ‘respectfully’ is used in the reporting clause.
Direct: Mahesh said, “Sir, may I go home?”
Indirect: Mahesh respectfully asked his sir if he might go home.

11. Sentences with ‘Yes’ or ‘No’
Direct: He said, “Can you dance?” And I said, “No.”
Indirect: He asked me if I could dance and I replied that I couldn’t.
Direct: My mother said, “Will you come home on time?” And I said, “Yes.”
Indirect: My mother asked me if I would come home on time and I replied that I would.

Note: ‘Yes’ of ‘No’ hides a complete sentence. Therefore, change yes/no into a short answer.
Direct: She said to me, “You didn’t break the window, did you?”
Indirect: She asked me if/whether I had broken the window.
Direct: He said to Geeta, “You are going to the station, aren’t you?”
Indirect: He asked Geeta if/ whether she was going to the station.

12. Sentences with ‘have to’ or ‘had to’
(i) Change ‘have to’ according to the rules.
(ii) But change ‘had to’ into ‘had had to’ in the indirect speech.
Direct: Hari said, “I have to work a lot.”
Indirect: Hari said that he had to work a lot.
Direct: Hari said, “I had to work a lot.”
Indirect: Hari said that he had had to work a lot.

13. Sentences with ‘Sir’, ‘Madam’ or ‘Your Honour’ etc.
Generally, such words are used to show respect to the person concerned.

14. Exclamations and Wishes

Sometimes Exclamatory sentences contain exclamations like Hurrah!, Alas!, Oh!, Heavens!, Bravo, etc. Such exclamatory words are removed in the indirect speech and we use ‘exclaimed with sorrow’, exclaimed with joy, exclaimed with surprise, etc. instead of ‘said’.
Examples:

  1. Direct: Rohan said, “Hurrah! We won the match.”
    Indirect: Rohan exclaimed with joy that they had won the match.
  2. Direct: Reema said, “Alas! Karina’s mother is suffering from cancer.”
    Indirect: Reema exclaimed with sorrow that Karina’s mother was suffering from cancer.
  3. Direct: The captain said to Kapil, “Bravo! You scored 89 runs.”
    Indirect: The captain exclaimed with praise that he (Kapil) had scored 89 runs.

(a) Look at these sentences.

  1. Direct: My mother said, “May God bless you!”
    Indirect: My mother prayed to God for my well being.
  2. Direct: She said, “May God save the country!”
    Indirect: She prayed to God to save the country.
  3. Direct: They said to the king, “Long live!”
    Indirect: They blessed the king for his long life.

(b) Look at these sentences.

  1. Direct: Mohan said, “What a pity!”
    Indirect: Mohan exclaimed that it was a great pity.
  2. Direct: I said, “How stupid he is!”
    Indirect: I exclaimed that it was a very stupid of him.
  3. Direct: “What a terrible sight it is!” said the traveller.
    Indirect: The traveller exclaimed that it was a very terrible sight.
    All the sentences in inverted commas are exclamatory sentences.

(i)  Use ‘exclaimed’ in place of ‘said’ in the reporting verb in the indirect speech.

(ii) In Indirect sentences, we use exclamatory sentences as statements.

(iii) Indirect speech begins with that and full stop (•) is used instead of the exclamation mark (!).

The document Direct & Indirect Speech | English Grammar Advanced - Class 10 is a part of the Class 10 Course English Grammar Advanced.
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FAQs on Direct & Indirect Speech - English Grammar Advanced - Class 10

1. What is direct speech?
Ans. Direct speech is a type of speech in which the exact words spoken by a person are quoted and reported as they were spoken. In direct speech, quotation marks are used to enclose the spoken words. For example, if someone says, "I love to read," in direct speech it would be reported as, "She said, 'I love to read.'"
2. What is indirect speech?
Ans. Indirect speech, also known as reported speech, is a way of reporting what someone said without using their exact words. In indirect speech, the speaker's words are reported in a more summarized or paraphrased form. For example, if someone says, "I am going to the park," in indirect speech it would be reported as, "She said that she was going to the park."
3. How do you change a sentence from direct to indirect speech?
Ans. To change a sentence from direct to indirect speech, there are a few steps to follow: 1. Move the reporting verb (e.g., said, told) to the past tense. 2. Change the pronouns and possessive adjectives to match the reported speech subject. 3. Change the verb tense to match the reported speech. 4. Make any necessary changes to time expressions and adverbs. 5. Remove the quotation marks and use appropriate reporting clauses (e.g., that, if, whether).
4. When do we use direct speech?
Ans. Direct speech is used when we want to quote someone's exact words or when we want to convey the original tone or emotion of the speaker. It is commonly used in storytelling, interviews, and dialogue in literature. Direct speech helps to add realism and authenticity to the conversation being reported.
5. What are the punctuation rules for direct and indirect speech?
Ans. The punctuation rules for direct and indirect speech are as follows: - In direct speech, the spoken words are enclosed in quotation marks. Punctuation marks such as commas, question marks, and exclamation marks are placed inside the quotation marks. - In indirect speech, the reported words are not enclosed in quotation marks. The punctuation marks are placed outside the quotation marks, except for question marks and exclamation marks, which can be placed inside if they are part of the reported speech.
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