Overview: Narration | Basic English Grammar for Competitive Exams - Bank Exams PDF Download

Introduction of Narration

The literal meaning of the word Narration is "narration". This word is derived from the word Narrate. The literal meaning of the word Narrate is to say / to state. Synonym of Narration is Assertion / Statement / Declaration etc.

Types of Narration

1. Direct speech: This type of narration is when the speaker's exact words are reported within quotation marks. For example:

  • She said, "I am going to the store."

2. Indirect speech: This type of narration is when the speaker's words are reported indirectly without using quotation marks, and with a reporting verb in the past tense. For example:

  • She said she was going to the store.

3. Free indirect speech: This type of narration is when the speaker's words and thoughts are blended into the narrative without quotation marks or a reporting verb. It is often used in literature to convey the character's perspective. For example:

  • He looked at the painting and wondered if it was worth the price.
  • Consistency in point of view: Stick to one perspective throughout the narration, whether it is first person (I, we), second person (you), or third person (he, she, they). Switching between points of view can confuse readers and weaken the storytelling.
  • Maintain a clear narrative voice: The narrative voice serves as a guide for the reader throughout the story. It should be consistent, engaging, and reflect the tone and style of the story.
  • Show, don't tell: Whenever possible, use descriptive language and sensory details to show the reader what is happening, rather than just summarizing events. This helps readers to become more immersed in the story and better understand the characters' emotions and experiences.
  • Use dialogue effectively: Dialogue should be used to reveal character, advance the plot, and provide necessary information. It should sound natural and reflect the way people actually speak. Be sure to use appropriate tags and avoid overusing adverbs in dialogue.
  • Maintain a consistent tense: Choose whether to write in past or present tense and stick with it throughout the narration. Mixing tenses can be confusing and distracting for the reader.
  • Balance description, action, and introspection: A well-paced story includes a mix of description (setting the scene), action (events that advance the plot), and introspection (characters' thoughts and feelings). Strive for a balance between these elements to keep readers engaged and maintain narrative momentum.
  • Use flashbacks and foreshadowing judiciously: Flashbacks can provide important backstory, while foreshadowing hints at events to come. However, overusing these devices can disrupt the flow of the story and confuse readers. Be mindful of when and how you incorporate them into your narration.
  • Choose an appropriate narrative distance: The distance between the narrator and the characters or events in the story can impact how readers perceive the story. A close narrative distance, where the narrator is closely connected to a character's thoughts and feelings, can create intimacy and emotional engagement. A more distant narration, where the narrator is more objective and detached, can lend a sense of objectivity or create suspense.
  • Avoid info-dumping: Delivering large amounts of backstory or exposition all at once can slow down the story and bore readers. Instead, try to weave necessary information seamlessly into the narrative through dialogue, action, and description.
  • Edit and revise for clarity and style: Once you've completed your draft, carefully review and revise your narration to ensure it is clear, engaging, and free of errors or inconsistencies. Consider feedback from others to help you refine your narrative and make it the best it can be.

Functions of Narrations

1. Expressing emotions: Narrations in both Hindi and English can effectively express emotions, as they allow the narrator to use the most suitable language to convey the feeling they want to express.

  • Example: They couldn't help but cry while narrating their story."

2. Adding cultural context: Using Hindi and English in narrations can provide cultural context to the story, making it more relatable to the audience.

  • Example: On that day, everyone was busy preparing for Diwali in their homes."

3. Engaging the audience: By using a combination of Hindi and English, narrators can engage their audience better, as it caters to the linguistic preferences of a wider audience.

  • Example: There was a glint of hope in her eyes."

4. Providing clarity and explanation: Using both Hindi and English in narrations can help the narrator provide clarity and explanation, as they can use the language that best explains the concept.

  • Example: Then, she formed a question using an auxiliary verb."

5. Conveying humor: A combination of Hindi and English can be used to convey humor, as the narrator can play with words from both languages to create puns or use colloquial expressions.

  • Example: Let's ketchup later!'"

6. Emphasizing a point: Narrators can use both Hindi and English to emphasize a point, as they can switch between languages to stress on certain words or phrases.

  • Example: It's not just my responsibility, but ours."

Solved Exercise

Exercise 1: Change the following direct speech into indirect speech.
Direct speech: "I am going to the market," said John.
Indirect speech: John said that he was going to the market.

In this example, the direct speech is "I am going to the market." To change it into indirect speech, we remove the quotation marks, change the pronoun 'I' to 'he', and change the verb from the present continuous tense 'am going' to the past continuous tense 'was going.' We also add 'that' to connect the two clauses.

Exercise 2: Change the following direct speech into indirect speech.
Direct speech: "Will you help me with my homework?" Sarah asked Tom.
Indirect speech: Sarah asked Tom if he would help her with her homework.

In this example, the direct speech is a question, so we need to change it into an indirect question. We remove the quotation marks and question mark, change the auxiliary verb 'will' to 'would,' and change the pronoun 'you' to 'he' and 'my' to 'her.' We also add 'if' to introduce the indirect question.

Exercise 3: Change the following direct speech into indirect speech.
Direct speech: "I don't like chocolate," she said.
Indirect speech: She said that she didn't like chocolate.

In this example, the direct speech is "I don't like chocolate." To change it into indirect speech, we remove the quotation marks, change the pronoun 'I' to 'she,' and change the auxiliary verb 'do' to 'did' in the negative form 'don't' to 'didn't.' We also add 'that' to connect the two clauses.

Exercise 4: Change the following direct speech into indirect speech.
Direct speech: "I have finished my work," he told his boss.
Indirect speech: He told his boss that he had finished his work.

In this example, the direct speech is "I have finished my work." To change it into indirect speech, we remove the quotation marks, change the pronoun 'I' to 'he,' and change the verb tense from present perfect 'have finished' to past perfect 'had finished.' We also add 'that' to connect the two clauses.

Exercise 5: Change the following direct speech into indirect speech.
Direct speech: "I'll call you tomorrow," she promised.
Indirect speech: She promised that she would call him the next day.

In this example, the direct speech is "I'll call you tomorrow." To change it into indirect speech, we remove the quotation marks, change the pronoun 'I' to 'she' and 'you' to 'him,' and change the future tense 'will call' to the conditional tense 'would call.' We also change the time expression 'tomorrow' to 'the next day' and add 'that' to connect the two clauses.

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