Owing to the nuances of the systems involved, English may be a very difficult language to master. But once you get hold of the fundamentals, you can be a pro. It’s these rules that will help you create a solid base. And we all know what these fundamentals are and what every language’s base is. It’s grammar, indeed. The rest of the journey becomes much easier once you get a good grip on the grammar. So, today, we’re going to talk about one of those basic rules, an important part of English grammar, i.e., Direct and Indirect Speech rules and examples.
What is Direct and Indirect Speech?
First and foremost, you need to note that both Direct and Indirect Speech are an extended body of Reported Speech. To elaborate, you can refer to them as Reported Speech as well. So, let’s see how direct and indirect speech are different from each other in terms of usage from the description below.
|It involves quoting the exact words spoken by someone, usually enclosed within quotation marks.
|It conveys the meaning of what someone said without using their exact words.
|Mary said, “She was going to visit her parents.”
|Mary said that she was going to visit her parents.
6 Important Direct and Indirect Speech Rules
Now, comes the most tricky yet crucial stage of mastering this grammatical tool, which is learning in depth about all the Direct and Indirect Speech rules. It will not only aid you in dealing with a Reported speech at the school level but will also ease your preparation routine whenever you choose to take up a competitive exam or an English proficiency test in the future.
1. Rules for Changing Direct Speech to Indirect Speech
The rules for changing a direct speech into indirect is the easiest amongst the other guidelines you would find hereon. After all, you can achieve an Indirect speech sentence only by following these general rules:
- Remove the quotation marks and the “said” or “told” from the direct speech.
- Change the pronouns and possessive adjectives according to the speaker and the reporting verb.
- Change the tense of the verb according to the time of the reporting verb.
|Direct: Mohan said to Sohan, “I am going to school”
|Indirect: Mohan told Sohan that he is going to school
Although, these were the rules you would require to follow almost wherever you use a reported speech. But, there is more to Direct and Indirect speech rules than meets the eye.
2. Rules for Changing Reported Speech Interrogative
Just like the above-mentioned, to change the reported speech of questions or interrogative sentences you need to keep these changes in mind:
- Change the yes/no question into a statement with “if” or “whether.”
- Change the wh-question into a statement with a wh-word.
3. Rules of Changes in Tenses
Next comes the task of knowing what would be the impact on tense under the direct and indirect speech rules. So, here you go:
Let’s check the following examples for a better understanding of the changes in tenses under the umbrella of reported speech:
Direct: Reema says, “I am going out.”
Indirect: Reema says that she is going out.
Direct: Ramesh said, “Honesty is the best policy.”
Indirect: Ramesh said that honesty is the best policy.
Direct: Vishnu said, “India gained independence in 1947.”
Indirect: Vishnu said that India gained independence in 1947.
Direct: Akshat will say, “I want a slice of cake.”
Indirect: Akshat will say that he wants a slice of cake.
Direct: Reena said, “I am writing a novel.”
Indirect: Reena said that she was writing a novel.
Direct: Ayushi said, “I was working on my project.”
Indirect: Ayushi said that she had been working on her project.
Also Read: Figures of Speech with Examples, PDF
4. Modals Rules in Reported Speech
Whereas, the rules for changes in Modals of reported speech go in the following manner:
Examples of Changes in Modal:
Direct: “I can speak five languages.”
Indirect: He said that he could speak five languages.
Direct: “I may go to London next week.”
Indirect: She said that she might go to London next week.
5. Changes in Pronouns
So far, you must have observed that multiple changes are going on when you change direct speech to Indirect speech. But did you note the change in subjects, or to be more specific changes of pronouns in the process? If not, then check the following table and learn it to use it effortlessly.
6. Changes in Time and Place
Last but not the final rule under the realm of reported speech, you would be required; to make these changes in time and places while transitioning from direct to indirect speech:
👉 Now: Then
👉 Here: There
👉 Today: That day
👉 Tonight: That Night
👉 Tomorrow: The next day
👉 Yesterday: The last day
👉 Last week: The previous week
👉 This: That
👉 Ago: Before
👉 Thus: So
👉 Hither: Thither
👉 Come: Go
👉 Hence: Thence
👉 Next: Following
Direct and Indirect Speech Exercise PDF
You can also explore exciting reads on Tenses here!
This was all about the Direct and Indirect Speech rules and more. Hope you understand the concept and where it’s used. You can also follow Leverage Edu for more exciting and informative blogs.