Direct Speech Vs Reported Speech: Differences, Rules, Examples, and Exercises

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For effective communication, the students need to learn the difference between the two types of speech. Direct speech adds authenticity and captures the speaker’s tone or emotions. On the other hand, reported speech is used to report the content of the speech in a more generalized or summarized manner. 

Direct Speech is often involved in writing literature, storytelling, and news reporting. The primary purpose of direct speech is to add an immediate impact and create a vivid impression of the speaker’s words. In contrast, Reported Speech is found in academic writing, official reports, and formal contexts.

In this blog post, you will learn about direct and reported speech and practical exercises to master the concept of direct and reported speech.

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Important Differences Between Direct And Reported Speech

The table below represents the important differences between direct and reported speech that will help you to understand the structure of speech in a better way:

Direct SpeechIndirect Speech
Conveys the direct words of the speakerHighlights the essence of the speaker’s message.
Reported Speech is written in the Quotation Marks.Do not use quotation marks
Usually in the present tenseMore often in the past tense
No change in pronounsPronouns are changed according to the perspective of the reporter’s speech.
Punctuation plays an important role.Punctuation is more simplified.
No use of conjunctionUse of conjunctions such as that and if 
Question tags are common Question tags are not used.
Highlights the original tone of the speakerThe tone is usually altered due to the interpretation
Words referring to time and place are not changedThere is a shift in the words referring to time and place.
It provides a more intimate feel Often provides a more detached and formal feel 

Must Read: Subject-Verb Agreement: Definition, 12 Rules & Examples

Rules For Changing Direct Speech to Reported Speech

The below table highlights the rules from changing direct speech to the reported speech for a better understanding of the concept.

Direct SpeechReported Speech
Present Simple TenseChange verb tense in the reporting clause
“I am tired,” he saidHe said that he was tired.
Present Continuous TenseChange verb tense in the reporting clause
“I am working,” she said.She said that she was working.
Past Simple TensePast Perfect Speech
“I visited the museum,” he saidHe said that he had visited the museum.
Past Continuous TenseChange verb tense in the reporting clause
“I was reading,” she said.She said that she had been reading.
Future Simple TenseChange to the conditional (would + base verb)
“I will come,” he said.He said that he would come.
Present Perfect TenseChange to past perfect tense (had + past participle)
“I have seen it,” she said.She said that she had seen it.
Modals (can, must, should, etc.)Change to corresponding past modal
“I can do it,” he said.He said that he could do it.
PronounsChange pronouns according to the context
“I love you,” she said.She said that she loved him.
Time ExpressionsChange to expressions appropriate to the new context
“Now,” he said.He said that then.

Also Read: Tenses Rules: Charts, Examples, Types [PDF Available]

Examples of Direct Speech vs. Reported Speech

Some of the examples of direct and indirect speech are given below:

Direct Speech Reported Speech
She said, “I will meet you at the cafe.”She said that she would meet me at the cafe.
It’s a beautiful day,” he exclaimed.He exclaimed that it was a beautiful day.
“Please close the door,” she told him.She asked him to close the door.
“I love chocolate,” said Mark.Mark said that he loved chocolate.
“Are you coming to the party?” she asked.She asked if I was coming to the party.

Exercises of Direct Speech vs. Reported Speech

Change the following sentences to indirect speech:

  1. “I am going to the store,” she said.
  2. “We have completed the project,” they announced.
  3. “He plays the guitar very well,” she commented.
  4. “I can’t believe you did that!” he exclaimed.
  5. “It’s my birthday tomorrow,” she informed us.
  6. “Please turn off the lights,” he requested.
  7. “I will help you with your homework,” she promised.
  8. “They won the competition,” he revealed.
  9. “Do you want some coffee?” she asked.
  10. “I have never been to Paris,” he admitted.


Match the answers with the following sentences:

  1. She said that she was going to the store.
  2. They announced that they had completed the project.
  3. She commented that he played the guitar very well.
  4. He exclaimed that he couldn’t believe I had done that.
  5. She informed us that it was her birthday the next day.
  6. He requested us to turn off the lights.
  7. She promised to help me with my homework.
  8. He revealed that they had won the competition.
  9. She asked if I wanted some coffee.
  10. He admitted that he had never been to Paris.


What is the difference between Direct and Indirect Speech?

Direct Speech represents the exact words of the speaker whereas reported speech refers to the idea behind to what the speaker said instead of using the exact words of the speaker.

What are the four types of reported speech?

The four types of reported speech are Assertive, Interrogative, Exclamatory, and Imperative.

What is the example of Direct and Indirect Speech?

An example of direct and indirect speech is 

Sita said,” I have done my work”.

Sita said that she had done her work.

Direct and Indirect Speech Guide with ExercisesHow to Change Sentences into Indirect Speech
Examples of Direct and Indirect Speech ExercisesExamples of Direct and Indirect Speech Interrogative Sentences
Direct and Indirect Speech Rules & ExamplesTypes of Reported Speech
Reported Speech Exercises For Class 9Reported Speech Interrogative: Rules, Examples & Exercise
Direct And Indirect Speech QuestionsDirect and Indirect Speech Exercises With Answers for Class 12

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