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Direct-Indirect Speech. In English Grammar. Direct-Indirect (or Reported) Speech. He said to me, “John is a good boy.” Direct Speech He told me that John was a good boy. Indirect (Reported) Speech. Direct-Indirect Speech.

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direct indirect speech

Direct-Indirect Speech

In English Grammar

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direct indirect or reported speech
Direct-Indirect (or Reported) Speech
  • He said to me, “John is a good boy.”

Direct Speech

He told me that John was a good boy.

Indirect (Reported) Speech

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direct indirect speech1
Direct-Indirect Speech
  • Direct Speech sentences are mostly used in writing; the actual spoken words by somebody else are written as they are, and are placed within a pair of quotation marks “…”.
  • Mary said, “John is a good boy.”

‘John is a good boy’ – actual spokenwords

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direct indirect speech2
Direct-Indirect Speech
  • Mary and Joseph were arguing. Tom heard Mary say to Joseph “I will kill you.”, and then he (Tom) told us what Mary said, in her own words.
  • (Tom said to us)

Mary said to Joseph, “I will kill you.”

– Direct Speech

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direct indirect speech3
Direct-Indirect Speech
  • Mary and Joseph were arguing. Tom heard Mary say to Joseph “I will kill you.”, and then he (Tom) told us what Mary said – not in her own words but in an indirect way, i.e. he reported Mary’s words. This speech is mostly used in conversation.

(Tom told us)

Mary told Joseph that she would kill him.

-- Indirect Speech

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direct indirect speech4
Direct-Indirect Speech
  • To understand the difference between the direct speech sentence and the indirect (reported) speech sentence, we need to learn the changes that take place – changes in verb tense, in punctuation marks and in personal pronouns.
  • The changes we see are applied only when the main verb in the introductory clause of the Direct Speech sentence is in Past Tense!

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direct indirect speech5
Direct-Indirect Speech
  • John said to Mary, “I am your friend.”

Direct Speech

introductory clause

actual spoken words

‘said’ = main verb in introductory clause

simple past tense

‘said to’ in direct speech changes to ‘told’ in indirect speech

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direct indirect speech changes 1 tense
Direct-Indirect Speech – Changes 1 Tense
  • Sue said to Peter, “I understand the problem.”

Direct Speech

‘understand’ – main verb – simple present tense

Sue told Peter that she understood the problem.

Indirect Speech

‘understood’ – main verb – simple PAST tense

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direct indirect speech changes 2 the other changes punctuation
Direct-Indirect Speech –Changes 2 the other changes – punctuation
  • Sue said to Peter

,

I understand the problem.

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direct indirect speech changes 3 other changes
Direct-Indirect Speech – changes 3 Other changes
  • Sue said to Peter, “Iunderstand the problem.”

Direct Speech

Sue told Peter thatsheunderstood the problem.

Indirect Speech

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direct indirect speech changes 4 tense
Direct-Indirect Speech -- Changes 4Tense
  • She said to him, “They are boxing.” Direct

‘are boxing’ – main verb – present continues tense

She told him that they were boxing. Indirect

‘were boxing’ – main verb – PAST continues tense

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direct indirect speech changes 5 tense
Direct-Indirect Speech – Changes 5 Tense
  • She said to me, “He has given me some medicine.”

Direct Speech

‘has given’ – main verb – present perfect tense

She told me that he had given her some medicine.

Indirect Speech

‘had given’ – main verb – PAST perfect tense

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direct indirect speech changes 6 tense
Direct-Indirect Speech -- Changes 6 Tense

Kate said, “I have been waiting here for an hour.”

Direct Speech

‘have been waiting’ - main verb - present perfect continues

Kate said that she had been waiting there for an hour.

Indirect Speech

‘had been waiting’ - main verb - PAST perfect continues

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direct indirect speech changes 7 tense
Direct-Indirect Speech – Changes 7 Tense
  • He said, “She played golf in the morning.”

Direct Speech

‘played’ -- main verb -- simple past tense

He said that she had played golf in the morning.

Indirect speech

‘had played’ -- main verb -- past perfect tense

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direct indirect speech note
Direct-Indirect Speech -- note
  • The simple past tense in the subordinate clause (actual spoken words) in the direct speech sentence, when changed into indirect speech, sometimes changes into past perfect tense and sometimes remains unchanged.

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direct indirect speech note continued
Direct-indirect Speech – note (continued)
  • He said, “I bought a house.” DirectSpeech

‘bought’ – main verb – simple past tense

  • He said that he had bought a house. Indirect

‘had bought’ – main verb – past perfect tense – changed

(B) He said, “I had a dream last night.” Direct Speech

‘had’ – main verb – simple past tense

He said that he had a dream last night. Indirect Speech

‘had’ – main verb -- simple past tense -- unchanged

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direct indirect speech changes 8 tense
Direct-Indirect Speech – Changes 8 Tense

She said to me, “He was swimming in the pool.”

Direct Speech

‘was swimming’ -- main verb -- past continues tense

She told me that he had been swimming in the pool.

Indirect Speech

‘had been swimming’ -- main verb -- past perfect continues tense

Past continues tense becomes PAST PERFECT CONTINUES TENSE

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direct indirect speech changes 9 tense
Direct-Indirect Speech – Changes 9 Tense
  • The Modal Auxiliary (helping) Verbs are changed into their past forms:

can could; may might; will would;

shall should

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direct indirect speech changes 10 tense
Direct-Indirect Speech – Changes 10 Tense
  • She said to me, “They will take their test tomorrow.”

Direct speech

She told me that they would take their test the next day.

Indirect Speech

‘will’ becomes ‘would’!

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direct indirect speech changes personal pronouns1
Direct-Indirect Speech – changes – personal pronouns
  • Personal Pronoun – I=

first person

singular

common gender (male or female)

subjective case

Personal Pronoun – him =

third person

singular

masculine gender (male)

objective case

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direct indirect speech changes personal pronouns2
Direct-Indirect Speech – Changes – Personal Pronouns
  • He said to her, “I love you.” Direct Speech

He – third person, singular, male, is related to “I” –

first person, singular, male: so, in indirect speech ‘I’ becomes “HE”.

Her – third person, singular, female, is related to “you” – second person, singular, female: so in indirect speech ‘you’ becomes “HER”.

He told her that he loved her. Indirect Speech

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direct indirect speech changes personal pronouns3
Direct-Indirect Speech -- changes -- Personal Pronouns
  • The girl said to the spider, “You have eaten my pie.” Direct Speech
  • The girl told the spider that it had eaten her pie.

Indirect Speech

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direct indirect speech changes personal pronouns4
Direct-Indirect speech – changes – Personal Pronouns
  • Jane said to Paul, “I can’t help you.” Direct Speech
  • Jane told Paul that she couldn’t help him.

Indirect Speech

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direct indirect speech changes personal pronouns5
Direct-Indirect Speech – changes – personal Pronouns
  • The boy said to me, “You aren’t my friend.” Direct
  • The boy told me that I wasn’t his friend. Indirect

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direct indirect speech changes conjunctions 1
Direct-Indirect Speech – Changes –Conjunctions 1
  • While changing a Direct Speech Sentence into an Indirect Speech Sentence, we use a conjunction to join both the clauses -- the introductory clause and the ‘actual spoken words’, subordinate clause.
  • To join the two clauses in a statement sentence, we use the conjunction ‘that’.
  • (The conjunction ‘that’ is normally not mentioned as it is understood.)

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direct indirect speech changes personal pronouns6
Direct-Indirect Speech – changes – Personal Pronouns
  • The mouse said, “Mother, I am hungry.” Direct
  • The mouse told its mother that it was hungry.

Indirect

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direct indirect speech changes conjunction 2
Direct-Indirect Speech – Changes --Conjunction 2
  • There are two types of questions: ‘wh’ questions, i.e. questions beginning with any of the wh words, such as ‘who’, ‘which’, ‘what’, ‘how’, etc.
  • And ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions, i.e. questions beginning with any of the auxiliary (helping) verbs, such as ‘are’, ‘is’, ‘can’, ‘will’, ‘has’, etc.

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direct indirect speech changes conjunction 3
Direct-Indirect Speech – Changes – Conjunction 3
  • When we change an ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question sentence from direct into indirect, we use the conjunction ‘if ’ or ‘whether ’.
  • Though there is some difference between the conjunctions ‘if’ and ‘whether’, at this basic level, using just ‘if’ for all the ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions is justified.

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direct indirect speech changes conjunctions 2
Direct-Indirect Speech – Changes – Conjunctions 2
  • A woman said to me, “Is she really driving?”

Interrogative sentence – ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question – Direct Speech

A woman asked me if she was really driving.

Indirect Speech

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direct indirect speech changes note 1
Direct-Indirect Speech -- Changes – note 1
  • The word order of the question sentence is different from that of the statement sentence.
  • In a statement sentence the subject comes first and the verb comes second, but in interrogative (question) sentence, the verb comes first and the subject comes second:
  • He is a boy. Statement Sentence

‘He’ – subject – first; ‘is’ – verb – second

Is he a boy? Interrogative (question)sentence

‘Is’ – verb – first; ‘he’ – subject – second.

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direct indirect speech changes note 2
Direct-Indirect Speech – Changes – note 2
  • While changing an interrogative sentence from direct to indirect, the main verb in the introductory clause, usually ‘said’, is changed into ‘asked’, ‘enquired’, ‘wanted to know’ etc.

And the word order is inversed:

  • He said to her, “Isthis bag yours?” – Direct
  • He asked her if that bagwas hers. -- Indirect

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direct indirect speech changes conjunction 4
Direct-Indirect Speech – Changes – conjunction 4
  • He said to her, “What has he done?” Direct

‘wh’ question – direct speech

He asked her what he had done. Indirect

For ‘wh’ questions, no conjunction is used; the ‘wh’ word in the direct speech sentence is used as it is!

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direct indirect speech changes conjunction 5
Direct-Indirect Speech -- Changes -- Conjunction 5
  • She said to them, “Who wants to help me?” Direct Speech
  • She asked them who wanted to help her.

Indirect Speech

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direct indirect speech changes conjunction 6
Direct-Indirect Speech – Changes – conjunction 6
  • He said to her, “Do you like this frog?” Direct

‘Do’ – ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question

He asked her if she liked that frog. Indirect

conjunction ‘if’ for ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question

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direct indirect speech changes conjunction 7
Direct-Indirect Speech – Changes – conjunction 7
  • The man said to the boy, “Can you see those stars or not?” Direct Speech

‘can’ – ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question

The man enquired the boy whether he could see those stars or not.

Indirect Speech

“whether… or not”

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direct indirect speech changes conjunctions 8
Direct-Indirect Speech – Changes – conjunctions 8

She said to the students, “Who knows the answer?”

Direct Speech

She asked the students who knew the answer.

Indirect Speech

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direct indirect speech changes conjunctions 9
Direct-Indirect Speech – Changes – conjunctions 9
  • While changing the Imperative Sentences from direct to indirect, we do not use any conjunctions at all; we change the verb of the subordinate clause (actual spoken words) to its ‘to infinitive’ form, and the main verb in the introductory clause is changed into ‘requested’, ‘ordered’, ‘wanted to know’, ‘warned’, ‘shouted’, etc. depending on the context!

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direct indirect speech changes conjunction 10
Direct-Indirect Speech – Changes – conjunction 10

The policeman said to the drivers, “Stop!” Direct Speech

The policeman shouted at the drivers to stop. Indirect Speech

‘to stop’ – “to infinitive” form of the main verb ‘stop’

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direct indirect speech changes conjunctions 11
Direct-Indirect Speech – Changes – conjunctions 11
  • He said to the visitors, “Keep quiet, please.”

Direct Speech

He requested the visitors to keep quiet.

Indirect Speech

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direct indirect speech changes conjunction 12
Direct-Indirect Speech – changes – conjunction 12
  • The manager said to him, “Don’t postpone your work.”

Direct Speech

‘Don’t’ = ‘do not’ – negative

The manager warned him not to postpone his work.

Indirect Speech

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direct indirect speech changes conjunction 13
Direct-Indirect Speech -- Changes -- conjunction 13

The mother said, “Don’t cry, baby… Don’t cry.”

Direct Speech

The mother told the baby repeatedlynot to cry.

Indirect Speech

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direct indirect speech changes conjunctions 14
Direct-Indirect Speech – changes – conjunctions 14
  • When the verb “let” in the subordinate clause (actual spoken words) of the direct speech sentence expresses a suggestion, we use the verb word ‘suggested’ in the introductory clause of the indirect speech sentence, and the word ‘let’ is not mentioned in the indirect speech sentence, instead we use the helping verb ‘should’ with the main verb!

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direct indirect speech changes conjunctions 15
Direct-Indirect Speech – changes – conjunctions 15

She said to her friends, “Let’s go for a picnic.” -- Direct

‘Let’ – suggestion

She suggested to her friends that they should go for a picnic.

Indirect

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direct indirect speech changes exclamatory sentence
Direct-Indirect Speech – Changes – Exclamatory Sentence
  • While changing an exclamatory sentence from direct to indirect, we have to rewrite the entire sentence (expression) in order to give the desired emotion!
  • Therefore, you’ve got to wait until you have mastered the other kinds of sentences!!
  • Best of Luck!!!

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