Direct and Indirect Speech English Grammar For Class 6
Direct and Indirect Speech
There are two different ways speaker in which we can report the words of a speaker :
(a) Direct Speech or Direct Narration
(b) Indirect Speech or Indirect Narration
(a) Direct Speech or Direct Narration: It contains the actual
Example: Sarla said, “My father has a roaring business in Delhi.”
In this sentence, the actual words of the speaker are given within inverted commas without any change.
(b) Indirect Speech or Indirect Narration: It reports the speaker’s speech without quoting the actual words.
Example: Sarla said that her father had a roaring business in Delhi.
Direct Speech or Direct Narration has two parts:
(i) Reporting Verb and (ii) Reported Speech.
Reporting Verb: The verb which introduces the reported speech is called the reporting verb.
Reported Speech: The actual words of the speaker given in inverted commas are called the reported speech.
In the above sentence, “said” is the Reporting Verb and “My father has a roaring business in Delhi” is the Reported Speech.
Here are some distinctive points regarding the Direct Speech and the Indirect Speech.
(a) In Direct Speech
1. The reported speech is put within inverted commas.
2. The reporting verb is separated from the reporting speech by a comma.
3. The first word of the reported speech begins with a capital letter.
4. In the reported speech, we may use any tense required by the sense and any kind of sentence.
(b) In Indirect Speech
1. Inverted commas are not used.
2. The comma separating the reporting verb from the reported speech is removed.
3. The reported speech is introduced by some Conjunction (that, if, what, why, etc.).
4. The tense of the reported speech changes according to the reporting verb.
5. The tense of the reporting verb is never changed.
6. All kinds of sentences change into assertive ones.
RULES FOR CHANGE OF TENSES
Rule 1: If the Reporting Verb is in the Present or Future Tense, the Tense of the Verb in the reported speech remains unchanged.
1. Direct : Sonia says, “Monica will meet me on Monday.” (Simple Present)
Indirect : Sonia says that Monica will meet her on Monday. (Unchanged)
2. Direct : Rajesh says, “She has brought a fair name to her family.” (Simple Present)
Indirect: Rajesh says that she has brought a fair name to her family. (Unchanged)
3. Direct : The servant will say, “Dinner is ready.” (Simple Future)
Indirect: The servant will say that dinner is ready. (Unchanged)
Rule 2: If the Reporting Verb is in the Past Tense, the Tenses in the Reported Speech are changed according to the Past Tense.
The Simple Present is changed into the Simple Past Tense (play-played; do-did, etc.).
1. Direct : Anil said, “I write a letter.” (Past) (Simple Present)
Indirect: Anil said that he wrote a letter.
2. Direct : Sohan said, “Rama works efficiently.” (Past) (Simple Present)
Indirect : Sohan said that Rama worked efficiently.
The Present Continuous is changed into Past Continuous
is/am/are playing-was/were playing).
1. Direct : He said, “Rohan is singing a sweet song.” (Past) (Present Continuous)
Indirect: He said that Rohan was singing a s weet song.
2. Direct : The students said, “The teachers are teaching a lesson.” (Past) (Present Continuous)
Indirect: The students said that the teachers were teaching a lesson.
The Present Perfect is changed into the Past Perfect
(has/have played-had played).
1. Direct : She said, “The bus has arrived at the bus stand.” (Past)(Present Perfect)
Indirect : She said that the bus had arrived at the bus stand.
2. Direct : The teacher said, “All the boys have gone to their homes.” (Past) (Present Perfect)
Indirect: The teacher said that all the boys had gone to their homes.
The Present Perfect Continuous Tense is changed into the Past Perfect Continuous Tense.
(has been/have been playing-had been playing)
1. Direct : Mohit said, “Malini has been waiting for a long time.” (Past) (Present Perfect Continuous)
Indirect : Mohit said that Malini had been waiting for a long time.
2. Direct : Ramesh said, “Dinesh has been playing since morning.” (Past) (Present Perfect Continuous)
Indirect : Ramesh said that Dinesh had been playing since morning.
The Simple Past is changed into the Past Perfect.
(played had played; did not play-had not played)
1. Direct : Mohit said, “Rakesh wrote a letter.” (Simple Past) (Past)
Indirect : Mohit said that Rakesh had written a letter.
2. Direct : The mother said, “Shanti waited for her sister.” (Past) (Simple Past)
Indirect: The mother said that Shanti had waited for her sister.
The Past Continuous Tense is changed into the Past Perfect Continuous Tense.
(was/were playing had been playing)
1. Direct : Rama said, “She was solving the sums.” (Past) (Past Continuous)
Indirect : Rama said that she had been solving the sums.
2. Direct : She said, “Sarita was collecting information.” (Past) (Past Continuous)
Indirect : She said that Sarita had been collecting information.
The Past Perfect Tense remains unchanged.
Direct : Ashish said, “Rohan had already finished his work.” (Past) (Past Perfect)
Indirect : Ashish said that Rohan had already finished his work.
The Past Perfect Continuous Tense also remains unchanged.
Direct : The father said, “He had been working for an hour.” (Past) (Past Perfect Continuous)
Indirect: The father said that he had been working for an hour.
Note the changes given below in case the reporting verb is in Past Tense
do not play/does not play
did not play
is, are, am
did not play
had not played
Some examples are given below:
1. Direct: Rajesh said, “I am in the room.”
Indirect: Rajesh said that he was in the room.
2. Direct : Pritam said, “He will tell the truth.”
Indirect : Pritam said that he would tell the truth.
3. Direct : Priyanka said, “Priya will help her.”
Indirect Priyanka said that Priya would help her.
4. Direct : He said, “It may rain in the evening.”
Indirect : He said that it might rain in the evening.
5. Direct : :Shalini said, “She can swim in the river.”
Indirect: Shalini said that she could swim in the river.
6. Direct : Raja said, “There is no sugar in the tea.”
Indirect : Raja said that there was no sugar in the tea.
7. Direct : The boys said, “They have no homework to do.”
Indirect: The boys said that they had no homework to do.
8. Direct: Mother said, “There are no apples in the basket.”
Indirect: Mother said that there were no apples in the basket.
Rule 3 (Exception to Rule 2): If the reported speech expresses a universal truth or a habitual fact, its tense is not changed.
1. Direct: The teacher said, “The Earth moves around the Sun.” (The reported speech is a Universal Truth).
Indirect: The teacher (Unchanged) said that the Earth moves around the Sun.
2. Direct : She said, “She is an early riser.” (A habitual fact)
Indirect : She said that she is an early riser. (Unchanged)
3. Direct : The science master said, “Heat expands gases.” (A Universal Truth)
Indirect: The science master said that heat expands gases. (Unchanged)
Change the following sentences into Indirect Form of Speech:
1. The teacher said, “He is the best student.”
2. She said, “Mother is cooking food.”
3. The doctor said, “The patient will be all right soon.”
4. The father said, “Radha is working hard.”
5. The principal said, “The students will remain in discipline in the school.”
6. The farmer said, “It may rain.”
7. Shakuntala said, “Father will not attend the meeting.”
8. She said, “Manu was living in Japan.”
9. The inspector said, “The police were trying to arrest the culprit.”
10. Surjit Singh said, “They have planted a tree in the school compound.”
11. The postman said, “He will deliver all the letters in time.”
12. The doctors said, “Swine flu is not a serious disease.”
13. Our teachers said, “Honesty is the best policy.”
14. She said, “My mother does not eat meat at all.”
15. He said, “He daily goes out for a walk.”
RULES FOR CHANGE OF PRONOUNS
Rule 1: The First person pronouns of the reported speech are changed according to the subjects of the reporting verbs.
1. Direct : I said, “I have taken my dinner.”
Indirect : I said that I had taken my dinner.
2. Direct : You said, “I have taken my dinner.”
Indirect: You said that you had taken your dinner.
3. Direct : She said, “I have taken my dinner.”
Indirect : She said that she had taken her dinner.
4. Direct : The teacher said, “I have taken my dinner.”
Indirect : The teacher said that he (the teacher) had taken the dinner.
Rule 2: The Second person pronouns of the reported speech are changed according to the objects of the reporting verbs.
Note: Change ‘said to’ of the reporting verb into ‘told’. Also, told is not followed by preposition ‘to’.
1. Direct : Mihir said to me, “You have taken your dinner.”
Indirect Mihir told me that I had taken my dinner.
2. Direct : Mihir said to you, “You have taken your dinner.”
Indirect: Mihir told you that you had taken your dinner.
3. Direct: Mihir said to him, “You have taken your dinner.”
Indirect: Mihir told him that he had taken his dinner.
Rule 3: The Pronouns of the third person remain unchanged.
1. Direct : I said to my sister, “She has taken her dinner.”
Indirect: I told my sister that she had taken her dinner.
2. Direct : She said to me, “She is doing her homework.”
Indirect: She told me that she was doing her homework.
Change the following into Indirect Form of Speech:
1. Ram said, “I am punctual.”
2. His brother said, “My purse has been stolen.”
3. Radha said to Sharmila, “I can help you solve the problem.”
4. The officer said to the peon, “You should reach the office in time.”
5. My brother said, “I have been very tired.”
6. She said, “I am quite well.”
7. You said to her, “You are in the wrong.”
8. The passenger said, “I shall go to Delhi.”
9. You said to her, “She is quite lazy.”
10. You said to him, “I have warned my servant many times.”
11. He said to her, “I have found your purse.”
12. He said to me, “You are an intelligent boy.”
13. Smith said to the peon, “You have not obeyed my orders.”
14. The saint said, “God is everywhere.”
15. Sheela said to her mother, “I want to go on a tour.”
16. The teacher said, “A friend in need is a friend indeed.”
17. Lalit said to me, “I have lost my pen.”
18. Ramesh said to Suresh, “You waited for him.”
19. The boys said to the teacher, “We are going to see the match in the ground.”
Change of words denoting nearness words are changed if the reporting verb is in the Past Tense:
Direct Speech/Indirect Speech
The previous day/the day before
The next day/the following day
The previous night
The following year/week
1. Direct : He said, “I am feeling out of sorts today.”
Indirect He said that he was feeling out of sorts that day.
2. Direct : She said, “Father will have reached home by now.”
Indirect She said that father would have reached home by then.
3. Direct : Sonam said, “I may go to Chandigarh tomorrow.”
Indirect: Sonam said that she might go to Chandigarh the next day.
4. Direct : They said, “We saw the movie three days ago.”
Indirect They said that they had seen that movie three days before.
Change the following sentences into Indirect Form of Speech and rewrite:
1. He said, “I went to the zoo yesterday.”
2. Shankar said, “I shall go to Bhopal tomorrow.”
3. He said to me, “I am not going to school today.”
4. My father said, “He will construct a house here.”
5. He said, “I saw Mr. Sharma this morning.”
6. The teacher said, “Tomorrow will be a holiday.”
7. Dinesh said, “I cannot waste my time now.”
8. She said, “I had a peaceful sleep last night.”
9. The visitor said, “I came here three days ago.”
10. Hari said, “Rice does not grow here.”
CONVERSION OF INTERROGATIVE SENTENCES (QUESTIONS) INTO INDIRECT SPEECH
While changing direct speech into indirect speech, the following changes are made:
(i) ‘said’ or ‘said to’ is changed into ‘asked, enquired or demanded’, etc.
(ii) After removing inverted commas, use ‘if’ or ‘whether’, when the question begins with ‘Do, Does, Is, Are, Am, Has, Have, Did, Was, Were, Had, Will, Shall, Can, May (helping words), etc.’
(iii) The interrogative sentence is changed into an assertive sentence.
(iv) The sign of interrogation mark is removed.
(v) If relative pronouns like Who, Whose, Whom, When, Where, Why, What, How, Which, make the sentences Interrogative, these words are retained after removing inverted commas.
(vi) Tenses, Pronouns are changed according to the rules already stated.
1. Direct : He said to me, “Do you play any game?”
Indirect He asked me if (whether) I played any game.
2. Direct : I said to my friend, “Are you going to join some academy?”
Indirect I asked my friend if he was going to join some academy.
3. Direct : The teacher said to the boys, “Why are you making a noise?”
Indirect: The teacher asked the boys why they were making a noise.
4. Direct : My friend said to him, “Did you attend the meeting yesterday?”
Indirect My friend asked him if he had attended the meeting the previous day.
5. Direct : The clerk said to me, “What do you want?”
Indirect: The clerk asked me what I wanted.
Change the following sentences into Indirect Speech:
1. My mother said to me, “Where do you come from?”
2. The teacher said, “Boys, have you understood the sum?”
3. He said, “Who is waiting for me?”
4. My mother said to me, “Shall I write a letter to him tomorrow?”
5. I said to the bookseller, “Can you show me some good books?”
6. His teacher said to him, “Where have you come from?”
7. “Have you taken the breakfast?” said Mohan to his brother.
8. They said to us, “Did you learn your lesson?”
9. Our teacher said to him, “Why are you disturbing the class?”
10. The stranger said to me, “Does he know the way to the market?”
11. You said to him, “Can you cross this river?”
12. “Do you respect your elders?” said I to Roma.
CONVERSION OF IMPERATIVE SENTENCES INTO INDIRECT SPEECH
Rules: Change the Reporting Verb according to its sense.
1. Request: request, beg, entreat, ask, etc.
2. Advice: advise, forbid, urge, etc.
3. Order: order, command, etc.
4. The imperative word is changed into infinitive one.
5. No conjunction is used to introduce the reported speech.
6. If the conjunction that is used, ‘should’ is placed before the infinitive.
7. Observe the rules for the change of pronouns and words showing nearness.
1. Direct : Father said to me, “Put the book on the table.”
Indirect Father told me to put the book on the table.
2. Direct : The teacher said to the boys, “Work hard and be regular in your studies.”
Indirect: The teacher advised the boys to work hard and be regular in their studies.
3. Direct : The officer said to the peon, “Bring me a glass of water.”
Indirect: The officer ordered the peon to bring him a glass of water.
4. Direct: The Principal said to the boys, “Do not pluck the flowers.”
Indirect : The Principal forbade the boys to pluck the flowers.
Indirect : The Principal ordered the boys not to pluck the flowers.
5. Direct : Ramesh said to Leela, “Please help me in this matter.”
Indirect: Ramesh requested Leela to help him in that matter.
6. Direct : Sonu said to his father, “Let us go to Shimla in summer holidays.”
Indirect: Sonu suggested to his father that they should go to Shimla in summer holidays.
Change the following sentences into Indirect Speech:
1. The student said, “Let me go home now, Sir.”
2. The master said to the servant, “Send the visitors inside.”
3. The teacher said, “Open your books, boys.”
4. The commander said, “Attack the enemy.”
5. The teacher said, “Do not disturb the class.”
6. The beggar said, “Give me alms.”
7. “Please do me a favour,” said he to you.
8. The boys said to their teacher, “Allow us to go on a tour to Agra.”
9. The teacher said to the boys, “Stand up on the benches.”
10. Father said to me, “Go and wash your hands.”
11. He said to me, “Have a cup of tea with me, please.”
12. The old man said to his child, “My son, don’t make a noise.”
13. Mother said, “Son, always help the needy.”
14. The boys said to the teacher, “Repeat this lesson, please.”
15. “Do not spit on the floor, boys,” said the teacher.
CONVERSION OF EXCLAMATORY AND OPTATIVE SENTENCES TO INDIRECT SPEECH
In reporting a wish or exclamation in Indirect Speech:
1. The Reporting Verb is changed into wish, bless, cry, exclaim, curse, etc. with phrases such as ‘with regret’, ‘with delight or joy’, ‘with sorrow’, etc., wherever necessary.
2. The interjections and exclamatory words, such as ‘Oh, well, hurrah, , pray, alas, bravo’, are omitted and their sense is expressed by means of phrases.
3. The exclamatory sentences are changed into statements before they are converted into indirect speech.
4. The mark of exclamation is omitted.
5. Other rules are followed as explained earlier.
1. I said, “How sad he is!”
I exclaimed that he was very sad.
2. He said, “Hurrah! We have won the match.”
He exclaimed with joy that they had won the match.
3. The poor man said to him, “May you live long!”
The poor man wished that he might live long.
Change the following sentences into Indirect Speech:
1. She said, “May you live long!”
2. The father said to his son, “May God bless you with a good fortune!”
3. The merchant said, “Alas! I am undone.”
4. The visitor said, “What a beautiful sunset!”
5. The player said, “Hurrah! India has won the cricket match.”
6. She said, “Alas! I have lost my gold ring.”
7. The spectators said, “Bravo! Well played, Ram.”
8. She said, “How lovely the child is!”
9. “Oh! I am hurt!” said the captain.
10. She said to me, “Wish that I were rich!”
Change the following sentences into Indirect Speech:
1. He says, “I daily go out for a walk.”
2. You will say to them, “We cannot cross the lake.”
3. He said to me, “I am solving the sums of Arithmetic.”
4. The teacher said, “Girls, do not make a noise.”
5. I said to him, “May I help you?”
6. The teacher said to me, “Can you tell me how you solved the sum?”
7. She said to me, “Who taught you English?”
8. The General said to the soldiers, “March forward.”
9. The king said to the executioner, “Put the prisoner to death.”
10. The gardener said, “Do not pluck the flowers.”