Direct Indirect Speech / Reported Speech / Narration Explanation

Reported Speech

Direct Speech : Gita said to Raj , “I got the gift for you yesterday.”
Indirect Speech : Gita told Raj that she had got the gift for him the previous day.

Speaker Gita
Reporting verb said to
Listener Raj
Comma ,
Inverted comma ” “
Reported Speech I got the gift for you yesterday.
Common rules for all types of sentences :
  • Remove inverted commas (” “) and comma (,)
  • End with full stop (.) only. (Remove ? and ! )
  • Present or future verb (say / says / will say) then no change of tense
  • Verb is in past form (said/told etc) then change the sentence into past form
  • No tense change in fact / scientific / general truth etc.
  • First person (I / me / my / we / us / our etc) changes according to speaker
  • second person changes (you / yours / your) according to listener
  • Third person ( he / his / she / her/ it / they etc) never change.
  • other changes are given in following tables.
Reporting verb Conjunction Special Rules
Declarative Sentence
told that
Ex : He said to me,” Sumit has done his homework.”
Ans : He told me that Sumit had done his homework.
Interrogative – “wh” question                               (when , why , how , when etc)
asked / inquired / demanded etc – Make interrogative to declarative sentence.
– wh-word + subject + verb + _ _ _ _ _ + . (full stop)
Ex : He said to me,”where is the doctor?”
Ans : He asked me where the doctor was.
Interrogative – “yes/no” question
asked / inquired / demanded etc if / whether – Make interrogative to declarative sentence.
– if/whether + subject + verb + _ _ _ _ _ + . (full stop)
Ex : He said to me,”Is the doctor in?”
Ans : He asked me if the doctor was in.
Exclamatory sentence
exclaimed with sorrow / surprise / joy etc. that – Remove words such as Hurrah!, Alas! , Wow! etc.
– to + verb + other words
Ex : He said ,”Hurrah! we won.”
Ans : He exclaimed with joy that they had won.
Imperative Sentence
requested / suggested / ordered etc. to – Remove words like kindly / please etc.
Ex : Ravi said to his friend ,”please,give me my book.”
Ans : Ravi requested his friend to give him his book.


Changes Made to Reporting verb

 Direct Speech  Indirect Speech
say say
say to tell
says says
says to tells
said said
said to told

Changes in the Tenses & Modals

  Direct Speech
 Indirect Speech
do/ does did
am / is / are was / were
was / were had been
has / have had
play / plays played
am / is / are playing was/were playing
has / have played had played
has/have been playing had been playing
played had played
was/were playing had been playing
will would
shall should
can could
may might
must had to
would would
might might
could could
ought to ought to

Changes Made to Pronoun

Subject Object Possessive Adjective Possessive Pronoun
1st person
I me my mine
We us our ours
2nd person
you you your yours
Third person He him his his
She her her hers
It it its
They them their theirs

Changes Made to Words of Time , Place & Action

  Direct Speech   Indirect Speech
now / just then
tomorrow the following day / the next day
the next week the following week
the next month the following month
the next year the following year
yesterday the previous day
last night the previous night / the night before
the last week the previous week
the last month the previous month
the last year the previous  year
at present at that time
today that day
tonight that night
thus so
ago before
this that
here there
come go
bring take
these those
hence thence
hereby thereby


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