If we want to report what people said, thought or felt, we can use direct or indirect (reported) speech. Reported speech refers to reproducing the idea of another person’s words. Not all of the exact words are used: verb forms and pronouns may change. For this case, quotation marks are not used. Meanwhile quotation marks are used, it calls as quoted speech. Quoted speech refers to reproducing another persons’s exact words. Quoted speech and reported speech are also called direct and indirect speech (reported).

Direct speech

  1. “I like sandwhich.” Said Janny
  2. “I will come to your party.” Said Ken
  3. “I am hungry.” Said Verra

 Indirect speech

  1. Janny said that she liked sandwhich
  2. Ken said that he would come to your party
  3. Verra said that she was hungry

How to distinguish both of them? Direct speech used mark symbol (“) where is the person tell to other people without intermediary (direct). But, if we want to report what people said, the quotation marks are not used and the tenses may change. “I like sandwhich.” Said Janny, the tenses is simple present. If we want to report what Janny said to other, the marks are removed and the tenses change becomes past tense; Janny said (that) she liked sandwhich. Sometimes the word of that usually used or not, that is only optional.

What are the rules to change the sentences of indirect speech into the direct speech? To change from Indirect to Direct Speech, keep in mind all the rules of the Direct Speech in the reverse order.

  • Use the reporting verb, “say” or “said to” in its correct tense.
  • Remove the conjuctions “that, to, if or whether etc”. wherever necessary.
  • Insert quotation marks, question mark, exclamation and fullstop, wherever necessary.
  • Put a comma before the statement.
  • Write the first word of the statement with capital letter.
  • Change the past tense into present tense wherever the repoting verb is in the past tense.
  • Convert the past perfect either into past tense or present perfect as found necessary.
  • Be careful about the order of words in the question.

For examples:

Statements:

  1. Indirect speech: I said to Mega that I wanted lumpia then

Direct speeh: I say to Mega, “I want lumpia now.”

  1. Indirect speech: Yoga said that he loved me

Direct speech : Yoga says to me, “I love you.”

 Interrogative sentences:

  1. Indirect speech: My mother asked to Lisa what was time then

Direct speech: My mother said to Lisa, “what time is it now?”

  1. Indirect speech: The teacher asked to Lisa why she was late

Direct speech: The teacher said to Lisa, “why are you late?”

What are the rules to change the sentences of direct speech into the indirect speech?

First, the adverbs of nearness should be put into those of the distance, see the table below:

Direct Speech Indirect Speech
Now Then
Here There
Here after There after
This That
These Those
Ago Before
Thus So
Today That day
Last week Previous week
Last month Previous month
Yesterday The day before
Tomorrow Next day

Example:

Direct speech : Melly says to me, “I will invite you to my party tomorrow”

Indirect speech : Melly said to me that she would invite me to her party next day

 The second is tenses, If the reporting verb is in the Present or Future tense (e.g., say, will say) there is no change in the tense of the verb in the Indirect speech.

For example:

 Direct speech : I say, “I’m sorry”

Indirect speech : I say that I am sorry

 If Reporting Verb is in the Past Tense. the tense of the verbs in the reported speech or Indirect Speech must be generally changed.

  • Present Tense in the Direct becomes past tense
    Megan said, “I write a book.”
    Megan said that she wrote a book.
  • Past Tense in the direct becomes past perfect or remains unchanged
    Yolla said, “I brought a book yesterday.”
    Yolla said that she had bought a book the day before.
  • Present Continuous in the direct becomes past continuous
    John said, “I am going to church.”
    John said that he was going to church.
  • Past Continuous in the direct becomes past perfect continuous
    My grandma said, “I was swimming.”
    My grandma said that she had been swimming.
  • Present Perfect in the direct becomes past perfect
    Kamal said, “I have done my home work.”
    Kamal said that he had done his home work.
  • Present Perfect Continuous in the direct becomes past perfect continuous
    Justin said, “I have been singing my album.”
    Justin said that he had been singing my album
  • ‘Will’ and ‘Shall’ are changed to ‘would’
    He said, “I will go to London tonight.”
    He said that he would go to London this night.

 

There are three kinds of form how to change the sentences of direct into indirect:

  1. Statement (present and simple past-negative-positive statement)
  2. Question (WH and yes-no question)
  3. Imperative (positif and negative)
  1. Statement (present and simple past-negative-positive statement)

a. Positive statement

Direct speech: Megan said, “I write a book.”

Indirect speech : Megan said that she wrote a book.

b. Negative statement

Direct speech : Megan said, “I don’t write a book.”

Indirect speech : Megan said that she didn’t write a book.

  1. Question (WH and yes-no questions)

a. WH questions

Direct speech Indiret speech
I said to him, “what do you want?” I asked to him what he wanted
Mella said, “why you wake up early?” Mella asked why I woke up early
She said to me, “when will you back?” She asked to me when I would back
I said to my brother, “where were you this morning?” I said to my brother where were he had been this morning
She said, “how this place was building?” She asked how that place had been building

b. Yes-No questions

Direct speech Indirect speech
Sarah said to her sister, “Do you always get up early?” Sarah said to her sister if she always got up early
Father said to children, “Have you prepared well for the test?” Father said to children if they had prepared well for the test
Kamal said to the driver, “Can you take me to the lawer now?” Kamal said to the driver if he could take her to the lawyer then

Note: there are not the word add in this sentences.

  1. Imperative (positif and negative)

Imperative sentences do not normally have an expressed subject. This is because the subject ‘you’ is usually understood. As a result of this, imperative sentences begin with a verb in the simple present tense.

Direct speech Indirect speech
“Don‘t talk in the class” said the teacher to the boys. The teacher advised the boys not to talk in the class.
“Please give me something to eat. I am hungry” the old man said to them. The old man requested them to give him something to eat and said that he was hungry.
I said to her, ‘Don’t mention his name.’ I forbade her to mention his name

In order to change an imperative sentence into the indirect speech, we use a to-infinitive. A –that clause is also possible in some cases. Note that instead of ‘said’ we use one of the following reporting verbs: Advise, command, request, suggest,etc.

Exercises:

  1. “I didn’t go to the party”
    He told me……………………………………
  2. “We went out last night”
    She told me……………………………………
  3. “Where is he?”
    She asked me………………………………….
  4. “They would help if they could”
    She said…………………………………………..
  5. “How was the journey?”
    They asked me…………………………………….
  6. She told me to come quickly.

    She said,…………………………………………..
  7. “Don’t go!”
    She…………………………………………………
  8. “Don’t be silly!”
    He…………………………………………………
  9. “Do you work in London?”
    He………………………………………………..
  10. “Have you ever seen ‘Lord of the Rings’?”
    She………………………………………………

References:

http://www.englishpractice.com/improve/changing-imperative-sentence-indirect-speech/

http://www.weblearn.in/indirect_speech/

Azar, fundamentals of english grammar, second edition. 1993

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