Direct and Indirect Speech | Reported Speech with explanation

Direct and indirect speech can be confusing for every English learner. But, no worry here all your doubts will be clear. Read the below-given examples and see the explanation for those examples. I am sure all your doubts will be cent per cent clear.

What is Direct Speech?

Study the following conversation.

  1. Mina said, “Why did you come late to school?”
  2. Mitina said, “ I woke up late.”

Direct Speech Explanation

Mark the exact words spoken by Mina and Mitina. Look at the above sentences and note the punctuation marks.

(i) The exact words of the speakers are put in inverted commas(“_______”)

(ii) There is a comma (,) after the reporting verb sad in the above sentences.

(iii) The quoted words begin with a CAPITAL LETTER.

(iv) The closing inverted commas come after the punctuation mark.

We have noticed that the conversation commas come after the punctuation mark. We have seen that the conversation between Mina and Mitina is given in written form with punctuation marks in them. Therefore the above two sentences are said to be in Direct Speech.

What is an Indirect Speech? What is a Reported Speech?

Mark the following sentences:

3. Mina asked Mitina why she had come to school late.

4. Mitina said that she had woken up late.

Indirect Speech Explanation

(i) The exact words of Mina and Mitina in sentences 1 and 2 are not repeated in sentences 3 and 4.

(ii) We only give the meaning of what was said.

(iii) We remove the inverted commas/ quotation marks and the comma after the verb ‘said’.

(iv) The use of the verb ‘said’ (in direct speech) is known as the reporting verb. Study some more examples with different Reporting Verbs.

The sentences 3 and 4 are known as indirect speech.

Examples of Direct and Indirect Speech

Study some more examples with different Reporting Verbs.

Direct Speech Examples

> I thought, “She comes from a foreign country”.
> He explained, “I have been delayed by the weather’.
> I realised,  “She cannot do it”.
>I promise (him), “I will do it now”.
Direct Speech Examples with the reporting verb


Indirect Speech Examples

> I thought (that)She came from a foreign country.
> He explained (that)he had been delayed by the weather.
> I realised (that) She could do it.
>I promise (him) (that)I would do it at once.
Indirect Speech Examples with the reporting verb

Remember:     (i)         When we report statements, we often use that, but we can sometimes leave it out.

                        (ii)        The reported words (speech) begin with a small letter.

Exercise for Direct and Indirect Speech


Read the following sentences. Put them into two columns A and B. Write the Direct Speech under A and Indirect Speech under B.

  1. He said, “I am learning English”.
  2. They hoped (that ) they would see us that evening.
  3. He said, “My mother has been running a temperature”.
  4. He said (that) everybody stood up when the teacher arrived.
  5. He told us, “I have had enough”.
  6. He said, “I don’t understand his tricks”.
  7. My friend said (that) he was staying there.
  8. He said that he had forgotten to bring his umbrella.

Note:  When we change a sentence from Direct Speech into Indirect Speech, some changes become necessary. These changes mainly depend on the kind of sentence reported –whether it is a declarative (statement) sentence, or an interrogative (question) sentence, or an Imperative sentence. Study them one by one . in the next step i.e, (Step-84)

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