direct and indirect speech rules

 direct and indirect speech rules 



if you want to know direct and indirect speech rules in a very easy way than you are at right today i will discuss direct and indirect speech rules in this article with explanations and examples 

We may report the speaker’s words in two ways

we may quote his actual words. This is called direct speech

we may report what speaker say without quoting his exact words then the reported speech is called direct speech.


direct and indirect speech rules


When the reporting verb is in the Past Tense, speech of all Present tenses of the Direct are changed into the corresponding Past Tenses. Thus


A simple present becomes a simple past.


Direct: He said, 1 am unwell


Indirect: He said (that) he was unwell.


(b) A present continuous tense changes into a past continuous tense


Direct He said, “Father is writing letter:


Indirect. He said that his Father was writing books


(c) A present perfect tense changes into a past perfect tense


Direct. Haseeb said,1 have passed the examination


Indirect. Haseeb said (that) he had passed the examination


Note-The helping verb of future tense shall is changed into should. The will of the Future Tense is changed its form into would or should.


As a rule, the simple past tense  in the Direct speech becomes the past perfect tense in the Indirect speech.


Direct. Bilawal said the cat died in the night

Indirect. Bilawal said that the cat had died in the night 

Direct 1 know her address said Gopi

Indirect. Gopi said he knows/knew her address.

 Direct The teacher said. The earth goes round the sun

Indirect. The teacher said the earth went round the sun.


Direct: French is easy to learn, she said,


Indirect. She said French was easy to learn.

We use past tense when we are no sure  that statement is true or not specially when we reported  objectively 

If the principle verb is in the Present Tense, the tenses of the Direct Speech do not change its form. For example, we can rewrite the above examples, putting the principle verb in the Present Tense, thus:


He says he is unwell


He has just said his master is writing books.


He says he has passed the examination,


He says the cat died in the night.


The pronouns of the Direct speech sentences are changed necessary, whenever we have to show that their relations are with the reporter and his hearer, rather than with the original speaker, are indicated. Observe the following examples:


Direct: Anwar said to me, I don’t believe you


Indirect: Anwar said he didn’t believe me.


Direct: Amjad said to him, 1 don’t believe you


Indirect : Amjad said he didn’t believe him.


Words expressing nearness in time or place are generally changed into words expressing distance thus like below in the chart


Now    changed to









That day


The next day


The day before

Last night

The night before

 These changes will not occur if the speech is reported during the same period or at the same place;

For example

direct sentence: Aliya says I am glad to be here this evening

Indirect: Alia says she is glad to be there this evening

Rules for changing interrogative sentences 

to change the direct speech of interrogative sentences into indirect we use some like asked, inquired, whether and if



Amjad said to me what are you doing

Amjed asked me what I was doing

Where do you live? asked the stranger

Th stranger enquired where I lived

The policemen said to me where are you going

The policemen enquired where i was going

He said will you listen to such men

He asked them whether you would listen to such a men

 Commands and requests sentences 

To change commands and requesting speech of direct sentences we use some verb to change their mood of imperative into the infinite



Ali said to Ahmed go away

Ali ordered Ahmed to go away

Amjad said to him please wait here till I return

Amjad  requested him to wait there till he returned

Call the first witness said the judge

The ordered them to call the  first witness

Ali shouted let me go

Ali shouted to them to let him go

Basit said be quiet and listen to my words

Basit urged them to be quiet and listen to his words


Exclamations and wishes sentences rules

when reporting speech is exclamations and wishes then the indirect speech is introduced by some verb expressing exclamation or wish



Amjad said, ‘alas ! I am undone

Amjad exclaimed sadly that the he was undone

Babar said how clever I am !

Babar exclaimed that she was very clever

Hassan said bravo ! you have done well

Hassan applauded him saying that he had done well

So help me heaven ! Ahmed cried I will never steal again

Ahmed called upon heaven to witness his resolve never to steal again

hope you understand all points of direct and indirect speech rules any suggestion feedback will be well come in the comments section below


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