Reported Speech

A DIRECT SPEECH A direct speech describes exactly what someone has said and it appears within the quotation marks. INDIRECT SPEECH An indirect speech is a report of what someone has said but without quoting exact words. It does not use quotation marks. RULES REGARDING TRANSFORMATION FROM DIRECT TO INDIRECT SPEECH Present simple, continuous, perfect, perfect continuous, etc. change into respective past forms. Similarly past simple and continuous change into past perfect and past perfect continuous respectively. There is no change for the past perfect and past perfect continuous. If the reporting verb is in the past tense, ‘will’ or ‘shall’ in the direct speech is generally changed into ‘would’ or ‘should’ respectively according to the subject. The verb forms remain the same in certain cases such as the reporting verb is in the present tense or future tense, when we report something that is still true, etc. PRONOUNS The pronoun of the first person and second person changes according to the person of the subject or object of the reporting verb respectively, while the pronouns of the third person remain the same. MODALS Modal verb forms sometimes get changed when we transform the sentence into indirect speech For example: ‘will’ - ‘would’, ‘can’ – could’ , ‘must’ – ‘had to’, etc. PLACE AND TIME ‘The words showing nearness are generally changed into words showing distance’. REPORTING VERB Said, told, asked etc. are the most common reporting verbs used in indirect speech. When reporting verb is in present or future, there is no change in the tense. ASSERTIVE SENTENCES If there is no object after the reporting verb then it should not be changed into indirect speech. If there is some object after reporting verb, then ‘say’ is changed to ‘tell’, ‘says’ to ‘tells’, and ‘said’ to ‘told’. According to the context ‘said’ can be replaced by ‘replied, informed, stated, reported, thanked, reminded’ etc. INTERROGATIVE SENTENCES The reporting verb is changed into “asked, questioned, enquired, demanded” etc. The question form of the sentence is changed into statement. The helping verb “am/is/are, was/were” etc. should be put after the subject. IMPERATIVE SENTENCES In reporting commands, requests and wishes, the indirect speech is introduced by some verb expressing orders, requests or wishes. EXCLAMATORY SENTENCES In reporting exclamation, the exclamatory phrase is introduced by some words expressing exclamation such as ‘exclaimed with joy, sorrow, regret, surprise, contempt etc.’ Change the exclamatory phrase into a statement.

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