Narration : Direct and Indirect Speech

Safalta expert Published by: Gitika Jangir Updated Wed, 11 Jan 2023 07:01 PM IST


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If you are a banking aspirant, you must be aware of how crucial the English Language portion is from the perspective of exams. If a good student approaches this area carefully and accurately, they can easily earn some very good points. Students frequently become confused by the formulas in the Grammar topic, which is particularly significant. However, with practise, you may master all of the formulae.If you are preparing for competitive exams and looking for expert guidance, you can download our General Knowledge Free Ebook Download Now.

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What Is Narration/ reported speech?

Direct speech refers to expressing someone else's words exactly as they are, as opposed to indirect speech, which refers to doing it in our own words.

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Direct Speech

Direct speech is when you repeat something that has already been said (sometimes called quoted speech).Here, a person's words are enclosed in quotation marks ("...") and should be used verbatim (exactly as it was originally said). She stated, "Today's lesson is on presentations," as an illustration. Or she said, "Today's lesson is on presentations."

Indirect Speech

Indirect speech, also known as reported speech or narration, doesn't encapsulate the speaker's words in quotation marks and need not be verbatim.

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In other words, we express the speaker's message in our own words when using indirect communication. The tense typically changes while speech is being reported. This is true because we often discuss a past event when we employ reported speech (because obviously, the person who spoke originally spoke in the past). Therefore, the verbs must often be in the past as well.

We shall be having a celebration tonight, they declared. (Direct Speech) 

They claimed the night will be spent having fun. ( indirect speech )

The following are a few guidelines for converting "Direct Speech" into "Indirect Speech":
  • Depending on the sentence's form and meaning, the reporting verb is altered. 
  • The indirect speech does not use inverted commas. 
  • The reported speech uses a connective word at the outset. 
  • The reported speech's verb is altered to fit the sentence's form and meaning. 
  • Changes were made to the reported speech's Persons and Helping Verbs.

Rules of change of Pronouns

Nominative Possessive Objective Reflexive
I My Me Myself
We Our Us Ourselves
You Yours You Yourself
He His Him Himself
She Her Her Herself
They Their Them Themselves

According to the SON rule, pronouns are modified as follows: 
  • S stands for Subject 
  • O stands for Object   
  • N stands for No change.
First-person now serves as the subject of the reporting verb. 
Change from the second person to the reporting verb's object 
Even if it is a third person, nothing changes.

Rule No. 1: The first person of the reported speech's pronoun is modified in accordance with the sentence's subject for the reporting verb. 

Direct: He says, “I am in ninth class.”
Indirect: He says that she is in ninth class.

Rule No 2. Depending on the sentence's object, the second person of the reported speech pronoun changes.

Direct: He says to me, “you have done your work”
Indirect: He tells me that I have done my work.

Rule No 3.The reported speech's third-person pronoun remains unchanged.

Direct: She says, “He does not work hard”
Indirect: She says that he does not work hard.

Rules for changing a verb's tense or voice

 Rule No. 1 : There is no change in the verb or tense of reported speech in the phrase when the reporting verb is presented in the Present or Future tense.

Direct: The teacher says, “Ram performs on the stage”
Indirect: The teacher says that Ram performs on the stage.

Direct: The teacher is saying, “Ram performs on the stage”
Indirect: The teacher is saying that Ram performs on the stage.

Rule No.2 : The verb of the reported speech will transform into the relevant past tense when the reporting verb is given in the past tense.

Direct: The teacher said, “I am suffering from cancer.”
Indirect: The teacher said that she was suffering from cancer.

Changes from past form in an indirect speech from the verb in Reported speech.

  1. Simple present changes to Simple Past
  2. Present Continuous changes to Past Continuous
  3. Present Perfect changes to Past Perfect
  4. Present Perfect Continuous changes to Past Perfect Continuous
  5. Simple Past changes to Past Perfect
  6. Past Continuous changes to Past Perfect Continuous
  7. In Future Tense will/Shall changes to would
  8. Can changes to Could
  9. May changes to Might

Exceptional cases of Rule 2

Exception 1: 

There is no change in tense when the reporting speech contains Universal Truth or Habitual Fact.

Direct: Our teacher said, “The Mars is round”
Indirect: Our teacher said that the mars is round.( Universal Truth)

Exception 2:
If the reporting speech contains past historical fact, the tense does not change.

Exception 3:
When there is no change in tense and two acts in the reporting speech are occurring simultaneously.

Direct: He said “My sister was making lunch when I was studying”
Indirect: He said that his sister was making lunch when she was studying.

Exception 4:

There is no tense change when reporting speech contains some imagined condition.

Direct: He said, “If I were rich, I would help him.”
Indirect: He said that if he were rich he would help him.

Other alterations that occur when we switch from direct to indirect speech.

Here Changes to There
Now Changes to Then
This Changes to That
These Changes to Those
Today Changes to That day
To-night Changes to That night
Yesterday Changes to The previous day
Last night Changes to The previous night
Last week Changes to The previous week
Tomorrow Changes to The next day
Next Week Changes to The following week
Ago Changes to Before
Thus Changes to so
Hence Changes to Thence
Hither Changes to Thither
Come Changes to Go

Note: When speaking indirectly, we often discuss events that occurred outside of the reporting area and after the reporting period, therefore terms that indicate proximity must be swapped out with those that indicate distance.

Here, are some exception ,
  1. If a term that indicates proximity is used after come, come is transformed to go. 
  2. 2. There is no change in indirect narration when this, here, and now refer to something, someplace, or some time that is directly in front of the speaker.

Direct and Indirect speech Examples for Tense

1. Simple Present to Simple Past

2. Present Continuous to Past Continuous

3. Present Perfect to Past Perfect

4. Present Perfect Continuous to Past Perfect Continuous

5. Past Indefinite to Past Perfect

6. Past Continuous to Past Perfect Continuous

7. Future Tense (shall/will) to future in the Past (should/would)

8. Conditional to Perfect Conditional Direct:

9. Past Perfect Tense: No Change

10. Auxiliary Verbs (would, should, might, could, ought, must)-

Rules for Narrating Different Types of Sentences Differently

Assertive Sentences

Rule 1

  • After the reporting verb, if there is no object, the subject shall remain as is. 
  • When a sentence contains an object after the reporting verb, the word "say" is transformed to "tell," "says," and "told." 
  • The words answered, informed, stated, added, noted, asserted, assured, pleaded, reminded, reported, or complained, among others, can be used in place of said to, depending on the context.
Rule 2
  • Instead of "," we substitute the conjunction that. 
  • The pronouns from the reported speech that were previously enrolled are typically changed.

Interrogative Sentences

Rule 1
When a phrase is intended to be interrogative, the reporting verb said or said to is altered to asked. 
Said is changed to inquired or requested.

Rule 2
  • If or if should be used in place of "__" when a question is created with the aid of one of the assisting verbs, such as "is/are/am," "was," "had," "do," "will," or "would," among others. 
  • There is no need for conjunction when a question is created using words that begin with "Wh," such as who, whose, what, whose, when, etc. (also known as the "W family") or How then to substitute " ."
Rule 3
  • In these sentences, the sentence's question form is dropped, and a full stop is added at the end. 
  • In a sentence, the helping verb—is/are/am, was/were, etc.—should come after the subject. 
  • When an interrogative statement expresses positive emotion, the do/does of the direct speech are removed and the sentence is transformed into indirect speech. 
  • When an interrogative question expresses negative emotion, the verbs do or doe are altered to did when the sentence is transformed into indirect speech.

What are the 5 rules of direct speech?

Speech is opened with quotation marks, speech marks or inverted commas. Each line of speech will start with a capital letter. A reporting clause is used at the end of the sentence. A full stop is placed at the end of the reporting clause

What are the rules of direct and indirect speech differentiate between giving examples?

Direct Speech refers to the literal repetition of the words spoken by someone, using a quotative frame. On the other hand, indirect speech is one that reports something said or written by another person, without making the use of exact words.

What is the purpose of using direct speech?

Using direct speech means repeating the spoken phrase or word exactly as it was said. You can use this to repeat something that was said in the past – but you can also use it to express something being said in the present, too.

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