Nov 21, 2013

Direct and Indirect Speech

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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.



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

Important Rules


Rules Direct Speech Indirect Speech
Present Tense in the Direct becomes past tense. Ravi said, “I write a letter”. Ravi said that he wrote a letter.
Past Tense in the direct becomes past perfect or remains unchanged. Sonia said, “I brought a pen yesterday”. Sonia said that she had bought a pen the day before
Present Continuous in the direct becomes past continuous. Naveen said, “I am going to church”. Naveen said that he was going to church.
Past Continuous in the direct becomes past perfect continuous. Nishant said, “I was playing cricket”. Nishant said that he had been playing cricket
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. He said, “I have been reading a novel”.  He said that he had been reading a novel.
‘Will’ and ‘Shall’ are changed to ‘would’ He said, “I will go to London tomorrow”. He said that he would go to London the next day.
‘may’ changes to ‘might’, ‘can’ changes to ‘could’, and ‘must’ changes to ‘had to’ (or) ‘must’ Roopam said, “I must go now”. Roopam said that she must (or) had to go then.


Direct Speech Indirect Speech
now then
here There
this that
these those
ago before
thus so
to-day that day
to-night that night
yesterday the day before (or) the previous day
tomorrow the next day (or) the following day
last week the week before
next week the week after

Exception to the above Rules






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