Reported Speech


In English speech is two types- Direct speech & Indirect speech
Direct speech is always in the quotation marks
e.g.: Rama said to Krishna, “I am going to market” (Direct speech)
Rama told Krishna that he was going to market. (Indirect speech)
In the above example the words in the quotation marks are told directly by Rama. But in the next sentence the words are told indirectly by others. while changing the sentences from the direct speech into indirect speech the following things should be observed
1. The sentence in the direct speech is divided into two parts-Reporting part & Reported part
2. The part, which is out side of the inverted commas, is the Reporting part. i.e. Rama said to Krishna.
3. The part, which is in the inverted commas, is the Reported part of the sentence i.e. “I am going to market”.
4. If the ‘verb’ in the reporting part is in the past tense there will be some changes in the reported verb as follows.
Simple present tense - Simple past tense
Present continuous tense - Past continuous tense
Present perfect tense - Past perfect tense
Simple past tense - Simple past tense/ past perfect tense
Present perfect continuous tense - Past perfect continuous tense
will, shall, can, may, - would, should, could, might.
Sita said, “I go to school today”
Sita said that she went to school that day.
Ramya said, “I am teaching English”
Ramya said that she was teaching English.
Kumar said to Radha, “I have met your father”
Kumar told Radha that he had met her father.
Rahim said to Janaki, “I completed my work yesterday”
Rahim told Janaki that he had completed his work the day before.
Kavya said to them, “I have been living here for five years”.
Kavya told them that she had been living there for five years.
She said to him, “I will go to Chennai”
She told him that she would go to Chennai.
5. But when the reporting verb is in the simple present tense or in the simple future tense no changes, required.
e.g.: She says, “My father is a doctor.”
She says that her father is a doctor.
He will say, “I agree to this.”
He will say that he agrees to that.
6. If the reported part is a universal truth or a habitual action, the tense is not changed even though the reporting verb is in the past tense.
e.g.: My teacher said, “The sun rises in the east”
My teacher said that the sun raises in the east.
7. Generally said to’ is changed as told. We should not use ‘to’ after ‘told’. Some times as for the meaning, said to’ is changed into ‘asked’, ‘enquired, ‘questioned’, ‘ordered’, ‘commanded’, ‘advised’, ‘requested’, ‘threatened’, ‘agreed’, ‘suggested’, ‘ignored’, etc.
S.Reddy Prasad, M.A.English, ph: 8897678595
Visit : - RP English
This Blog is designed for the benefit of the Non-English Medium students and for the teachers who teach to those students.....Read This blog will be helpful to those who know a little English grammar. I can say that if you start learning today, at least one point everyday....Read
Writing articles to the papers and publications became common in so many institutions. In order to provide models to the students a good number of articles are linked in the blog. The articles provided here are prepared by well equipped professors of various universities. I hope the students can gain a good command over the back ground of contemporary English by reading those articles.....Read