05 Aug

മത്സരത്തിലെ ഇംഗ്ലീഷ് – 7

മത്സരത്തിലെ ഇംഗ്ലീഷ് – 7

ചൂര്യയി ചന്ദ്രന്‍


Reported Speech   

                    (Direct and Indirect Speech)

  • There are two ways of reporting what somebody has said : 1) Direct Speech and

2) Indirect Speech

  1. Direct Speech : In Direct Speech, the words uttered by the speaker is given without any

change. It is given between quotation marks. The speech under quotation marks begins

with a capital letter.

eg:  Introducing part

He said to me,   “I do not believe you.”


Reporting Part        Reported Part

  • In Reporting Part, there are three elements that help us in changing the Reported Part.

He                                             said                     to                         me

⇓                                                  ⇓                                                        ⇓

Reporting                         Reporting                                                Reporting

S                                          V                                                                O

  • Reporting subject helps us to change the First person pronouns that come in the Reported Part.
  • Reporting object helps us to change the Second person pronouns in the Reported part.
  • Third person pronouns have no change at all.
  • Reporting Verb helps us to changes the tense forms under quotation marks.
  • If the Reporting Verb is present or future, no changes in tense forms
  • If the Reporting Verb is past, the present and future tense forms should be changed into their corresponding past forms.

Corresponding Past Forms

is/are/am ………… was / were

has/have  ………. Had

will be / shall be – would be / should be

shall bring – should bring

can go – could go

am going – was going

has done  –  had done

have done – had done

Examples :

  1. He says, “I am not ready”. (Direct)

He says that he is not ready (Indirect)

  1. Reporting verb ‘says’ – Present tense

So the Tense form ‘am not’ has no change

  1. The I Person pronoun ‘I’ —– is to be changed into the person of the Reporting Subject: He (III person)

NB: After the reporting part, there is a comma. In the Reported Speech instead of comma the connector ‘that’ is used.

In the case of questions, instead of that, if or whether is used.

  1. Rani will say, “I am not ready”.

Rani will say that she is not ready.

  • Reporting Verb, will say is future tense

So, am not has no change of tense.  She + is not

  • I, First person pronoun is changed into the person of the Reporting subject (III person), Rani (ie  she)
  1. Jonathan says, “I am busy.”

Jonathan says that he is busy

  1. Sheela says, “I am fine.”

Sheela says that she is fine.

  1. Sheela said, “I am fine.

Sheela said that she was fine.

  1. Jonathan said, “I am busy.”

Jonathan said that he was busy.

  1. The students say, “We had finished our

The students say that they had finished their work

  1. You said, “I am writing a letter.

You said that you were writing a letter

  1. You said to me, “You are writing a letter”.
  • Under quotation, the II person you refers to the Reporting object me
  • So you should be changed into the person of me (I person)

You told me that I was writing a letter.

Said to =  told

  1. Radha said to me, “I am right but you are wrong.”

I          I person ____ change into Radha’s person  (III person)

You   II person ____ change into me’s person (I person)

Radha told me that she was right but I was wrong

Special changes in Tense Forms

  1. Simple past past perfect
  2. He said, “I met my old teacher”.

He said that he had met his old teacher.

  1. They said, “we worked hard for them”.

They said that they had worked hard for them.

  1. He said, “ I wrote him”.

He said that he had written him.

Exceptions :

  • Past tense is not changed if the indirect speech refers to a historical event.

eg:  He said, “In ancient India, there lived many rishis or scholars.”

He said that in ancient India there lived many rishis or scholars.

  • Past tense is not changed if the indirect speech is II type conditional statement.

eg:  He said, “If she invited me, I would attend the party.”

He said that if she invited him, he would attend the party.

  • Past tense is not changed if the Reported part contains two simultaneous actions

eg:  He explained, “when caesar entered, people bowed with respect.

He explained that when Caesar entered people bowed with respect.

  • Reported statements are introduced by the following. Reporting verbs :

Say                              Inform                      Maintain

Tell                              Remark                    A vow

State                            Observe                   Swear

Announce                   Proclaim                 Insist

Assert                          Propose               Assure

Affirm                         Suggest                   Deny        etc.


  • Reported requests are introduced by the following Reporting verbs :

Request                       Implore                     Importune

Pray                             entreat                      Beseech       etc.

Beg                             Plead with

Appeal to

  • Reported orders are introduced by the following Reporting verbs :

Tell                              Command                      enjoin

Ask                              Direct                            Call upon

Order                            Bid                                Instruct      etc.

  • Reported questions are introduced by the following Reporting verbs :

Ask                                Demand

Inquire                            Question            etc.


I           Structural Changes in Exclamatory Sentences

  • When we change an exclamatory sentence into Reported Speech, we should retain the meaning and feeling of the original sentence.
  • In changing, we have to adopt 2 steps. The first one is to change the exclamatory sentence into a statement and the second step : changing of the statement into its Reported speech.

eg: 1) He said, “ what a wonderful sunset!”

[I Step : “ it is a very wonder sunset”]

II Step : He exclaimed that it was a very wonderful sunset

2) The giant said, “ How selfish I have been “

[I Step : “ I have been very selfish”]

II Step : The giant exclaimed that he had been very selfish.

3) She said, “ How fine the weather is !”

[ I Step : “ The weather is very fine”]

II Step : She exclaimed that the weather was very fine.

4) The tourist said, “ what a splendid building !”

[I Step : “ It is a splendid building”]

II Step : The tourist exclaimed that it was a splendid building

5) The children said, “How happy we are here!”

[I Step :”We are very happy here.”]

II Step : The children exclaimed with delight that they were very happy there.

  • Another way of changing
  • He said, “What a wonderful sunset !”

He exclaimed with wonder what a wonderful sunset it was.

  • The giant said, ”How selfish I have been!”

The giant cursed himself how selfish he had been.

  • She said, ”How fine the weather is!”

She exclaimed with wonder how fine the weather was.

  • The tourist said, ”what a splendid building!”

The tourist exclaimed what a splendid building that was.

  • The children said, ”How happy we are there!”

The children exclaimed with delight how happy they were there.

II         Structural changes in Imperative Sentences

( Requests, orders, advice, invitation, suggestions etc.)

  • Generally the Reported part is introduced by the Conjunctive that. It is omitted in the Imperative Sentence.
  • Requests and Orders are changed into Infinitive phrases.

eg:  1)  He said to me, “carry my bag”.

He ordered me to carry his bag  (Infinitive phrase)

2)  She said to him, “please don’t abandon me !”

She requested him not to abandon her. (Infinitive phrase)

3)  The teacher said to the students, “Learn this poem by heart”.

The teacher instructed the students to learn the poem by heart.

(Infinitive phrase)

4)  He cried, “O god, have mercy on me !”

He prayed god to have mercy on him.  (Infinitive phrase)

5)  The boy said to the lady, “please give me something to eat.”

The boy begged the lady to give him something to eat.  (Infinitive phrase)

  • He said to her, “Happy birthday !”

He wished her a happy birthday

  • He said to me, “Congratulations!”

He congratulated me.

  • He said to me, “thank you !”

He thanked me

  • He said, “shall we play chess ?” (suggestion)

He suggested that we should play chess.

  • She said to him, “will you come to the film with me ?” (Invitation)

She invited him to go to the film with her.

  • He said, “Let her consult a lawyer”. (suggestion)

He suggested her consulting a lawyer

[He suggested that she should consult a lawyer]

III        Structural changes in Questions

  • See the structure of a question (Interrogative Sentence)
1 What are you Looking for ?
Question word Auxiliary verb  Subject l main verb
2 Why did you scold me ?
3 Why are you angry ?
4 Have you solved the problem
5 Did she see him ?
6 Are you late ?
7 Are you going to the dinner ?


  • In a question the subject comes after the verb. Thus we have V + S pattern
  • This V + S pattern should be changed into S + V pattern in the Reported Speech. It is called the Reported Question.
  • See the Reported Questions of the above ones.
  1. What you are looking
  2. Why you scolded (did + scold) me.
  3. Why you are angry ;
  4. You have solved the problem
  5. She saw (did + see) him
  6. You are
  7. You are going to the dinner
  • In the Reported Questions, there is no question mark.

Exercise :

  1. She said to him, “What are you looking for ?”

I step : What you are looking for

II step (Reported speech) :  She asked him what he was looking for

  1. He told me, “Why did you scold me ?

I step :  Why you scolded me.

II step (Reported speech) :  He asked me why I had scolded him.

  1. Hari said to Sari, “Why are you angry ?

I step :  Why you are angry.

II step :  Hari asked Sari why she was angry.

  1. Sujatha said to his brother, “Have you solved the problem ?”

I step :  You have solved the problem

II step :  Sujatha asked her brother whether he had solved the problem.

  1. Suresh said to Azeez, “Did she see him” ?

I step:  She saw him.

II step :  Suresh asked Azeez whether she had seen him

  1. The manager said, “Are you late ?”

I step :  You are late.

II step : The manager asked her whether she was late.

  1. My father said, “Are you going to the dinner ?”

I step :  You are going to the dinner.

II step :  My father asked me whether I was going to the dinner.

  • Questions beginning with Question words are called wh – Questions.

Questions beginning with auxiliary verbs are called Yes or No Questions.

  • Yes or No Questions are turned into Noun clauses beginning with whether or if. In wh – Questions there are no connectors like that, whether and if.

Previous Questions

  1. He said to the little girl, “ Where do you live ?

He asked the little girl where she lived.

  1. “Hello ! where are you going ? Meera asked John

Meera greeted John and asked where he was going

  1. Sheila angrily asked, “Mother, where is my purse?”

Sheila angrily asked her mother where her purse was.

  1. He asked, “What is the time ?”

He asked what the time was.

  1. He said, “Alas ! I am undone.”

He said sadly that he was undone.

  1. “Take the tablets before meals”, said the doctor

The doctor told me to take the tablet before meals.

  1. Leela said, “I wrote a letter.”

Leela said that she had written a letter.

  1. He asked whether such a thing was possible (Indirect)

He said, “Is such a thing possible ?”

  1. I must go next week !, he said

He said that he had to go the following week.

  1. Midhun said, “Do you enjoy, cricket ?

Midhun asked me if I enjoyed cricket.

  1. He said, “I must go at once.”

He said that he had to go at once.

  1. ‘Oh dear ! I’ve lost my purse, she said

She exclaimed that she had lost her purse

  1. She said to Ahmed, “I’ll be late.”

She told Ahmed that she’d be late.

  1. He said, “I have passed the examination”

He said that he had passed the examination

  1. Hari said, “I have bought a pen”.

Hari said that he had bought a pen.

  1. “I’m going out”, he said

He said that he was going out.

  1. “I’ll be back next week,” she said

she said that she would be back the following week

  1. “I got my licence last Monday”, he said.

He said that he had got his licence the previous Monday.

  1. I asked him, “Will you marry me ? “

I asked  him if he would marry me.

  1. I said to her, “You look nice.”

I told her that she looked nice

Examination Model

  1. “I am going out”, he said (change into indirect speech)
  2. He said that I was going out
  3. He said that I am going out
  4. He said that he is going out
  5. He said that he was going out
  6. Hari said, “I have got a pen”
  7. Hari said that he had bought a pen
  8. Hari said that he bought a pen
  9. Hari said that I bought a pen
  10. Hari said that he has bought a pen
  11. He says, “I am very busy”.
  12. He says that he was very busy
  13. He said that he was very busy
  14. He said that he is very busy
  15. He says that he is very busy
  16. The police man asked me where ………………………
  17. I am going
  18. I was going
  19. am I going
  20. was I going
  21. She asked me ______ I could type the letter.
  22. That
  23. Who
  24. If
  25. Did
  26. “Are you coming home with me ?”, he asked.
  27. He asked that I am coming home with him
  28. He asked whether I was coming home with him
  29. He asked whether I was going home with him
  30. He asked whether he was going home with me.
  31. The teacher said to him, “Do not read so fast”.
  32. The teacher advised him do not read so fast
  33. The teacher advised him not to read so fast
  34. The teacher advised him that to read so fast
  35. The teacher advised him to read so fast
  36. “What a stupid fellow you are !” he angrily remarked.
  37. He angrily remarked that I was a stupid fellow
  38. He angrily remarked that I am a stupid fellow
  39. He angrily remarked I am a stupid fellow
  40. He angrily remarked that “I was a stupid fellow !”
  41. “Let me write the exam”, the student said to the teacher.
  42. The student requested the teacher let me write the exam
  43. The student requested the teacher please let him to write the exam
  44. The student requested the teacher let him write the exam
  45. The student requested the teacher please let him wrote the exam.
  46. “Wait until the bus come”, said my father
  47. My father advised me to wait until the bus came
  48. My father advised me waiting until the bus came
  49. My father advised me to waited until the bus came
  50. My father advised me to wait until the bus came.

Answers :

1 – d,   2 – a,  3 – d,  4 – b,  5 – c,  6 – c,  7 – b,  8 – a,  9 – c,  10 – a

Other changes

  • Words expressing nearness in time and place are changed into words expressing distance.

Now                changes to       Then

This                             ,,          That

These                           ,,          Those

Here                            ,,          There

Thus                            ,,          So

Ago                             ,,          Before

Today                          ,,          That day

Tonight                        ,,          That might

Tomorrow                   ,,          The next day

Yesterday                    ,,          The previous day  (The day before)

Last night                    ,,          The previous night  (The night before)

Next week                   ,,          The following week

Last week                    ,,          The previous week

Just                              ,,          Then


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