|At the conclusion of this unit, the learners will be able to:
Have you ever narrated a film story to your friend? If yes, think about the way you have narrated that particular story. Did you use the exact dialogues of the characters of that film? Most probably, No! It is quite difficult for us to remember the exact words used by all the characters in that film. So, it is obvious that when we narrate the story, we may modify the dialogues without compromising their implied meanings. Do you think that we employ this same style of narration in our daily conversation too? Let us see what are the different kinds of speech.
Direct speech, Indirect Speech, Reporting verbs
3.5.1 What is Reported Speech?
Look at the following sentences:
Jeena said, “I am learning Hindi now”.
Jeena said that she was learning Hindi then.
In writing or speech, there are two ways of reporting the words of a speaker.
They are Direct Speech and Indirect Speech. In Direct speech, the speaker’s words are exactly repeated as he/she has said and are enclosed within quotation marks. In Direct Speech, there are two parts; the reporting part and the speech part. The verb that precedes the speech part is known as a reporting verb. The most commonly used reporting verbs are said and told.
In Indirect speech, the words of the speaker are reported without using his/her exact words. Thus, it is also known as Reported Speech. It is to be noted that in Indirect Speech, the words of the speaker are not enclosed within quotation marks.
22.214.171.124 Changing Direct Speech to Indirect Speech
When a Direct Speech is converted into an Indirect Speech, there occurs a
a) Change in the reporting verb.
b) Change in the verb form based on the tense of the reporting verb.
c) Change in people, time and place expressions.
Change in the Verb Form
The following different tables show the change in verb form while employing them in various types of sentences.
Note 1: The verbs would, should, could, might and ought to in the Direct Speech do not change in the Reported Speech.
Eg: Geetha said, “I should start a new business” (Direct Speech)
Geetha said that she should start a new business. (Indirect Speech)
Note 2: Must to had to (present necessity)
Eg: Geetha said, “You must do it now” (Direct Speech)
Geetha said that I had to do it then. (Indirect Speech)
Must to would have to (future necessity)
Eg: Geetha said, “You must finish the work next week” (Direct Speech)
Geetha said that I would have to finish the work the following week. (Indirect Speech)
Must remains unchanged
Eg: Geetha said to me,“You must obey the traffic rules.” (Direct Speech)
Geetha told me that I must obey the traffic rules. (Indirect Speech)
126.96.36.199 Reporting of Assertive Sentences
- If the reporting verb is in the Present or Future tense, the tense of the speech part remains unchanged.
Eg: Ben says,“I am doing well”. (Direct Speech)
Ben says that he is doing well. (Indirect Speech)
- If the reporting verb is in the Past tense, verb forms have to be changed as shown in table 3.5.2
- The reporting verb and the reported speech are joined by using the connective that.
Eg: Ben said,“I have bought a new book for my friend”. (Direct Speech)
Ben said that he had bought a new book for his friend. (Indirect Speech)
Ben said,“I shall practice yoga”. (Direct Speech)
Ben said that he would practice yoga. (Indirect Speech
- When reporting universal truths or proverbs, the verbs are not changed.
Eg: Wordsworth said,“The Child is the father of man”. (Direct Speech)
Wordsworth said that the Child is the father of man. (Indirect Speech)
“Actions speak louder than words”, said he. (Direct Speech)
He said that actions speak louder than words. (Indirect Speech)
- If the reporting verb in the Direct Speech is said to, it should be changed to told in the Indirect Speech.Eg: Ben said to me,“I saw your mother yesterday”. (Direct Speech)
Ben told me that he had seen my mother the previous day. (Indirect Speech)
Ben said to Meena,“I have already watched this movie” (Direct Speech)
Ben told Meena that he had already watched that movie. (Indirect Speech)
Note: Besides said and told, the following reporting verbs can also be used according to the context.
Affirmed, argued, complained, declined, remarked, answered, assured, etc.
Eg: Ben said to Ram,“I will help you surely.”
Ben assured Ram that he would help him surely.
188.8.131.52 Reporting of Imperative Sentences
- While reporting Imperative Sentences, the following reporting verbs should be used
asked, ordered, commanded, requested, apologised, suggested, proposed, advised, warned, implored, begged, invited, encouraged, reminded, urged, etc.
Eg: Ann said to her friend,“Please, let me complete this work”. (Direct Speech)
Ann requested her friend to let her complete that work. (Indirect Speech)
“Don’t go outside”, said Ann to the child. (Direct Speech)
Ann asked the child not to go outside. (Indirect Speech)
Note: Forbade or not infinitive is also used for negative imperatives. Infinitive refers to: to + base form of the verb
- While reporting commands, requests, suggestions etc. the following word order must be observed:
Subject + verb + object + infinitive
Eg: Ann said to her son, “Don’t play with this knife”. (Direct Speech)
Ann advised her son not to play with that knife. (Indirect Speech)
Ann said to me, “Work hard to score high marks”. (Direct Speech)
Ann advised me to work hard to score high marks. (Indirect Speech)
- If the reporting verbs are suggested, denied, insisted, apologised, etc., reporting verb + (verb) ing form can also be used.Eg: Ann said, “Sorry, I came very late yesterday”. (Direct Speech)
Ann apologized for coming very late the previous day. (Indirect Speech)
“Let us go for a walk”, Ann said. (Direct Speech)
Ann suggested going for a walk. (Indirect Speech)
184.108.40.206 Reporting of Exclamatory Sentences
- For reporting of Exclamatory Sentences, the following reporting verbs can be used:
exclaimed with joy/sorrow, exclaimed bitterly, shouted in
delight, cried out in joy, wished, prayed, etc.
- While reporting Exclamatory Sentences, all the exclamatory marks and word must be removed.
“What a brilliant film!”, said Das. (Direct Speech)
Das exclaimed that it was a brilliant film. (Indirect Speech)
“Alas!, The kitten is dead”, said Das. (Direct Speech)
Das exclaimed with sorrow that the kitten was dead. (Indirect Speech)
“I wish you got selection”, said Das (Direct Speech)
Das wished that I had got selection. (Indirect Speech)
Das said, “May you live long”. (Direct Speech)
Das prayed that I might live long. (Indirect Speech)
Das said, “What a wonderful place!”. (Direct Speech)
Das exclaimed that it was a wonderful place. (Indirect Speech)
220.127.116.11 Reporting of Interrogative Sentences
- While questions are changed into Indirect Speech, the following reporting verbs should be used;
Asked, demanded, enquired, wanted to know, etc.
- While reporting Interrogative Sentences, Subject + verb word order, should be followed
- When reporting a question that begins with an auxiliary verb, the connective if or whether should be used with the reporting verb.
- If the question begins with question words like who, whom, whose, what, which, why, when, where and how, no connective should be used with reporting verb.
- Question mark (?) should not be used in Indirect Speech.
Roy said to Priya:“Where are you studying?” (Direct Speech)
Roy asked Priya where she was studying. (Indirect Speech)
Roy said to Priya:“Why didn’t you bring my chessboard?” (Direct Speech)
Roy asked Priya why she hadn’t brought his chessboard. (Indirect Speech)
Roy said to Priya:“When will you go to Mumbai?” (Direct Speech)
Roy asked Priya when she would go to Mumbai. (Indirect Speech)
Roy asked the students:“Did you study for the examination?” (Direct Speech)
Roy enquired whether the students had studied for the examination. (Indirect Speech)
Roy said to Priya:“Did you know our English teacher?” (Direct Speech)
Roy asked Priya if she had known their English teacher. (Indirect Speech)
Roy said to me:“Do you play cricket?” (Direct Speech)
Roy asked me whether I played cricket. (Indirect Speech
Note: Yes or No questions:
Eg: Sudhi said,“Did you watch that movie?” Renjith said,
“Yes” (Direct Speech)
Sudhi asked Renjith whether he had watched that movie and Renjith said that he did.
Eg: Sudhi said,” I am reading a novel”. “What are you doing now?”(Direct Speech)
Sudhi said that he was reading a novel and asked me what I was doing then. (Indirect Speech)