Reported or Indirect and Direct Speech

Reported or Indirect and Direct Speech

Direct and Indirect Speech

Reported or Indirect and Direct Speech

       In communication we often have to give information about what people say or think. In order to do this we can use direct / quoted speech, or indirect / reported speech. (Also read : Pattern and Function Past perfect Tense)

Direct Speech

       When we say about ourselves information directly to someone, it is called direct speech (sometimes called quoted speech). And when we use direct speech in writing, we place the words spoken between quotation marks (” “) and there is no change in these words.


She says, “What time will you be home?”

She said, “What time will you be home?” and I said, “I don’t know!”

“There’s a fly on my soup!” screamed Rita.

Bandi said, “There’s a goat outside the window.”

Indirect Speech

       When we say to someone about what another person has said to us, it is called Indirect Speech (sometimes called reported speech). And when we use indirect speech in writing, we don’t use quotation marks to enclose what the person said. (Also read other article at : Rindu Diantara Rinai Hujan)

      When reporting speech (indirect speech), the tense usually changes. This is because when we use indirect speech, we are usually talking about a time in the past (because obviously the person who spoke originally spoke in the past). The verbs therefore usually have to be in the past too.


Direct Speech

She said, “I saw him.”

Indirect Speech

She said that she had seen him.

Direct Speech

Ram said to his mother, “I will be late today night.”

Indirect Speech

Ram said to his mother that he would be late that night.

The verbs commonly used in Indirect Speech are said, told and asked.


She said her name was Lailina.

He told me that he was tired.

However, there are many other verbs we can use apart from said, told and asked. (Also read other article at : Jenis Alat Musik Pengiring Lagu Dangdut)

These include:-

accused, admitted, advised, alleged, agreed, apologized, begged, boasted, complained, denied, explained, implied, invited, offered, ordered, promised, replied, suggested and thought.

Using them properly can make what you say much more interesting and informative.

For example:

He asked me to come to the party:-

He invited me to the party.

He begged me to come to the party.

He ordered me to come to the party.

Rule of changing from Direct Speech to Indirect Speech

Simple Present                        >          Simple Past

Present continuous                  >          Past continuous

Present perfect                                    >          Past perfect

Present perfect continuous      >          Past perfect continuous

Simple Past                             >          Past perfect

Past continuous                       >          Past perfect continuous

Past perfect                             >          Past perfect    

Past perfect continuous           >          Past perfect continuous


She said, “It’s cold.” (Simple Present)

She said it was cold. (Simple Past)

Expressions of time if reported on a different day

this (evening)                          >          that (evening)

today                                       >          yesterday …

yesterday                                 >          the day before.

these (days)                             >          those (days)

now                                         >          then

(a week) ago                            >          (a week) before

last weekend                           >          the previous weekend

here                                         >          there

next (week)                             >          the following (week)

tomorrow                                >          the next/following day

Direct Speech

She said, “I want to bring my children tomorrow.”

Indirect Speech

She said she wanted to bring her children the next day.

Direct Speech

Jack said, “My wife went with me to the show yesterday.”

Indirect Speech

Jack said his wife had gone with him to the show the day before.

(Also read other article at : Soal tentang Pengaruh Kolonialisme Barat di Indonesia)

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