Direct and Indirect Speech

Standar

There are two ways of reporting what somebody says;

  • direct speech
  • indirect (or reported) speech

 

In direct speech we use the speaker’s own words. When using direct speech in your writing you need to use the correct punctuation.

  • The exact words spoken must be enclosed in speech marks.
  • The first word of the speech must begin with a capital letter.
  • The words in the speech marks must be separated from the rest of the sentence by a comma.
  • You must use a new line when a new speaker begins to speak.

For example:

  • I said, “Come on Chris, have another slide it’s great fun. “
  • I said, “Come on Chris haven’t you had any exercise?”
  • Tom said, “I’m feeling bad.”
  • Helen said, “I am going home.”

 

In indirect speech (sometimes called reported speech) we do not use the exact words of the speaker. We sometimes need to change pronouns and verb tenses. We don’t use speech marks. When we use reported speech, we are usually talking about the past. So verb usually change to the past, for example:

am/is 

are

have/has

will

can

do/want/know, etc

was 

were

had

would

could

did/wanted/knew, etc

 

Here are the examples of indirect/reported speech:

  • Tom said (that) he was feeling bad.
  • Helen said (that) she was going home.
  • I said to Chris to have another slide.
  • I told Jim not to shout.

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