Reported Speech 6
1. There are two different ways in which we can report the words of a speaker :
(a) Direct Speech or Direct Narration.
(b) Indirect Speech or Indirect Narration.
2. (a) Direct Speech contains the actual words of the speaker ; as—
Sarla said, “My father has a roaring business in Mumbai”
He said to me, “I am feeling unwell today.”
In these sentences, actual words of the speaker are given within inverted commas without any change.
(b) Indirect Speech gives the substance of the speaker’s actual words and not the exact words spoken by him or her ; as—
Sarla said that her father had a roaring business in Mumbai He told me that he was feeling unwell that day.
3. The actual words of the speaker, given within ‘ inverted commas’ are called the Reported Speech. In the same way, the Verb which introduces the Reported Speech is called the Reporting Verb.
In the sentence above ‘said’ is the Reporting Verb and ‘My father has a roaring business in Mumbai’ is the Reported Speech.
Reporting Verb and Reported Speech. Look at the following sentences :
Radha says, “I shall’ finish my home-work today.”
Sushma said to Pushpa, “Show me your dolls.”
The verbs ‘says and said’ in the above sentences are ‘Reporting Verbs’.
The exact words of the speaker given within the inverted commas are ‘Reported Speech’.
4. Here are some distinctive points regarding the Direct Speech and Indirect Speech :
In the Direct Speech
- The Reported Speech is put within Reported (Inverted) Commas.
- The Reported Speech and the Reporting Verb are separated by a Comma.
- The first word of the Reported Speech begins with a capital letter.
Transformation of Direct Speech into Indirect Speech
I. Rules for the Change of Tense
Rule I. If the Reporting Verb is in the Present or Future Tense, the Tense of the Verb in the Reported Speech does not change.
1. Direct: Rajesh says, “She has brought fame to her family.”
Indirect: Rajesh says that she has brought fame to her family.
2. Direct: Rohit has said, “I cannot displease my friend.”
Indirect: Rohit has said that he cannot displease his friend.
3. Direct: I shall say, “I went to Agra on Monday.”
Indirect: I shall say that I went to Agra on Monday.
4. Direct: She will say, “I have sent him a present.”
Indirect:She will say that she has sent him a present.
Rule II. if the Reporting Verb is in the Past Tense, the tense of the verb in the Reported Speech must be changed into the corresponding Past Tense.
1. Direct: I said, “I am speaking the truth.”
Indirect: I said that I was speaking the truth.
2. Direct: The teacher said, “Boys fail because they do not study regularly.”
Indirect: The teacher said that boys Jailed because they did not study regularly.
Exception to Rule II
(i) If there is a Universal Truth or Habitualfact in the Reported Speech, the Tense of the verb is never changed ; as—
1. Direct : He said, “Face is the index of mind.” (Proverbial truth)
Indirect: He said that face is the index of mind.
2. Direct: The teacher said, “The earth rotates round its axis.” (Geographical truth)
Indirect: The teacher said that the earth rotates round its axis.
3. Direct: Horatius said, “Death comes sooner or later.” (Universal truth)
Indirect : Horatius said that death comes sooner or later.
(ii) The Tense of the Verb in the Reported Speech does not change if the reported speech states a past historical fact; as—
1. Direct : He said, “India became free on 15th August, 1947.”
Indirect : He said that India became free on 15th August, 1947.
2. Direct : She said, “Her father lived at Lahore for ten years.”
Indirect : She said that her father lived at Lahore for ten years.
(iii) If two such actions are given in the Reported Speech which take place at the same time, the Past Indefinite or Continuous Tense does not change.
Direct: He said, “Mohan was singing a song while Gopal was playing on a flute.”
Indirect: He said that Mohan was singing a song while Gopal was playing on a flute.
1. Direct: She said, “I am a top-class singer.”
Indirect: She said that she was a top-class singer.
2. Direct: We said, “He is writing a poem.”
Indirect: We said that, he was writing a poem.
3. Direct: He said, “It may rain tonight.”
Indirect: He said that it might rain that night.
4. Direct: He said, “A devil ever remains a devil.”
Indirect: He said that a devil ever remains a devil.
The future tense of the reported speech Is changed as under :
Future Indefinite—would / should
Future Continuous—would/should be
Future Perfect—would/should have
Future Perfect Continuous—would/should have been
1. Direct: You said, “He is a very good athlete.”
Indirect: You said that he was a very good athlete.
2. Direct: I said, “I have finished my work.”
Indirect: I said that I had finished my work.
3. Direct: He said, “Her parents will pay a visit to Delhi.”
Indirect: He said that her parents would pay a visit to Delhi.
B. Interrogative Sentences
Conversion Of Interrogative Sentences
From Direct Into Indirect
(a) Questions beginning with a Helping Verb
1. Direct: He said to her, “Shall I accompany you to Agra ?”
Indirect: He asked her if he would (should) accompany her to Agra.
2. Direct: She said to him, “Had I been absenting myself from school for a month ?”
Indirect: She asked him if she had been absenting herself from school for a month.
3. Direct: He said to us, “Has she been spinning since yesterday ?”
Indirect: He asked us if she had been spinning since the previous day.
4. Direct: They said to you, “Shall we be going on picnic tomorrow ?”
Indirect: They asked you if they would be going on picnic the next day.
5. Direct: I said to her, “Will you have ironed your clothes ?”
Indirect: I asked her if she would have ironed her clothes.
(b) Sentences having ‘Yes’ or ‘No’
1. Direct: “Are there any more files ?” He asked. “Yes, sir,” said the peon.
Indirect: He asked the peon if there were any more files. The peon replied respectfully in affirmative.
2. Direct: The teacher said to Lila, “Did you break the window pane ?” “No, sir,” said Lila, “I did not.”
Indirect: The teacher asked Lila if she had broken the window pane. Lila replied respectfully and refused it (to have done it).
3. Direct: “If you find my answers satisfactory, will you give me five rupees ?” said the astrologer. “No, ’ replied the customer.
Indirect: The astrologer asked the customer whether he would give him five rupees if he found his answers satisfactory. The customer replied in negative.
4. Direct: I said to him, “Do you want to go to Chandigarh ?” He said, “No, sir.”
Indirect: I asked him if he wanted to go to Chandigarh and respectfully he replied in negative.
5. Direct: He said to me, “Does Mohan still play ?” I. said, “Yes, sir.”
Indirect: He asked me if Mohan still played and I replied in positive.
(c) Questions beginning with Interrogative Words
1. Direct: He said to me, “Whom does she want to contact ?”
Indirect: He asked me whom she wanted to contact.
2. Direct: They said to her, “Whose house are you purchasing ?”
Indirect: They asked her whose house she was purchasing.
3. Direct: You said to him “Why are you making mischief ?”
Indirect: You asked him why he was making mischief.
4. Direct: They said to us, “How have you solved this sum ?”
Indirect: They asked us how we had solved that sum.
5. Direct : We said to them, “Who has misguided you ?”
Indirect: We asked them who had misguided them.
(d) Questions beginning with modal auxiliaries
1. Direct: I said to him, “May Sunita come in to discuss with you something ?”
Indirect: I asked him if Sunita might come in to discuss with him something.
2. Direct: The traveller said to me, “Can you tell me the way to the nearest inn ?
Indirect: The traveller asked me if I could tell him the way to the nearest inn.
3. Direct: He said to me, “Must I leave for Mumbai tomorrow ?”
Indirect: He asked me if he had to leave for Mumbai the next day.
4. Direct: I said to her, “Could you give me your notes ?”
Indirect: I asked her if she could give me her notes.
5. Direct: I said to him, “Need I go to him ?”
Indirect: I asked him if I had to go to him.
Multiple Choice Questions
Read the statements given below and tick the correct option :
I. Identify the Reporting Verbs as directed :
(i) Radha will say ………
(ii) Radha said ……
(iii) Radha had said ………..
(iv) Radha says ………..
(i) The commander orders
(ii) the commander order
(iii) The commander said
(iv) The commander will order
(i) She requests
(ii) She will say
(iii) She informed
(iv) She will enquire.
(i) He said that the sun rises in the east
(ii) Sun rises in the east
(iii) She enquired about the holiday
(iv) He enquired to be given a holiday
(i) ‘I want to go for a walk’.
(ii) He suggested going out for a walk
(iii) ‘Get me a book’.
(iv) ‘GO out’.
II. Fill in the blanks :
I said ………..
(i) why are you going
(ii) him to go
(iii) that he was going
(iv) to go out of the room
He asked ……..
(i) whether was he fine
(ii) was he fine
(iii) if he is fine
(iv) if he was fine
III. Tick the correct option :
The teacher said to them,
(i) ‘Who had been teaching them English ?’
(ii) ‘Who teaches you English ?’
(iii) ‘Who taught your English ?’
(iv) ‘Whom you teach English ?’
The teacher asked the students
(i) whom were they taught English
(ii) who taught them English.
(iii) by whom were they taught English
(iv) were they taught English
He said, “The earth revolves around its axis”
(i) He said that the earth revolved around its axis
(ii) He said that the earth will revolve around its axis
(iii) He said that the earth would revolve around its axis
(iv) He said that the earth revolves around its axis.