Notes On Direct to Indirect - Rules, Reporting Assertive Sentences - CBSE Class 10 English Grammar

Introduction:
When we use the exact words of the speaker within the quotation marks, it is called Direct speech. When we are reporting what someone else said, we normally don’t use their exact words with quotation marks (direct speech), but instead we use indirect speech (also called reported speech). Indirect speech is introduced using certain phrases.

Declarative Sentences

Example:
He says/said …
She explains/explained …
She tells/told me …
He asks/asked …

When turning declarative sentences into indirect speech, we need to pay attention to the following points:

1. Changing the pronouns

Example:
Neetu said, “I bought a new car.”
Neetu said (that) she had bought a new car.

2.  Changing information about time and place.
Example: Neetu said, “I bought a new car yesterday”
Neetu said (that) she had bought a new car the previous day.

Direct speech

Indirect speech

today

that day

now

then
at that moment/time

yesterday

the day before

… days ago

… days before

last week

the week before

next year

the following year

tomorrow

the next day
the following day

here

there

this

that

these

those

3. Changing the tense (backshift)
Example: They said, “He was eating an ice-cream at the table where you are sitting.”

                   They said (that) he had been eating an ice-cream at the table where I was sitting.

If the introductory clause is in the simple past (e.g. He said), the tense has to be set back by one degree (see the table). The term for this in English is backshift.


Example:
Ashok said, “I swim every day.”
Ashok said that he swam every day.

Kumar said, “I wrote a letter.”
Kumar said that he had written.

They said, “She was sitting near the beach.”
They said that she had been sitting near the beach.

Direct speech                                                  Indirect speech

simple present                                                 simple past

present progressive                                        past progressive

simple past                                                      past perfect

simple present perfect                                    simple past perfect simple

past progressive                                               past perfect progressive

present perfect progressive                            past perfect progressive

future I (going to                                                 ) was / were going to

future I (will)                                                        conditional I (would) 

Note: The verbs could, should, would, might, must, needn’t, ought to, used to normally do not change.

Summary

Introduction:
When we use the exact words of the speaker within the quotation marks, it is called Direct speech. When we are reporting what someone else said, we normally don’t use their exact words with quotation marks (direct speech), but instead we use indirect speech (also called reported speech). Indirect speech is introduced using certain phrases.

Declarative Sentences

Example:
He says/said …
She explains/explained …
She tells/told me …
He asks/asked …

When turning declarative sentences into indirect speech, we need to pay attention to the following points:

1. Changing the pronouns

Example:
Neetu said, “I bought a new car.”
Neetu said (that) she had bought a new car.

2.  Changing information about time and place.
Example: Neetu said, “I bought a new car yesterday”
Neetu said (that) she had bought a new car the previous day.

Direct speech

Indirect speech

today

that day

now

then
at that moment/time

yesterday

the day before

… days ago

… days before

last week

the week before

next year

the following year

tomorrow

the next day
the following day

here

there

this

that

these

those

3. Changing the tense (backshift)
Example: They said, “He was eating an ice-cream at the table where you are sitting.”

                   They said (that) he had been eating an ice-cream at the table where I was sitting.

If the introductory clause is in the simple past (e.g. He said), the tense has to be set back by one degree (see the table). The term for this in English is backshift.


Example:
Ashok said, “I swim every day.”
Ashok said that he swam every day.

Kumar said, “I wrote a letter.”
Kumar said that he had written.

They said, “She was sitting near the beach.”
They said that she had been sitting near the beach.

Direct speech                                                  Indirect speech

simple present                                                 simple past

present progressive                                        past progressive

simple past                                                      past perfect

simple present perfect                                    simple past perfect simple

past progressive                                               past perfect progressive

present perfect progressive                            past perfect progressive

future I (going to                                                 ) was / were going to

future I (will)                                                        conditional I (would) 

Note: The verbs could, should, would, might, must, needn’t, ought to, used to normally do not change.

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