Direct and Indirect Speech (grade X)

DIRECT AND INDIRECT SPEECH

 

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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THE EXERCISES

EXERCISE 1

Choose the correct answer for the following questions.

1)      “Don’t make noise, children!” she said.

(A)  She told the children don’t make noise.

(B)   She said the children didn’t make noise.

(C)  She didn’t say the children should make noise.

(D)  She told the children not to make noise.

(E)   She didn’t say the children to make noise.

 

2)      He asked me …

(A)  where did I meet her

(B)   why do I meet her

(C)  how did I meet her

(D)  I met her

(E)   Were I met her

 

3)      “I’ve been writing letters,” Don answered.

(A)  Don answered that he had been writing letters.

(B)   Don answered that he has been writing letters.

(C)  Don answered that he wrote letters.

(D)  Don answered that he has writing letters.

(E)   Don answered he has been written letters.

 

4)      “Is John coming to the party tonight?” “Yes, he asked me ….”

(A)  if he could go with us

(B)   can he go with us?

(C)  he went with us

(D)  going with us

(E)   whether he goes with us.

 

5)      The secretary asked me … with Mr. Robin.

(A)  did I had an appointment

(B)   how was my appointment

(C)  whether I had an appointment

(D)  when is my appointment

(E)   that I had an appointment

 

6)      He asked me whether he… my car to go to the party.

(A)  can borrow

(B)   might borrow

(C)  ought to borrow

(D)  may borrow

(E)   would borrow

 

 

 

 

EXERCISE 2

Yesterday you met your friend, Charlie. Charlie told you a lot of things. Here are some of the things he said to you.

1)      “I’m thinking of going to live in Canada.”

2)      “My father is in hospital.”

3)      “I haven’t seen Bill for a while.”

4)      “I don’t know what Fred is doing.”

5)      “You can come and stay with me if you are ever in London.”

6)      “I’ve been playing tennis a lot recently.”

7)      “I work 14 hours a day.”

Later that day you tell another friend what Charlie said. Use reported (indirect) speech.

1)      …………………………………….

2)      …………………………………….

3)      …………………………………….

4)      …………………………………….

5)      …………………………………….

6)      …………………………………….

7)      …………………………………….

 

 

EXERCISE 2

Here are the conversation between Jenny and her father. Supply speech marks, commas and question marks where necessary.

1)      I want to go home Jenny told him.

2)      Did you enjoy the speech Jenny Geoffrey asked.

3)      No he said.

4)      Why didn’t you enjoy it Geoffrey asked.

5)      I do not like to see many people laughing at you she told him.

 

 

EXERCISE 3

Answer these questions to form the sentences below into indirect speech.

1)      ‘Keep quiet!’ he said

What did he tell me to do?

2)      ‘Send him a telegram, ’he suggested

What did he suggest?

3)      ‘Don’t worry about it, ’he told me.

What did he tell me?

4)      ‘Ask him about it,’ he insisted

What did he do?

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