A speech may be given in two ways:

1.      Direct form of speech

2.      Indirect for of speech


For example is a boy named Ali tells you something about himself,

You will mention it like this in the Direct for of speech:


Ali says to me, “I go to Muree every year.”


But if you want to tell somebody else what Ali says to you, you will have to mention it with certain changes. At that time you will not say that Ali says to me that I go to Muree every year because if you mention the actual words of the speakers in front of somebody without any changes, he will think that you go to Muree every year and that Ali was telling you about yourself. So, to explain him correctly you will have to mention the actual words of Ali in your own words as,

Ali tells me that he goes to Muree every year. Like this the listener can understand the meaning of the sentence well. Let us learn how to mention the sentences in our way. For this we will have to see few words.


1.      Narration: It means to mention something or a statement. There are two types of narrations. Direct Narration and Indirect Narration.


i) Direct Narration:  Direct Narration is the actual words of the speaker quoted in writing.

ii) Indirect Narration: To give the substance of the actual words of the speaker.


2. Inverted Commas:  “   ” are used to mention the actual words of the speaker.


3.Reporting Speech:  It is that part of narration which is written outside the inverted commas, as, Ali says to me,


      4. Reported Speech: It is that part of the narration which is written inside the inverted commas, as, “I go to Muree every year.”


      5. Reporting verb: It is the verb used in the reporting speech, as,

             Ali says to me,

6.      Reported verb:  It is the verb used in the reported speech, as,


                “I go to Muree every year.”




1.      Changes in pronouns

2.      Changes in tenses

3.      Changes in words.




1. Changes in pronouns:


I                             changes into                                   me

We                              “                                               us

You                             “                                               you

They                            “                                               them

He                               “                                               him

She                              “                                               her

It                                  “                                               it


2. Changes in Tenses:


Simple present changes into Simple past

Present continuous changes in Past continuous

Present perfect changes in Past perfect

Present perfect continuous changes in Past perfect continuous

Simple past changes in Past perfect

Shall/Will changes in Would


3. Changes in words:


this – that

today - that day

yesterday – the previous day

last night – night before

tonight – that night

tomorrow – the next day

next – the following

now – then

here – there

ago – before

thus – so


Assertive Sentences:

Assertive sentence contains statement. If the statement is in ‘yes’ sense, the sentence is affirmative and if the statement is in ‘no’ sense, the sentence is negative. Rules to change it in indirect speech:

1.      Remove inverted commas and put ‘that’.

2.      Change ‘said to’ and ‘say/says to’ into told or tell/tells. If the reporting speech does not have an object, ‘said’ and ‘say/says ‘ should not be changed.

3.       The change in verb, pronoun and other words may be made accordingly.

Solved examples:

He said to me, “I am a teacher and I have been teaching for ten years.

He told me that he was a teacher and he had been teaching for ten years.

I said to him, “I do not play cricket. It is time consuming.

I told him that I did not play cricket because it was time consuming.


Interrogative sentence contains questions. Following rules must be used to change the direct speech into indirect speech:

1.      ‘said to’ or ‘say/says to’ be changed into ‘ask/asks’ or ‘asked ‘.

2.      ‘that’ is not used in the indirect speech of interrogative sentence.

3.      If the sentence inside the inverted commas starts with ‘Wh’ or ‘H’, then start the sentence with the same word after removing the inverted commas.

4.      If the sentence inside the inverted commas starts with any helping word, then start the sentence with ‘if’ or ‘whether’ and make the sentence simple.

Solved examples:

He said to me, “What is your name?”

He asked me my name.

He asked me what my name was.

She said to Ali, “Is your mother at home?”

She asked Ali whether his mother was at home.


Imperative sentence contains order, request, advice or proposal. Following rules will be applied to change the sentence from direct to indirect speech.

1.      ‘said to’ will be changed into advised, requested, ordered or proposed.

2.      ‘to’ will be used before the verb. If the sentence is in negative form, ‘not to’ will be used.

3.      ‘that’ will not be used.

4.      The change in pronoun and tense will be as per rules.

5.      If ‘let’ is used in sense of a proposal, help may be taken from the word ‘propose’ and ‘should’. If ‘let’ is used in the sense of permission, then ‘request’ and ‘should’ be used in and under these circumstances ‘that’ will be used.


i)                   He said , “Let us go for a walk”.

He proposed that we should go for a walk.

ii)        He said to me, “Let us watch TV.”

He proposed to me that we should watch TV.

iii)       He said to me, “Let me do my duty.”

He requested me that he should be allowed to do his duty.

He requested me to let him do his duty.

Solved examples:

The Policeman said to the driver, “Show me your licence.”

The Policemen ordered the driver to show him his licence.

The beggar said to the lady, “Please give me something to eat.”

The beggar requested the lady to give him something to eat.

Father said to the children “Do not go near the water.”

Father advised the children not to go near the water.

He said to his friends, “Let us go to a picnic today.”

He proposed his friends to go to a picnic that day.



Exclamatory and Optative:

These sentences contain sudden feelings, wishes and prays.

To change these sentences from direct speech to indirect speech, we should:

1.      change ‘said to’ into ‘prayed’ or ‘wished’ as the case may be.

2.      In place of exclamatory mark ! we shall put full stop.

3.      We shall use ‘that’

4.      We shall first of all change the sentence into a simple sentence.

5.      The change in tense, pronoun and other words will be made accordingly.


Solved examples:

 He said, “Alas! I have failed in the examination.”

He exclaimed with sorrow that he had failed in the examination.

She said, “Oh! I have passed my examination.”

She exclaimed with joy that she had passed her examination.

He said, “May you live long!”

He prayed that I might live long.

She said, “What a beautiful bird it is!”

She exclaimed with wonder that it was a very beautiful bird.








                                               (PRACTICE EXERCIES)                                                                                                                                                            



                                    ( Change into Indirect Speech)



First see the example:-


   Henry says, “I am reading.”

Ans.     Henry says that he is reading.


1.                  I say, “ I am coming.”

2.                  We say, “We are going.”

3.                  You say, “I am sleeping.”

4.                  They say, “We are singing.”

5.                  He says, “I am studying.”

6.                  She says, “I am sewing.”

7.                  Saad says, “I am playing.”

8.                  Madiha says, “I am writing.”

9.                  Father says, “I am waiting.”

10.              Mother says, “I am cooking.”



First see the example:-


 Ian says to me, “I am your son.”


Ans.  Ian tells me that he is my son.

1.                  I say to him, “I am your teacher.”

2.                  He says to me, “You are coming.”

3.                  She says to her, “I am your neighbour.”

4.                  Gilbert says to him, “I am your class fellow.”

5.                  The boys says to the girl, “You are good.”




First see the example:


1.                  Julius will say to me, “You are my brother.”

Ans.     Julius will tell me that I am his brother.


1.                  I will say to her, “You are my good student.”

2.                  You will say to him, “You are my good friend.”

3.                  We will say to them, “You are our good neighbours.”

4.                  They  will say to us, “We are your class fellows.”

5.                  Father will say to mother, “We are life partners.”




First see the example:-


            Arshad said, “I like bananas.”

Ans.   Arshad said that he liked bananas.


1.                  I said, “I am unwell.”

2.                  You said, “I shall come tonight.”

3.                  We said, “We shall attend the class tomorrow.”

4.                  They said, “We shall go to Lahore today.”

5.                  He said, “I shall help you.”



First see the example:-

            Gilbert said to his uncle, “I shall visit Quetta in July.”

Ans.   Gilbert told his uncle that he will visit Quetta in July.


1.                  I said to her, “You can solve this sum easily.”

2.                  We said to them, “ The Principal wants to see you.”

3.                  You said to him, “You can see me anytime.”

4.                  They said to them, “ We shall see you next time.”

5.                  The boy said to the girl, “I shall gift you a book.”


EXERCISE-6 (Universal truths)



First see the example:-


            The teacher said, “The sun is the centre of the solar system.”

Ans.   The teacher said that the sun is the centre of the solar system.


1.                  My father said, “Honesty is the best policy.”

2.                  The Principal said, “Virtue is its own reward.”

3.                  He said to me, “Karachi is a sea-port.”

4.                  Henry said his friend, “Man is mortal.” 

5.                  Father said to his son, “God is one.”




First see the example:-


            He said to me, “Are you ready.”

Ans.   He asked me if I was ready.


1.                  I said to him, “Where do you come from?”

2.                  You said to her, “Why are you feeling shy?”

3.                  He said to me, “When will you be back from Korea?”

4.                  They said to us, “Why don’t you stay with us?”

5.                  Chloris said to me, “How do you go to school?’

6.                  Father said to me, “Who is your class teacher?”

7.                  The Cashier said to me, “Haven’t you paid your fee?”

8.                  The boy said to the girl, “Aren’t you happy to see me?”

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