Direct Speech and Reported Speech

There are basically two ways of conveying something that someone else has spoken/written about. They are known as

  1. Direct/quoted Speech
  2. Indirect/Reported Speech.

We use the exact words or utterings by the person who said it while using the direct/quoted speech. For example: He said, “I won’t be playing football tomorrow ”- this is how a direct speech would look like. We have to note that a comma is always used just before starting the direct speech and the direct speech would be in between inverted commas.

When it comes to Indirect/reported speech, one need not use the quotation marks or report word for word. In fact, unless one is relaying the exact words spoken, one should never use quotation marks. For example, he told us that he wouldn’t be playing football tomorrow is a perfect example of reported/indirect speech.We can see that the tense of the sentence has changed in the reported speech. This is simply because reported speech is definitely about something someone said in the past. Hence, we obviously have to change the tense of the verb.

She said, “I’m ok.” She said that he was ok.
She said, “I’ve been married for five years.” She said that she had been married for five years.
He said, “I went to the game yesterday.” He said that he had gone to the game the day before.
He said, “The show was already underway when the chief guest arrived.” He said that the show was already underway when the chief guest arrived. (no change in tense)