Direct and Indirect Speech with Examples and Explanations | Englishan

Direct and Indirect speech
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Direct and Indirect Speech

Direct Speech is the exact words spoken by someone. It is enclosed within quotation marks.


“The ship is sinking,” said the captain. Indirect Speech is when we report what someone else has said.


The captain said that the ship was sinking.

Rules of Direct Speech

  • Since direct speech quotes someone’s exact spoken words, it is enclosed in quotation marks from both sides to separate it from the rest of the text.
  • The first word of the quotation is capitalized in each new quote, unless a single quote is divided into two parts, in which case, the second part of the same quotation begins with a small letter. However, it should be noted that the second part of the same quotation in this case will still be enclosed within quotation marks from both ends.

“This passage, our teacher said, “has been taken from Tom Sawyer.”

  • All punctuation marks (full stop, comma, exclamation mark, question mark, etc.) come at the end of the quotation, before the closing quotation mark.

“Is this my plate?” asked Bob.

  • If the speaker is mentioned before the direct speech, then a comma is placed before the opening quotation mark. If  the speaker is mentioned after the direct speech, then the comma is placed at the end of the quotation before the closing quotation mark.

Simon said, “I would like to visit the museum on Tuesday.” “I would like to visit the museum on Tuesday,” said Simon.

  • If a quotation is a question, then it ends with a question mark and if it is an exclamation, then it ends with an exclamation mark. However, it should be noted that if a quotation ends with a full stop, an exclamation mark or a question mark, then an additional comma is not required after it.

“I want to see him now!” shouted John.

  • Every time a new speaker speaks, their quotation is started from a new line or paragraph.

“I think it will rain tonight,” said Jim. “I don’t think so,” replied Sam.

Rules of Direct Speech

1) Since indirect speech reports what someone else has said it does not use quotation marks. 2) Some pronouns change in indirect speech.

Direct Speech Indirect Speech
Subject Pronouns
I He, she
You I, She, He, We, They
We They
Object Pronouns
Me Him, Her
You Him, Her, Us, Them
Us Them
Possessive Adjective
My His, Her
Your My, His, Her, Our, Their
Our Their
Possessive Pronouns
Mine His, Hers,
Yours Mine, His, Hers, Ours, Their
Demonstrative Pronouns
This That
These Those

3) Some auxiliary verbs change to the simple past tense in indirect speech, unless they are already in simple past tense in direct speech, in which case they remain the same.

Direct Speech Indirect Speech
Present simple  Past Simple
I do to school. He said (that) he went to school.
Present Continuous Past Continuous
I am watching T.VHe said (that) he was watching T.V
Present Perfect Past Perfect
I haven’t met Ali.He said (that) he I hadn’t met Ali.
Past simple Past Perfect
I caught a ball.He said (that) he had caught a ball.
Will Would
I will sell my car in two days.He said (that) he would  sell his car in two days.
Can  Could 
I can speak Arabic.He said (that) he could speak Arabic.
May Might
I may be late.He said (that) he  might be late.

4) Alt verbs change to the past participle form in indirect speech.

Say to Say to, tell, order, request, ask, advise
Says to Says to, tells, orders, requests, asks, advises
Will say to Will say to, will order, will request, will ask
Said to Told (Positive sentence)
Said to Requested (Imperative)
Said to Asked (Interrogative)
Said to Advised (Imperative)
Said to Ordered (Imperative)
Said to Forbade (Imperative)
Said to Urged
Said to Remarked (Opinion)
Said to Commanded (Imperative)
Said to Enquirer (Investigation)
Said to Suggested, proposed
Said to Exclaimed with joy
Said to Exclaimed with sorrow

Direct and Indirect Speech with Examples and Explanations









Direct and Indirect Speech with Examples and Explanations


















Direct and Indirect Speech with Examples and Explanations


























Direct and Indirect Speech with Examples and Explanations

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Direct and Indirect speech with Examples and Explanations available in this post. We are going to share some rules for learner because Direct and Indirect can be a source of confusion for learner.


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