SOME GENERAL TERMS IN DIRECT AND INDIRECT NARRATION

 

We can report the words of a speaker in two ways—

(i) Direct Reporting or Direct Narration,

(ii) Indirect Reporting or Indirect Narration.

 

Direct Narration

It is the method in which the actual words of the speaker are reported within inverted commas. As—

Ram said, “I am going.”

Mohan says,“He is my friend.”

 

Indirect Narration

It is the method in which the substance or idea of the speaker’s words is reported without using his actual words. The sentences given above in Direct Narration would be converted into Indirect Narration, thus—

 

Ram said that he was going.

Mohan says that he is his friend.

 

Reporting Speech—The part of the whole sentence outside the Inverted Commas in Direct Narration is called the Reporting Speech, and the Verb used in this part is called the Reporting Verb.

 

Reported Speech—The part of the whole sentence in which the actual words of the speaker are written within the Inverted Commas is called the Reported Speech, and the Verb used in this part is called the Reported Verb.

 

Rules for Changing Direct Narration into Indirect Narration

 

The Rules for changing the Direct Narration into Indirect Narration may be divided into four groups—

 

  1. Rules for Connectives

 

  1. Rules for Change of Tenses

 

  1. Rules for Change of Persons

 

  1. Other Rules for Miscellaneous Changes.

 

Rules for Connectives

 

The whole sentence in the Direct Narration form consists of two parts. The first part is outside the Inverted commas which is called Reporting Speech, and the second part is within the Inverted commas which is called Reported Speech. When the whole sentence is required to be changed from Direct into Indirect narration, the two parts of the sentence are joined by some connectives. There are some Rules for using the correct connectives. The following are these Rules—

 

(1) Assertive Sentences—If the Reported speech is in the form of an assertive sentence, the connective used to join it with the Reporting speech is ‘that’— As—

 

Direct : He said, “He is going home.” Indirect : He said that he was going home.

 

(2) Interrogative Sentences—If the Reported speech is in the form of an Interrogative sentence, it can be connected in two ways according to the structure of the Interrogative sentence.

 

(a) If the Interrogative sentence begins with an Interrogative Adverb (Where, What, When, How, Why, etc.) or with an Interrogative Adjective / Pronoun (Who, Whose, Whom, Which, What, etc.), no connective is required to join it. It is a serious mistake to use that to connect such a sentence. As—

 

Direct : He said, “Where are you going?” Indirect : He asked (me) where I was going. ( Not, that where I was going) Direct : He said, “Who is your friend ?” Indirect : He asked me who my friend was. ( Not, that who my friend was)

 

(b) If the Interrogative sentence begins with an Auxiliary Verb, the connective whether or if is used to join it (not, that whether or that if).

 

Direct : He said, “Is he a doctor ?” Indirect : He asked whether (or if) he was a doctor. (Not, that whether (or if) he was a doctor)

 

Direct : I said, “Do you smoke ?” Indirect : I asked whether (or if) you smoked. (Not, that whether (or if) you smoked)

 

(3) Imperative Sentences—If the Reported speech is in the form of an Imperative sentence (indicating command or request), no connective is needed but the main Verb of the Imperative sentence is converted into an Infinitive. As—

 

Direct : He said, “Please give me a glass of water.” Indirect : He requested to give him a glass of water. Direct : He said to the servant, “Close the door.” Indirect : He asked the servant to close the door.

 

(4) Exclamatory Sentences—If the Reported sentence is in the form of an Exclamatory sentence (indicating surprise, fear, contempt or wish), it is changed into an Assertive sentence in the Indirect Narration form, and connective ‘that’ is used to join it with the Reporting sentence. As—

 

Direct : He said, “May you live long ! ” Indirect : He wished that you may live long.

 

Direct : He said, “What a horrible scene ! ” Indirect : He observed that it was a horrible scene.

 

Rules for Change of Tenses

 

Rule 1—It should first be remembered that no change is ever made in the Tense of the Reporting Verb. But, of course, without changing the Tense, the verb can be changed according to the sense of the Reported speech. For example, in place of say or said, we can use tell or told, or we can use replied, remarked, asked, observed, declared, etc. according to the sense. But in no case there should be a change in the Tense of the Reporting Verb.

 

Rule 2—If the Reporting Verb is in the Present or Future Tense, no change is made in the Tense of the Reported Verb. But, of course, the form of the Auxiliary Verb will change according to the change in Person of the Subject in the Indirect Narration form. For example, am can be changed into is or are; or do and have can be changed into does or has, but no change can be made in the Tense in the process of this change. As—

 

Direct : He says, “I am not feeling well today.” Indirect : He says that he is not feeling well today.

 

Direct : He will say to me, “You are not kind to me.” Indirect : He will tell me that I am not kind to him. Solved

 

Examples Direct : I often say to my friends, “You are all very dear to me.” Indirect : I often tell my friends that they are all very dear to me.

 

Direct : You say to your father, “My teacher is very kind and sympathetic.” Indirect : You tell your father that your teacher is very kind and sympathetic.

 

Direct : I will go and say to my father, “I am not satisfied with the job that you have found for me.” Indirect : I will go and tell my father that I am not satisfied with the job that he has found for me.

 

Direct : Mohan will go to Delhi to tell his uncle, “Are you not finding some job for me ? ” Indirect : Mohan will go to Delhi to ask his uncle whether he is not finding some job for him.

 

Direct : I shall say to my father, “Please let me participate in the marriage of my friend.” Indirect : I shall request my father to let me participate in the marriage of my friend.

 

Direct : I say to my father whenever I meet him, “I do not want to marry at such an early age.” Indirect : I tell my father whenever I meet him that I do not want to marry at such an early age.

 

Direct : Mohan will say to his servant, “You are the greatest dunce that I have ever seen in my life.” Indirect : Mohan will tell his servant that he is the greatest dunce that he has ever seen in his life.

 

Rule 3—If the Reporting Verb is in the Past Tense, the Tense of the Reported Verb is changed according to the following Rules—

 

(I) (a) Present Indefinite is changed into Past Indefinite Tense. As—

 

Direct : He said, “I am unwell.” Indirect : He said that he was unwell.

 

(b) Present Continuous is changed into Past Continuous Tense. As—

 

Direct : He said, “My father is reading his book.” Indirect : He said that his father was reading his book. (c) Present Perfect is changed into Past Perfect Tense. As—

 

Direct : He said, “I have passed the examination.” Indirect : He said that he had passed the examination. (d) Present Perfect Continuous is changed into Past Perfect Continuous Tense. As—

 

Direct : Mohan said, “I have been working hard since July.” Indirect : Mohan said that he had been working hard since July.

 

(II) (a) Ordinarily no change is made in the Past Indefinite Tense, but sometimes it is changed into Past Perfect Tense. As—

 

Direct : Ram said, “He visited Delhi last year.” Indirect : Ram said that he visited Delhi last year. Direct : He said, “The horse died last night.” Indirect : He said that the horse had died last night.

 

(b) Past Continuous is changed into Past Perfect Continuous Tense. As— Direct : He said, “My brother was working in this factory.” Indirect : He said that his brother had been working in that factory.

 

(c) No change is made in Past Perfect and Past Perfect Continuous Tense. As—

 

Direct : He said, “I had finished my work long ago.” Indirect : He said that he had finished his work long ago.

 

Direct : Ram said, “I had been doing that work for several years.” Indirect : Ram said that he had been doing that work for several years.

 

Rule 4—Will and shall of the Future Tense are changed into Would and Should. As—

 

Direct : He said, “I shall definitely do this work.” Indirect : He said that he would definitely do that work.

 

Direct : He said, “Ram will go to the market.” Indirect : He said that Ram would go to the market.

 

Rule 5—May is changed into might and can into could. As— Direct : He said, “I can do this work.” Indirect : He said that he could do that work. Direct : The teacher said, “He may be allowed to go.” Indirect : The teacher said that he might be allowed to go.

 

Rule 6—There is no change in Must. As— Direct : He said, “I must go at once.” Indirect : He said that he must go at once.

 

Rule 7—If the Reported speech refers to some universal truth or habitual action, no change is made in the Tense of the Reported Verb, even if the Reporting Verb is in the Past Tense. As—

 

Direct : The teacher said in the class, “The sun rises in the east.” Indirect : The teacher said in the class that the sun rises in the east.

 

Direct : He said, “Man lives by bread.” Indirect : He said that man lives by bread.

 

Chart of Changes in Tenses Tense of the Reporting Verb Original Tense of the Reported Verb Changed Tense of the Reported Verb Present Tense or Future Tense No Change No Change Past Tense Present Indefinite Past Indefinite Present Continuous Past Continuous Present Perfect Past Perfect Present Perfect Continuous Past Perfect Continuous Past Indefinite Generally no change‚ but sometimes changed into Past Perfect Tense Past Tense Past Continuous Past Perfect Continuous Past Perfect Or Past Perfect Continuous No Change Past Tense Will or shall Would or should Can or may Could or might Must No Change Universal Truth No Change

 

Solved Examples

 

Note the changes made in the Tense of the Reported Verb in the following examples—

 

Direct : The Station Master said, “This train is going to Punjab.” Indirect : The Station Master said that that train was going to Punjab.

 

Direct : “I cannot believe you ?” said the merchant in anger. Indirect : The merchant said in anger that he could not believe him.

 

Direct : My friend said, “I am going to write a letter to my father.”

Indirect : My friend said that he was going to write a letter to his father.

 

Direct : He said, “I have been successful in my work.”

Indirect : He said that he had been successful in his work.

 

Direct : He said, “Ram’s dog has killed my hen.”

Indirect : He said that Ram’s dog had killed his hen.

 

Direct : He said, “I do not believe in the orthodox principles of Hinduism.”

Indirect : He said that he did not believe in the orthodox principles of Hinduism.

 

Direct : Ganesh said, “I have been suffering from this disease for six months.”

Indirect : Ganesh said that he had been suffering from that disease for six months.

 

Direct : He said, “My servant has been working in the field since this morning.”

Indirect : He said that his servant had been working in the field since that morning.

 

Direct : Mohan said, “I reached the station before the arrival of the train.”

Indirect : Mohan said that he had reached the station before the arrival of the train.

 

Direct : She said in the court, “My husband had been leading an immoral life for several years before I was married to him.”

Indirect : She said in the court that her husband had been leading an immoral life for several years before she was married to him.

 

Direct : He said, “The students were learning their lessons in the class.”

Indirect : He said that the students had been learning their lessons in the class.

 

Direct : “One of the servants had stolen my watch,” said Sohan. Indirect : Sohan said that one of the servants had stolen his watch.

 

Direct : He said, “I had made all arrangements for the reception of the President before his arrival at Agra.”

Indirect : He said that he had made all arrangements for the reception of the President before his arrival at Agra.

 

Direct : Mohan said, “I was doing my work when Ram came to me.”

Indirect : Mohan said that he had been doing his work when Ram came to him.

 

Rules for Change in Persons

All Pronouns (I, we, you, he, she, they) used in the Reported speech are changed according to the following Rules—

 

Rule 1—Every First Person Pronoun used in the Reported speech is changed according to the Person of the Subject of the Reporting speech.

 

Direct : He said, “I am doing my work.”

Indirect : He said that he was doing his work.

 

Direct : You said, “I am going to Delhi to meet my uncle.”

Indirect : You said that You were going to Delhi to meet your uncle.

 

Direct : I said, “I am reading my book.”

Indirect : I said that I was reading my book.

 

Rule 2—Every Second Person Pronoun in the Reported speech is changed according to the Object / Predicate of the Reporting Verb.

 

Direct : Ramesh said to him, “You are not doing your work seriously.”

Indirect : Ramesh told him that he was not doing his work seriously.

 

Direct : Mohan said to you, “You are not doing your work seriously.”

Indirect : Mohan told you that you were not doing your work seriously.

 

Direct : Ramesh said to me, “You are not doing your work seriously.”

Indirect : Ramesh told me that I was not doing my work seriously.

 

Rule 3—Third Person Pronoun remains unchanged. Formula All First Persons Changed according to the Subject of the Reporting Verb All Second Persons Changed according to the Object or Predicate of the Reporting Verb Third Persons No Change

 

Solved Examples

 

Direct : He said, “I have completed my work with my own hard labour.”

Indirect : He said that he had completed his work with his own hard labour.

 

Direct : You said to your friend, “I am going to Delhi today.”

Indirect : You told your friend that you were going to Delhi that day.

 

Direct : My teacher said to me, “You will fail if you do not work hard.”

Indirect : My teacher warned me that I would fail if I did not work hard.

 

Direct : The watchman said to you, “You cannot pass through this lane at this time of the night.”

Indirect : The watchman told you that you could not pass through that lane at that time of the night.

 

Direct : My father said to him, “You seem to be proud of your strength.”

Indirect : My father told him that he seemed to be proud of his strength.

 

Direct : “I cannot give you a single pice,” said my father to the street-beggar, “because you are strong enough to earn your livelihood.”

Indirect : My father told the street-beggar that he could not give him a single pice, because he was strong enough to earn his own livelihood.

 

Direct : I said to my father, “I cannot go to school today because I am not feeling well.”

Indirect : I told my father that I could not go to school that day because I was not feeling well.

 

Direct : Mohan said to him, “Your brother is a good sportsman.”

Indirect : Mohan told him that his brother was a good sportsman.

 

Direct : Mahesh said to Ram, “I have lost your purse on account of my carelessness.”

Indirect : Mahesh told Ram that he had lost his (Ram’s) purse on account of his (Mahesh’s) carelessness.

 

Miscellaneous Changes

 

(i) Some typical words used in the Reported speech are changed as listed below—

 

Words Changed Form Now Then This or these That or those Hither Thither Here There Hence Thence Thus So Come Go Today That day Tomorrow Next day Yesterday The previous day Last night The previous night Ago Before

 

Direct : He said, “I will do this work now.”

Indirect : He said that he would do that work then.

 

Direct : He said, “I came to this village long ago.”

Indirect : He said that he had gone to that village long before.

 

(2) Interrogative Sentences

Interrogative Sentences can begin in two ways—

 

(i) With Auxiliary or Helping Verb such as— Is, are, am, was, were, has, have, had, will, shall, do, did, does, can, could.

(ii) With Interrogative Adjective/Pronoun or Interrogative Adverb such as— Who, whom, whose, which, what, when, where, why, how. Rules

 

Rule 1—We can make a change in the Reporting Verb according to the sense, but without making any change in its Tense. For example, in place of said, we can use asked, enquired, demanded, etc.

 

Rule 2—Connective ‘that’ is not used to join any kind of Interrogative sentence.

 

Rule 3—If the Interrogative sentence begins with an Auxiliary or Helping Verb in the Direct Narration, i t begins with If or Whether in the Indirect Narration.

 

Rule 4—If the Interrogative sentence begins with an Interrogative Adverb / Adjective / Pronoun in the Direct Narration, it will begin with the same Interrogative Adverb / Adjective Pronoun in the Indirect Narration also. No connective is needed to join it with the Reporting speech. This is a very important Rule and must be very carefully observed.

 

Rule 5—The Interrogative sentence is changed into an Assertive sentence in the Indirect Narration. In order to change an Interrogative sentence into an Assertive one, the Subject is used before the Verb, and the Mark of Interrogation should be removed.

 

Rule 6—The Auxiliary do or does of the Reported speech is removed, and in their place the Past Indefinite Tense of the main Verb is used. As—

Direct : He said to Ram, “Do you know his name ?”

Indirect : He asked Ram whether he knew his name.

 

Direct : Ram said to him, “Does Suresh go to school ?”

Indirect : Ram asked him whether Suresh went to school.

 

Rule 7—The Auxiliary did of the Reported speech is removed and the Past Perfect form of the main Verb is used. As—

Direct : I said to him, “Did you go to school yesterday ?”

Indirect : I asked him whether he had gone to school the previous day.

 

Rule 8—If the Reported speech has do not or does not, in the Indirect Narration, it will have did not + First Form of the Verb. As—

Direct : He said to Ram, “Do you not know me ?”

Indirect : He asked Ram whether he did not know him.

 

Direct : Mohan said, “Does not Ramesh tell a lie ?”

Indirect : Mohan asked whether Ramesh did not tell a lie.

 

Rule 9—If the Reported speech has did not, in the Direct Narration, it will have had not + Past Perfect Form of the Verb in the Indirect Narration. As—

Direct : I said to him, “Did you not promise to come ?”

Indirect : I asked him whether he had not promised to come.

 

Rule 10—The Rules for change in Pronouns are the same as applicable in Assertive sentences.

 

Solved Examples

 

Direct : He said, “What is your name ?”

Indirect : He asked (him) what his name was.

 

Direct : Ram said to Mohan, “Where do you live ?”

Indirect : Ram asked Mohan where he lived.

 

Direct : Keshav said to his wife, “Which of these sarees do you like most?”

Indirect : Keshav asked his wife which of those sarees she liked most.

 

Direct : The teacher said, “Who is the author of this book ?”

Indirect : The teacher asked (the boys) who the author of that book was.

 

Direct : He said, “Are you going to Delhi?”

Indirect : He asked (him) whether (if) he was going to Delhi.

 

Direct : Mohan said to his friend, “Can you help me in unloading my cart ?”

Indirect : Mohan asked his friend if he could help him in unloading his cart.

 

Direct : Ramesh said to the Station Master, “Has the train left ?”

Indirect : Ramesh asked the Station Master whether (if) the train had left.

 

Direct : Mohan said to his friend, “Are you in a position to help me now?”

Indirect : Mohan asked his friend whether he was in a position to help him then.

 

Direct : My father said to me, “Why are you so eager to go to picture today ?”

Indirect : My father asked me why I was so eager to go to picture that day.

 

Direct : The teacher said to the student, “How can you prove that the earth is round ?”

Indirect : The teacher asked the student how he could prove that the earth is round.

 

(3) Imperative Sentences

The sentences which carry the sense of order, request, wish, advice, etc. are called Imperative sentences. These sentences often begin with Finite Verb. As—

 

Go away; Work hard; Bring a glass of water, etc. Sometimes these sentences also begin with— Let, Please, Kindly and such other polite expressions. As—

Please help me; Kindly leave the seat; Let him come.

 

Rules

 

Rule 1—The Reporting Verb can appropriately be changed according to the sense, but without making any change in its Tense. For example, in place of ‘said’, we can use requested, asked, ordered, advised, suggested, proposed, forbade, etc.

 

Rule 2—The Reported Verb is changed into an Infinitive (to + Verb). No other change is made in the Verb. As—

 

Direct : The teacher said to the students, “Work very hard.”

Indirect : The teacher advised the students to work very hard.

 

Direct : Ram said to his servant, “Bring a glass of water.”

Indirect : Ram ordered his servant to bring a glass of water.

 

Rule 3—If the Reported speech begins with Do not, we remove Do, and the main Verb is changed into an Infinitive. As— Direct : My father said to me, “Don’t go there.” Indirect : My father advised me not to go there.

 

Rule 4—The Rules for change in Tense and Pronouns are the same as discussed under Assertive sentences.

 

Rule 5—Some Imperative sentences carry the sense of prohibition. In such sentences forbid or forbade can be used. As— Direct : My father said, “Don’t play in the sun.”

Indirect : My fahter forbade me to play in the sun.

 

Solved Examples

 

Direct : Ram’s father said to him, “Do not be impatient about the result of your examination.”

Indirect : Ram’s father advised him not to be impatient about the result of his examination.

 

Direct : He said, “Please do not enter my room without my permission.”

Indirect : He requested (them) not to enter his room without his permission.

 

Direct : The captain said to the soldier, “Go to the batallion office and come back within half an hour.”

Indirect : The captain ordered the soldier to go to the batallion office and (to) come back within half an hour.

 

Direct : The doctor said to the patient, “Do not smoke so long as you are under my treatment.”

Indirect : The doctor instructed the patient not to smoke so long as he was under his treatment.

 

Direct : The teacher said to Mohan, “Improve your handwriting if you want to pass.”

Indirect : The teacher advised Mohan to improve his handwriting if he wanted to pass.

 

Direct : He said, “Save me from this calamity.”

Indirect : He appealed (to them) to save him from that calamity.

 

Direct : Ram said, “Please come with me.”

Indirect : Ram requested (him) to go with him.

 

Direct : The teacher said, “Always speak the truth.”

Indirect : The teacher advised (the students) always to speak thetruth.

 

Direct : He said to his friends, “Let us go on a picnic.”

Indirect : He proposed to his friends to go on a picnic.

 

Direct : I said to my father, “Please let me go to Delhi.”

Indirect : I requested my father to let me go to Delhi.

 

(4) Exclamatory Sentences

 

The sentences which carry the sense of sudden joy, sorrow, wonder, disappointment are called Exclamatory sentences. These sentences generally begin with such exclamatory words as—Alas, Oh, Hurrah, Bravo, How, What a, etc.

 

Rules

Rule 1—In place of the Reporting Verb ‘said’ some other Verbs as exclaimed, wished, prayed are used according to the sense.

 

Rule 2—Connective ‘that’ is used.

 

Rule 3—After the Reporting Verb, we use such expressions as joyfully, sorrowfully, with sorrow, with joy, in astonishment, etc. according to the sense.

 

Rule 4—Exclamatory sentence is changed into Assertive sentence.

 

Rule 5—The Rules for change of Tense and Pronoun are the same as used in Assertive sentences.

 

Rule 6—If the Exclamatory sentence in the Direct Narration is incomplete, it is made a complete sentence in the Indirect Narration by adding appropriate Subject and Verb.

 

Solved Examples

 

Direct : He said, “Alas ! I am ruined.”

Indirect : He cried with grief that he was ruined.

 

Direct : The Captain said, “Bravo ! We have won the match.”

Indirect : The Captain exclaimed with joy that they had won the match.

 

Direct : He said, “O, what a chance !”

Indirect : He exclaimed that it was a fine chance.

 

Direct : His mother said, “May you live long !”

Indirect : His mother wished (prayed) that he might live long.

 

Direct : He said, “What a piece of work is man !”

Indirect : He exclaimed that man is a strange piece of work.

 

(5) Question-Tags

 

Question-Tags can be added to two types of sentences—Interrogative sentences and Imperative sentences. We shall consider them separately.

 

(I) Interrogative Question-Tags

The following Rules apply in changing the Question–Tags connected with the Reported speech from Direct into Indirect Narration—

 

Rule 1—While changing into Indirect Narration, the Assertive sentence is left out.

 

Rule 2—The Question-Tag is changed into Indirect Narration under normal Rules, but the Question–Tag (which is generally an incomplete sentence) is made a complete sentence. As—

 

Direct : He said, “You are a good sportsman, aren’t you ?”

Indirect : He asked whether I was a good sportsman.

 

Direct : I said, “Ram has secured first division, hasn’t he ?”

Indirect : I asked whether Ram had secured first division.

 

(II) Imperative Question-Tag

The Imperative Question–Tags are changed into Indirect Narration under the following Rules–

 

Rule 1—In the Indirect Narration the Question– Tag is left out.

 

Rule 2—Only the Imperative sentence is converted into Indirect form under normal Rules discussed earlier in this chapter. The Reporting Verb is changed into told, asked, requested, etc., and the main Verb is changed into an Infinitive. As—

 

Direct : He said to me, “Bring me a cup of tea, will you ?”

Indirect : He requested me to bring him a cup of tea.

 

Direct : He said, “Go away from here, will you ?”

Indirect : He asked me to go away form there.

 

(6) Sentences beginning with ‘Let’

Sentences beginning with ‘Let’ express the sense of order, wish, proposal, imagining, condition, etc. They are converted into Indirect Narration according to their sense. The Reporting Verb is changed into ordered, requested, proposed, wished, supposed, etc. according to the sense.

In all such sentences ‘Let’ is removed and connective ‘that’ is used. Other changes are made according to normal Rules. Some typical points are given below—

Let : Order

Sometimes Let suggests order. In such sentences orderd, asked, or directed are used for the Reporting Verb. In place of Le t we use should. As—

 

Direct : The Principal said, “Let no student stand here.”

Indirect : The Principal ordered that no student should stand there.

 

Let : Proposal

Sometimes Let suggests Proposal.

 

In these sentences the following Rules apply—

 

(i) Proposed or suggested is used for Reporting Verb.

(ii) Connective that is used.

(iii) Let is removed, and ‘should’ is used in its place.

(iv) The Objective case coming after ‘Let’ is changed into Nominative case. As—

 

Direct : The Captain said, “Let us play a friendly match.”

Indirect : The Captain proposed that we should play a friendly match. Let : Wish Sometimes ‘Let’ suggests wish or desire.

 

In these sentences the following Rules apply—

(i) Requested, wished or desired are used for Reporting Verb.

(ii) Connective that is used.

(iii) Should is used in place of Let.

(iv) The Objective case coming after

 

Let is changed into Nominative Case. As—

Direct : The boy said, “Let me go out to play.”

Indirect : The boy wished that he should go out to play.

 

Direct : The man said, “Let me have the first choice.”

Indirect : The man wished that he should have the first choice.

 

Some General Observations

 

(1) In order to maintain continuity of thought, different sentences in a paragraph are connected with such expressions as the following— He continued, He further said, He also said, Continuing he said, etc.

 

(2) As we have stated above, the Interrogative and Imperative sentences in the Reported speech are changed into Assertive sentences. For doing so, the subject is used before the Verb. As—

 

Direct : : He asked, “Where are you going?” Indirect He asked where he was going.

 

Direct : He said, “Hurrah ! We have won the match.”

Indirect : He exclaimed joyfully that they had won the match.

 

Direct : He said, “Alas ! he is dead.” Indirect : He mournfully exclaimed that he was dead.

 

(3) The sense of Oh, Alas, Hurrah, Bravo, etc. used in Exclamatory sentences is expressed by such expressions as the following— He said sorrowfully or joyfully or cheerfully or surprisingly or mournfully etc.

 

(4) When words like Sir, your Honour, your Majesty, Please, Kindly, etc. are used in the Reported speech, their sense is expressed by using the following expressions with the Reporting Verb, and these words are dropped—

He said respectfully or politely or humbly or gently or reverently etc. As—

 

Direct : The student said to the teacher, “Sir, mark me present.”

Indirect : The student respectfully requested the teacher to mark him present.

 

(5) In the same way, the sense of Good Morning, Good Evening, etc. is expressed by such expressions as ‘He greeted him’.

 

(6) When words like Yes, No, Certainly, Not at all, Never, etc. are used in the Reported speech, their sense is expressed by such expressions as—

“He replied in the affirmative or negative.”

 

Direct : Ram asked him, “Will you go to Delhi ?” He replied, “No”.

Indirect : Ram asked him whether he would go to Delhi. He replied in the negative.

 

(7) When some person or thing is addressed to in the Reported speech, or when some special Adjective is used for a thing or person, those words of address or admiration are shifted from there and expressed with the Reporting Verb. As—

 

Direct : The speaker said, “Ladies and Gentlemen, it is my proud privilege to talk to you this afternoon.”

Indirect : Addressing the audience he said that it was his proud privilege to talk to them that afternoon.

 

Direct : The teacher said, “Where are you going, Ramesh ?”

Indirect : Calling Ramesh the teacher asked him where he was going.

 

Direct : The policeman said, “I will put you behind the bars, you wicked.”

Indirect : Calling him wicked the policeman said to him that he would put him behind the bars.

 

Direct : He said, “Give unto me the light of truth, Reverend Father.”

Indirect : Calling him Reverend Father he implored him to give unto him the light of truth.

 

(8) When ‘May’ is used in the sense of request or prayer in the Reported speech, it is shifted from there and its sense is expressed by such words as ‘He prayed ……’ along with the Reporting Verb. As—

Direct : He said, “May you live long !”

Indirect : He prayed for a long life to him.

 

(9) The student can exercise his own discretion too and use certain words from his own side in order to make the sense clear in the Indirect Narration.

 

Solved Examples

 

(I) Direct : A fawn one day said to his mother, “Mother, you are bigger than a dog and swifter and better-minded, and you have horns to defend yourself: how is it that you are so afraid of the hounds ?” She smiled and said, “All this, my child, I know fully well. But no sooner do I hear a dog bark than somehow or other my heels take me off as fast as they can carry me.”

Indirect : A fawn one day said to her mother that she was bigger than a dog, and swifter and better-minded, and she had horns to defend herself : how was it, then, he asked, that she was so afraid of the hounds. At that she smiled and answered to her child that she knew all that fully well; but no sooner did she hear a dog bark than somehow or other, her heels took her off as fast as they could carry her.

 

(II) Direct : But the sea-god cried, “Do not be afraid, noble prince; I have taken pity on you and will help you.” Indirect : But the sea-god told the noble prince not to be afraid, and assured him that he had taken pity on him (the prince) and would help him.

 

(III) Direct : “Curse it !” exclaimed the driver, “Who could have foreseen such ill-luck ? But for the accident we should have caught the train easily.”

Indirect : The driver exclaimed with a curse that nobody could have foreseen such ill-luck, and said that but for that accident they would have caught the train easily.

 

(IV) Direct : Once a rich man said to his poor brother, “Why do you not enter the service of the king, so that you may relieve yourself from the baseness of labour ?”

Indirect : Once a rich man asked his poor brother why he did not enter the service of the king, so that he might relieve himself from the baseness of labour.

 

(V) Direct : Finding no remedy she said to herself, “It is better to die than to live in such misery as I am compelled to suffer from a husband who treats me and has always treated me so unkindly.”

Indirect : Finding no remedy she said to herself that it was better to die than to live in such misery as she was compelled to suffer from a husband who treated her and had always treated her so unkindly.

 

(VI) Direct : Pt. Nehru said, “Ladies and gentlemen, the whole society is responsible for the prevalence of corruption in the country.”

Indirect : Addressing the audience Pt. Nehru said that the whole society was responsible for the prevalence of corruption in the country.

 

(VII) Direct : He said, “Please daddy, let me attend the marriage party of my friend.” Indirect : He requested his daddy to permit him to attend the marriage party of his friend.

 

(VIII) Direct : He said to me, “Are you not going to school today?” I said, “No.”

Indirect : He asked me whether (if) I was not going to school that day. I answered that I was not.

 

(IX) Direct : He said, “I am not going to help you, you fool.” Indirect : Calling him a fool he said that he was not going to help him.

 

(X) Direct : “Let us see him today”, said Ram.

Indirect : Ram suggested (proposed) that they should see him that day.