1. Direct Speech

Quoting the exact words of the speaker is called “The Direct Speech”. David said, “I am writing a letter now”.

  1. Indirect Speech

Reporting of what a speaker said without quoting his exact words is called ‘Indirect speech’. David said that he was writing a letter then.

Direct Speech                               –    Indirect Speech

now                                                –    then

here                                                –    there

here after                                        –    there after

this                                                 –    that

these                                               –    those

ago                                                 –    before

thus                                                –    so

to-day                                             –    that day

to-night                                          –    that night

last night                                        –    the previous night

yesterday                                        –    the day before (or) the previous day

tomorrow                                       –    the next day (or) the following day

last week                                        –    the week before (or) the previous week

next week                                       –    the week after (or) the following week

last month                                      –    the month before (or) the previous month

next month                                     –    a month after

hither                                              –    thither

hence                                              –    thence

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If the reporting verb is in the Present or Future tense (e.g., say, will say) there is no change in the tense of the verb in the Indirect speech.


Antony says, “I eat a mango”. (D.S.)

Antony says, that he eats a mango”. (I.S.)

If  reporting verb is in the Past Tense. the tense of the verbs in the reported speech or Indirect Speech must be generally changed.

  1. Present Tense in the Direct becomes past tense.

Johnsi said, “I write a letter”. (D.S)

Johnsi said that she wrote a letter. (I.S) 

  1. Past Tense in the direct becomes past perfect or remains unchanged.

Angel said, “I brought a pen yesterday”. (D.S)

Angel said that she had bought a pen the day before. (I.S)

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