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The direct and the indirect speech

I.  The Direct speech

The direct speech is when we repeat the exact words of the speaker, it is generally characterized by the use of quotation marks,the colons, a reporting verb.

Example: Moussa said: '' i am a good pupil ''.

II.  The indirect speech

The indirect speech is when you report the proposals of someone. it is characterized by the disapearance of the quotation marks, the colons, and the changing of tenses, adverbs, adverbials, pronouns and the introduction of ''that'' (which is not compulsory)  etc.

A.  Changing of the tenses

  • simple present  simple past
    Ex: Moussa said:" I am a good pupil "    Moussa said that he was a good pupil.
  • simple futurepresent conditional
    Ex: moussa said:" I will be a good pupil" Moussa said that he would be a good pupil.
  • simple past past perfect.
    Ex: Moussa said:" I was a good pupil" Moussa said that he had been a good pupil.
  • present perfect past perfect
    Ex: Moussa said:" I have been a good pupil" Moussa said that he had been a good pupil.
  • present progressive past progressive
    Ex: Moussa said:" I am doing my English exercise. Moussa said that he was doing his English exercise
  • imperative  ordered +infinitive
    Ex: Moussa said:" come here:" Moussa ordered him to come there.

B.  Changing of pronouns

I he/she

meher/him

wethey

usthem

ourtheir

C.  Changing of adverbs and adverbials

here there

thisthat

thesethose

todaythat day

yesterdaythe day before

tomorrowthe day after tomorrow

next time,week,month,year etc  the following time,week,month,year etc.

Eg: Moussa said:" the pupils were here yesterday'' Moussa said that the pupils had been there the day before.

 

NB: When the reporting verb is in the simple present, there is no changing of tense.
Example: He says:" I am coming" He says that he is coming.

III.  The indirect questions

A.  Yes/no questions

Yes/no questions are opened questions in which you can anser by "yes" or "no".

In the direct speech if the question is a yes/no question ,we add " if + changings(tenses, pronouns etc) ".

NB: We replace the reporting verb with "asked"

Ex: - He said: "are you a pupil ?"  he asked me if I were a pupil
       - The pupils said: "will you come tomorrow ?"   the pupils asked if I would come the following day.

B.  Wh-Questions

If the sentence in the direct speech contains a Wh-question, we replace the reporting verb with "asked" + the different changings seen so far.

Ex: - The teacher said: " why are you late ?"  the teacher asked me why I was late
       - Karim said: "what is your name ?"  karim asked him what his name was.