Samacheer Kalvi 9th English Grammar Reported Speech (Direct to Indirect Speech)

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Tamilnadu Samacheer Kalvi 9th English Grammar Reported Speech (Direct to Indirect Speech)

Quoting the exact words of the speaker is called “The Direct Speech”.

David said, “I am writing a letter now”.

Reporting of what a speaker said without quoting his exact words is called ‘Indirect Speech’, (also called Reported Speech).

David said that he was writing a letter then.

The following table suggests the words that change during a transformation.

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

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.

Anto says, “I eat a mango”. (Direct Speech)
Anto says that he eats a mango”. (Indirect Speech)


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.
Janis said, “I write a letter”. (D.S)
Janis said that she wrote a letter. (I.S)

2. Past Tense in the Direct becomes past perfect or remains unchanged.
Arun said, “I bought a pen yesterday”. (D.S)
Arun said that he had bought a pen the previous day. (I.S)

3. Present Continuous in the Direct becomes past continuous.
Juber said, “I am going to mosque”. (D.S)
Juber said that he was going to mosque. (I.S)

4. Past Continuous in the Direct becomes past perfect continuous. *
Nelson said, “I was playing cricket”. (D.S) > M
Nelson said that he had been playing cricket. (I.S)

5. Present Perfect in the Direct becomes past perfect.
Kamal said, “I have done my home work”. (D.S)
Kamal said that he had done his home work. (I.S)

6. Present Perfect Continuous in the Direct becomes past perfect continuous.
He said, “I have been reading a novel”. (D.S)
He said that he had been reading a novel. (I.S)

7. ‘Will’ and ‘Shall’ are changed to ‘would’.
He said, “I will go to Trichy tomorrow”. (D.S)
He said that he would go to Trichy the next day. (I.S)

8. may – might
can – could
must – had to (or) must
Nisha said, “I must go now”. (D.S)

Nisha said that she must go then, (or) Nisha said that she had to go then. (I.S)

Hint: Past Perfect and Past Perfect Continuous in the Direct Speech do not take any change *, in their tenses.

Exception to the above rule:
If the direct speech contains the Universal Truth, the tense of the direct speech remains unchanged even if the reporting verb is in the past.

The teacher said, “The sun rises in the East”. (D.S)
The teacher said that the sun rises in the East. (I.S)

Statement (Or) Assertive Sentence

Remove the quotation marks in the statement
Use the conjunction ‘that’
Change the reporting verb ‘say to’ into ‘tell’
Change the reporting verb ‘said to’ into ‘told’ ‘

Note: He said that (correct)
He told me that (correct)
He told that (Incorrect)


1. “I will work hard to get first-class” said Nasser (D.S.)
Nasser said that he would work hard to get first class. (I.S.)

2. “You can do this work” said Sundar to Kumar (D.S.)
Sundar told Kumar that he could do that work. (I.S.)

3. He says, “I am glad to be here this evening”(D.S.)
He says that he is glad to be there that evening. (I.S.)

4. “I‘m going to the library now” said David (D.S.)
David said that he was going to the library then. (I.S.)

Imperative Sentence (Order Or Request)

Remove the quotation marks in an imperative sentence.
Use ‘to’ if it is an affirmative sentence, (without don’t)
Use ‘not to’ if the sentence is negative, (with don’t)
Don’t use ‘that’
Omit the word ‘please’. Use the word ‘request’ instead of ‘say’.

If the direct speech contains a request or a command, the reporting verb (say, said) change to tell, request, order, command etc. in its correct tense.

1. “Don’t talk in the class” said the teacher to the boys. (D.S.)
The teacher advised the boys not to talk in the class. (I.S.)

2. “Please give me something to eat. I am hungry” the old man said to them. (D.S.)
The old man requested them to give him something to eat and said that he was hungry (I.S.)

3. “Be careful” said he to her. (D.S.)
He warned her to be careful. (I.S.)

4., “Bring me a cup of tea” said Danush to Andrea. (D.S.)
Danush asked Andrea to bring him a cup of tea. (I.S.)

Interrogative Sentence (Questions)

Remove the quotation marks and the question mark in the interrogative sentence.
Use ‘if’ or ‘whether’ if the sentence inside the quotation marks begins with a helping verb (Auxiliary verb).
Use the given interrogative word (what, when, where, why, who, whom, whose, which, now etc.) if it does not begin with the helping verb.
Don’t use ‘that’
Changing the reporting verb (say, said) into ‘ask’ or ‘enquire’ in its correct tense.
Omit helping verb like ‘do, does, did’. But don’t omit them when they are with ‘not’.

1. “Won’t you help me to carry this box?” said I to my friend. (D.S.)
I asked my friend if he would not help me to carry that box. (I.S.)

2. Mohan said to Stalin, “Why did not you attend the meeting yesterday”? (D.S.)
Mohan asked Stalin why he had not attended the meeting the day before. (I.S.)

3. “How often do you go to the theatre?” said David to John. (D.S.)
David asked John how often he went to the theatre. (I.S.)

4. Mohamed said to Sultan, “Do you like mangoes?” (D.S.)
Mohamed asked Sultan if he liked mangoes. (I.S.)

Exclamatory Sentence

Remove the quotation marks and exclamatory mark.
Change the exclamatory sentence into Statement or Assertive.
Use the conjunction ‘that’.
Omit the interjections such as Oh, O, Alas, how, what, hurrah.
Add the word ‘very’ to the adjective or adverb if necessary.
If the verb is not given, use ‘Be’ form verb (is, was, are, were, am) in its correct tense according to the subject.
Change the reporting verb (say, said) to ‘exclaim joyfully’
Use ‘exclaim’ sorrowfully for sorrowful incidents.


1. “O, what a beautiful flower that is!” said she. (D.S.)
She exclaimed joyfully that that was a very beautiful flower. (I.S.)

2. “What a horrible sight!” we all exclaimed. (D.S.)
We all exclaimed that it was a very horrible sight. (I.S.)

3. “Alas! I have broken my brother’s watch” said he.
He exclaimed sorrowfully that he had broken his brother’s watch. (I.S.)

4. “How beautiful she is!” said Banu. (D.S.)
Banu exclaimed joyfully that she was very beautiful. (I.S.)

Direct Speech Into Indirect Speech

I. Look at the following examples of Direct and Indirect Speech:

1. He said, “Danny will be in London on Tuesday.”
He said that Danny would be in London on Tuesday.

2. “I never eat meat”, he explained.
He explained that he never ate meat.

3. He said, “I wish I knew.”
He said that he wished he knew.

4. She says, “I shall be there.”
She says that she would be there.

5. He said, “She is coming this week.”
He said that she was coming that week.

6. He said, “I bought this pearl for my mother.”
He said that he had bought that pearl for his mother.

7. He said, “Where is she going?”.
He asked where she was going.

8. He said, “Jaya, when is the next bus.”
He asked Jaya when the next bus was.

9. “Is anyone there?” she asked.
She asked if anyone was there.

10. The mother said, “Lie down, David.”
The mother asked David to lie down.

11. He said, “Don’t move, boys.”
He asked the boys not to move.

12. He said, “Please–say nothing about this.”
He asked her to say nothing about that.

Reported Speech–Statement–Rules

Whatever may be the tense of the Reporting Sentence, if the Reported Sentence tells a universal fact, no change is made in the tense of the Reported Sentence.

Example No. 1:
The mother is saying to the child, “The third day of the week is Tuesday. ”.
Step 1 : The Reported Sentence is: The third day of the week is Tuesday.
Step 2 : It is a Statement and a universal fact.
Step 3 : So, the conjunction word is — “that”.
Step 4 : ‘is saying to’ changes into ‘is telling’.
Step 5 : No change of pronoun.
Step 6 : It is a universal fact. So, no change of tense is necessary.
Step 7 : No change of extension.
‘Now, the Indirect Speech is:
The mother is telling the child that the third day of the week is Tuesday.


Example No. 2:
The History teacher says, “Megellan was the first navigator to come around the world. ”.

Step 1 : The Reported Sentence is: “Megellan was the first navigator to come around the world.”
Step 2 : It is a statement.
Step 3 : The conjunction word is — “that”.
Step 4 : ‘Says’ does not change. Use it as it is.
Step 5 : There are no pronouns to get changed.
Step 6 : No change of tense is made.
Step 7 : No extensive word to get changed.

Now, the Indirect Speech is:
The History teacher says that Megellan was the first navigator to come around the world.

Example No. 3:
You know the two types of Interrogative Sentences:
Inverted questions requiring ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ answers — 1st type.
Questions that begin with interrogative words — 2nd type
At first we shall deal with the First type:

Direct Speech: The boy said to the fruit–seller, “Are all these mangoes sweet?”
Step 1 : Identify the Reported Sentence.
Step 2 Know what kind of sentence the Reported Sentence is.
Step 3 Look for the correct Conjunction, (The Conjunction of the First type is “If or Whether”)
Step 4 Change of ‘said to’ — Since it is an interrogative sentence ‘said to ’ changes into ‘asked’.
Step 5 Step Look for the change of pronouns.
Step 6 Look for the change of tenses.

The Reporting Sentence is in past tense. The Reported Sentences is in present tense. So, the Reported Sentence should be changed into past tense, corresponding to the tense, of the Reporting Sentence.

The verb is ‘are’ — Its past tense is ‘were’.

Step 7 : Look for the change of extension words.
‘These’ changes into ‘those’.

The Indirect Speech is : The boy asked the fruit–seller if all those mangoes were sweet.

Example No 4:
Direct Speech: The grandfather said fo his grandsons, “Did you not like my story yesterday?”
SIeR 1 : The Reported Sentence is: “Did you not like my story yesterday?”
Step 2 : ‘It is an interrogative sentence. It is of the First type.
Step 3 : So its conjunction word is: ¡for Whether.
Step 4 : So ‘said to’ changes into ‘asked’.
Step 5 : Look for the pronouns.

(i) The first one is: ‘You’ (subject)
‘You’ — refers to grandsons. They are in the third person plural number.
So the third person of ‘You’ (subject, plural)
It is — ‘they’. ‘You’ changes into ‘they’.
‘You’ — grandsons — ‘They’

(ii) The next one is ‘My’.
‘My’ — refers to ‘the grandfather’ — in the third person.
So, take the third person of ‘My’
‘My’ changes into ‘His’.


Step 6 : Look for the change of tenses.
Step 7 : Extensive word ‘Yesterday’ changes into ‘the day before’. Now, the Indirect Speech is-

The grandfather asked his grandsons if they had not liked his story the day before.

Transform the following questions into indirect form :

1. Radha asked, “Where are you going?”
Radha asked (me) where I was going.

2. Mani asked, “Where are you going to spend the holiday?”
Mani asked (me) where I was going to spend the holiday.

3. Jenifer said, “What will you do when you leave school?”
Jennifer asked (me) what I would do when I left school.

4. The nurse asked the doctor, “How did you know my name?”
The nurse wanted to know how the doctor had known her name.

5. The clerk said, “Do you have an appointment?”
The clerk asked (me) whether/if I had an appointment.

6. Bharath said to his wife, “Have you seen my car keys?”
Bharath asked his wife whether she had seen his car keys.

7. Rekha’s brother asked her, “Why didn’t you call me?”
Rekha’s brother wanted to know why she hadn’t called him.

8. Rayan said to James, “Will you carry my briefcase for me please?”
Rayan asked James to carry his briefcase.

9. Charles asked the receptionist, “When can I see the doctor?”
Charles asked the receptionist when he could see the doctor.

10. Devi asked, “Where do you live?” ‘
Devi asked (me) where I lived.

Change the following sentences into Indirect Speech:

1. He said, “I will do it now.”
He said that he would do it then.


2. He says, “Honesty is the best policy.”
He says that honesty is the best policy.

3. Ramesh says, “I have written a letter.”
Ramesh says that he has written a letter.

4. She said, “Mahesh will be reading a book.”
She said that Mahesh would be reading a book.

5. She said, “Where is your father?”
She inquired where his father was.

6. He said to me, “Please take your book.”
He requested me to take my book.

7. The Principal said to the peon, “Let this boy go out.”
The Principal ordered the peon to let that boy go out.

8. He said to me, “May you live long!”
He prayed that I might live long.

9. She said, “Goodbye friends!”
She bade goodbye to her friends.

10. The student said, “Alas! I wasted my time last year.”
The student regretted that he had wasted his time the previous year.

(iii) Change the following sentences into direct speech.

1. She asked me who was the best player..
“Who is the best player here?”, she asked.

2. He asked me if I was going home with him.
“Are you coming home with me?”, he asked.

3. She asked me what I wanted.
She said to me, “What do you want?”.


4. He asked me what the matter was.
He said to me, “What is the matter?”.

5. She enquired which her seat was.
She said, “Which is my seat?”.

6. I asked whether he did not know the way home.
I said, “Don’t you know the way home?”.

7. Aladdin asked the magician what he had done to deserve so severe a blow.
Aladdin said to the magician, “What have I done to deserve so severe a blow?”

8. Ulysses asked the little bird whether it had anything to tell him.
“Have you anything to tell me, little bird?”, asked Ulysses.

9. He asked me what my name was.
He asked me, “What is your name?”.

10. The kind man asked the boy what he could do for him.
“What can I do for you?”, the kind man asked the boy.