How to change Statements into Indirect Speech?

English Grammar Index


How to change Statements into Indirect Speech? :


  • SAID TO should be changed into TOLD.


  • If the Reporting verb is only SAID, it may be kept as SAID.


  • Use Conjunction word THAT.


  • Change of Personal Pronoun, Tense and Special words.


  • Remove commas, quotation marks and question mark.


  • Two statements in the Direct Speech may be connected this way : AND ADDED THAT.


  • Model auxiliaries MUST, OUGHT TO and SHOULD do not normally change.


  • But MUST in Direct Speech is changed to WOULD HAVE TO / HAD TO.


  • To avoid confusion, MUST in statement need not be changed.


    How to change Statements into Indirect Speech? :


    Examples :

    1. He said, “I am happy now".

      He said that he was happy then.



    2. The servant said, “My master is writing letters".

      The servant said that his master was writing letters.



    3. Sudhahar said, “I have passed the examination".

      Sudhahar said that he had passed the examination.



    4. Her father said, “I bought a car yesterday".

      Her father said that he had bought a car the previous day.



    5. He said to her, “I wrote a letter to him".

      He told her that he wrote a letter to him.



    6. Raghu said to Ravi, “I was playing a cricket match at this time yesterday".

      Raghu told Ravi that he had been playing a cricket match at that time the previous day.



    7. He said, “She had eaten it all".

      He said that she had eaten it all.


    If the Direct speech is a Statement containing Universal truth (or) Habitual truth (or) When two events occur at the same time (simultaneous occurrences), the tense of the Direct speech is not changed.


    Examples :

    1. The teacher said to us, “ The cow gives us milk".

      The teacher told us that the cow gives us milk.



    2. He said, “God rules and governs all things".

      He said that God rules and governs all things.



    3. She said to me, “When the cat is away, the mice will play".

      She told me that when the cat is away, the mice will play.



    4. I said to my friend, “I usually get up early in the morning". (Habitual truth)

      I told my friend that I usually get up early in the morning.



    5. He said to me, “My father was reading newspaper while my mother was cooking".

      He told me that his father was reading newspaper while his mother was cooking.


    MUST is used in Indirect speech in sentences that express Natural laws and general truth.


    Examples :

    1. She said, “I must go".

      She said that she must go (or) She said that she had to go.



    2. “If the floods get any worse we must leave the house" he said. (Must = will have to)

      He said that if the floods got any worse they would have to leave the house.



    3. The teacher said to the boys, “you must not cross the road against red signal".

      The teacher told the boys that they must not cross the road against red signal.

    How to change Statements into Indirect Speech? :

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