Overview of Direct and Indirect Speech
Many situations call for us to describe what happened or what we did recently, and doing so often necessitates paraphrasing what someone else said. This might be a social situation, a business correspondence, or a presentation. Both direct and indirect speech can be used to characterise a speaker’s words.
As a result, knowing how to properly use direct and indirect discourse is crucial. In order to get started, let’s define what each one means. It’s important to note that reported speech is another term for indirect communication. To better understand the difference between direct and indirect speaking, let’s examine a definition and some examples.
To Defining Direct and Indirect Speech
Words That Come Straight From The Mouth
A direct speech technique might be used to describe what was spoken. Direct speaking is when the words are presented just as the speaker spoke them. Therefore, the words are cited verbatim.
Direct speech is typically presented with quotation marks around the words and a comma after say(s) / stated if those words are used to convey the speech. If you insert say(s) / said after the quote, you need to put a comma before it.
Exemplifications of Plain Language
Some other verbs that can be used to signify direct communication include ask, “respond,” and shout. Three illustrations elucidating this point are provided below.
Here are some further instances of direct discourse:
Indirect speech is a form of non-direct communication that involves reporting the words of another person. Other names for it include indirect speech and indirect narrative.
When you report what someone else said in your own words without changing the meaning, you are engaging in indirect speech. Without utilising speech marks or paraphrasing, we can convey what was stated using indirect speech.
In order to show an indirect discourse, we use report verbs. The following are only a few instances of this:
Additional Cases of Implied Pronunciation
It was her firm belief that she would emerge victorious.
Phoebe said I had to come back later that day.
The committee has promised to make an effort to remove the trash.
When I asked how he was doing, he said he was nervous.
The major difference between direct and indirect communication is that in direct speech you repeat the exact words said by another person, whereas in indirect speech you use your own words to explain the words of another person.
Since it just restates what has already been stated, direct speaking is simple to employ and understand. There isn’t much grammatical grey area other than the say(s)/said. Take a look at this illustration of the same thing.
When relaying what someone says in the present simple, such in the previous sentence, we don’t normally change the tense. Instead, we go on to another topic. When doing historical reporting, however, we typically reverse the tense. The following line uses the past tense because it is an indirect speaking example.
This pattern is followed by all the other tenses used in indirect discourse. Here’s an example sentence using each of the five most common tenses:
The same rule of shifting the tenses back one step applies to modal verbs. In the same vein, here are a few examples.
The use of “say” and “tell”
The past tense of say, “tell” (or “told”), can likewise be used in reported speech in place of “say,” however the object pronoun must be present. Take a look at the following cases:
He informed me that he was dialling Rachel.
They informed him that they would be arriving a little later than expected.
You informed us that you had already eaten.
Altering Phrases Relating to Time
Time-specific phrases may also require revision. However, this is conditional on the nature of the speech being reported and the time period in question.
A time in the future is assumed to be reporting the speech. Time references in the reported speech make sense, such as references to “yesterday” or “tomorrow.”
If you’re reporting on a speech that took place in the past and the time phrases used are no longer relevant, you’ll need to make the necessary adjustments. Here are a few more instances:
Direct speech pronouns cannot be used directly in indirect speech, and the first pronoun must be changed to represent the speaker.