Our everyday lives require us to switch effortlessly between direct and indirect discourse. Yet, there could be vital guidelines that we overlook in our discussions. Therefore, if you are serious about improving your reported speech skills, you should read this blog. Learn the difference between reported clauses and direct speaking, and examine numerous examples of both!
A definition of reported speech.
We can report what we or others say by using the technique of reported speech. Essentially, it has two distinct applications:
To illustrate the difference between direct and indirect speech, below are two examples:
The following is a direct quote from Jim: “I want to work at this company.”
Reporting Jim’s indirect comments, “I want to work at their company,” is an example of reported indirect speech.
Jim’s statements were taken verbatim from his actual conversation (or exactly as we remember it). Direct speech involves directly stating the words, while indirect speech involves providing the same information without using those words.
You may have also noticed that the verb ‘desire’ evolved into the past tense form ‘wanted.’ This is because the tense of the verb must match the grammatical structure of the sentence as it shifted from direct to indirect discourse. It’s important to observe this rule while reporting speech. However, while shifting to indirect speech, it is not required to repeat the precise words. To cite just one illustration:
Simply, “Hello,” Mark said to Winston.
Mark extended a friendly greeting to Winston, but not directly.
Indirect communication uses different words to convey the same meaning.
The use of reported speech extends beyond verbal exchanges.
Reported speech allows us to express our own and others’ ideas. For Instance:
To put it plainly, he declined to buy it because he felt it was overpriced.
He didn’t want to pay that much for it, so he avoided making the purchase.
Do you feel like there’s a shift occurring in how speech is reported? Each and every sentence is composed of two components. This holds true whether one chooses to communicate directly or indirectly. Let’s investigate this further, shall we?
Clauses for reporting and being reported on
Generally speaking, reported speech can be broken down into two sections:
The need to report, and
Words reported or stated are what the reported clause addresses. “whereas” is shorthand for “reporting clause,” the term that initiates the reported clause. Here’s a case in point:
Examples of indirect and reported speech punctuation
You might have noted that inverted commas (” “) were utilised in all the quotations of direct speech. You can tell that they are quoting the words by looking for this pattern. The position of quote marks (or inverted commas) is implicit in spoken language, but it can be explicitly stated in written language.
If you want to separate the quoted words in American English, use two inverted commas.
in the same way that-
As he put it, “I do not know you anymore.”
However, in British English, it is common to use two inverted commas, as in
I don’t think I even recognise you anymore,” he replied.
To further distinguish British English, commas and full stops are placed outside the quotation marks,
We’ll be stuck here forever, he groaned.
In American style, commas and periods are placed inside the quotation marks, but outside of them in other languages.
We’ll be stuck here forever,” he groaned.
She said softly, “You forgot the bread.”
It’s worth noting that there are no hard and fast rules on where a period needs to go. Many individuals and businesses now use a hybrid of British and American punctuation because of how fluid language is.
Regularly used verbs in summaries
In earlier discussion, we established that reported speech sentences consist of a reporting clause and a reported clause.
Verbs like “speak” and “tell” are frequently employed in the reporting clause.
“If I think about it too much, I may get more afraid,” he remarked.
I never thought you’d give me such a great gift,” she whispered.
Remember that the word “tell” is grammatically improper when posing a question; rather, the words “said” or “asked” should be used. For Instance:
Why are you still awake?” he questioned.
” (Correct) (Correct)
“Why are you still awake?” he questioned.
” (Incorrect) (Incorrect)
Additional reporting verbs include-
Let’s have a look at how these verbs are used in context:
What country are you from?” she inquired.
He said, “I’m from Canterbury, in the south of England.”
When he heard that response, he followed up with, “And you, where are you from?
A proud native of the island nation of Tuvalu.
“You should visit, it’s incredibly nice there,” she said.
When the bus finally arrived, the driver yelled, “All aboard the bus!” to the gathered passengers.
He then made the observation, “We’ll be reaching soon.”
“Perhaps on the way, you’ll be able to fill me in on Tuvalu,” he went on.