Leila - November 16th
Examine the following two sentences carefully:
John said: "I am going away on Wednesday."
John said that he was going away on Wednesday.
The first sentence above is an example of "Direct speech" because the words of the speaker are given exactly as spoken. The second sentence is an example of "Indirect speech" because the words of speaker are not given as spoken but are given indirectly.
Note that, when changing from direct to indirect speech, we change all pronouns to agree with the sense of the new sentence. (Notice how the pronoun "I" above was changed in the second sentence to "he").
Note also that in indirect speech, if the reporting verb is in the past tense, the rule of "sequence of tenses" must be followed.
The same general procedure used in changing statments from direct to indirect speech is followed in changing questions from direct to indirect speech form. Note, however, that when a direct question is expressed in indirect form, the original question form is not retained. This is logical since any direct question, when expressed in indirect form, ceases to be a question and becomes a simple statement of fact.
- Direct: John asked, "Where does Mary live?"
- Indirect: John asked where Mary lived.
Note also that, if the direct question is not introduced by some question word like why, where, when, how much, then when it is stated in indirect form it must be introduced by whether (or if).
- John asked, "Does Mary live near here?"
- John asked whether (or if) Mary lived near here.
Orders or commands are expressed in indirect speech by use of an infinitive as shown in the following examples:
- Direct: He said to me, "Come back later."
- Indirect: He told me to come back later.
- Direct: She said to me, "Don't wait for me."
- Indirect: She told me not to wait for her.
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