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Reported Speech in Extended Texts

The words of a speaker may be reported in 2 ways:

We may quote it in actual words and this is called direct speech.

We may report what is said without quoting his exact words and this is called reported speech.


Direct: Rama said, 'I am very busy now'.

Reported: Rama said that he was very busy then.



In a direct speech, we use inverted commas to mark off the exact words of the speaker. In a reported speech we do not do so.

Certain changes are made while changing direct to reported speech:

a) The conjunction 'that' is used before the indirect statement.

b) The pronoun 'i' is changed to 'he'/'she'.

c) The verb 'am' is changed to 'was'.

d) The adverb 'now' is changed to 'then'.

Rules for changing direct to reported speech:

A simple present becomes a simple past.

A present continuous becomes a past continuous tense.

A present perfect becomes a past perfect.


He said, 'I am unwell'.

He said (that) he was unwell.

He said, 'my master is writing letters'.

He said (that) his master was writing letters.

He said, 'I have passed the examination'.

He said (that) he had passed the examination.

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