REPORTED SPEECH OR INDIRECT SPEECH
The term is meant to ‘an already told speech’ that is reported later .
Here, ‘the told speech’, in this context known as ‘direct speech’, has its own time, that means ‘tense’, related to when it was told, and also ‘its tense’ further changes, as far as the time when it is reported later .
To clear it, let’s look at the following question and its answer,
Q : John said to his wife, “ I feel headache” ( direct speech)
A : John told his wife that he felt head ache (reported speech or indirect speech)
Here we can understand by looking at the finite verb ‘feel’ ( do + feel =feel) that the speech of ‘John to his wife’ is in ‘simple present tense’ form as far as the time when it was told .
But when we reported it later, that speech has undergone many changes ‘mainly in the tense form of its verb’, that is ‘feel’ (simple present) became ‘felt’ ( did + feel) (simple past) and also in the ‘persons’, that is ‘first person’ subject ‘I’ became ‘third person’ subject ‘he’.
Let’s look at another example,
Jancy said, “ I have been ill for a week”
Jancy said that she had been ill for a week
Here also, we can see the similar changes, not only in its tense form but its persons too.
So, we can primarily conclude that a direct speech may undergo many changes, mainly in its tense form, while being changed into reported speech.
Next, let’s analyze the question given below,
Mathew told his friends, “ I saw a beautiful girl yesterday “
Now, we know ‘the name’ of the speech ‘put in inverted comas’ as ‘direct speech’ ( also known as ‘Reported statement’). But, what can we call ‘the first part’ of the question before it?. Don’t worry.., this first part of any question, that is ‘the part of the question without inverted comas’, is known as ‘the Reporting statement’.
So when we get a question, we must identify its ‘Reporting statement’ and ‘Reported statement’( direct speech)
While reading it, many of us may get confused related to the names of the part of a question. To avoid it, let’s remember once again the names.
- The part of a question ‘put in inverted comas’ === ‘Direct Speech’, also known as ‘Reported statement.’
- The part of a question ‘not put in inverted comas’ == ‘Reporting statement’.
- Another name of Reported speech === Indirect Speech
To clear it again let’s go to the following question and its answer
James told his father, “ Dad, my teacher told me to get this paper signed by you”
Here the part, ‘not put in inverted comas’ ( james told his father), is the Reporting statement of the question. That means, by the term Reporting statement, the part of the question that reports who says (the direct speech) to whom. That is why, this part is known as Reporting statement. Also the ‘subject’, ‘the verb’ and ‘the object’ of this statement is known as ‘the Reporting subject’, ‘Reporting verb’ and ‘the Reporting object’ respectively.
Here, in the question, ‘James’ is the ‘reporting subject’, ‘told’ is the ‘reporting verb’ and ‘his father’ is the reporting object
The next part, ‘put in inverted comas’ ( Dad, my teacher………by you), is the ‘Direct speech’ or the ‘Reported statement’ of the question.
This speech was directly told by James to his father. In this sense, it is called Direct speech.
And also, this speech was once reported (told). In this sense, it is called ‘Reported statement’.
So, we can understand that a ‘direct speech’ can also be called as ‘Reported statement’.
The ‘subject’, ‘verb’ and ‘object’ of ‘Reported statement’ are known as ‘Reported subject’, ‘Reported Verb’ and ‘Reported object’ respectively.
Here, in the question, ‘my teacher’ is the ‘reported subject’, ‘told’ in the sentence is the ‘reported verb’ and ‘me’ is the reported object.
When this speech is further ‘indirectly said’ or ‘reported’, then the speech is called ‘Indirect speech’ or ‘Reported Speech’.
Now, let’s write the above question in reported speech, as
James told his father that his teacher had told him to get that paper signed by him .
Here, when the answer is written, ‘my’ in the direct speech is changed into ‘his ’, ‘ told’ ( simple past ) is changed into ‘had told’( past perfect) , ‘this’ is changed into ‘that’ and ‘you’ is changed into ‘him’.
Let’s go through more examples to find out the changes.continue reading