What are the 5 differences between direct and indirect speech?

In direct speech, the speaker’s exact words are quoted, while in indirect speech, the reported words are paraphrased. Direct speech often uses quotation marks, while indirect speech may not. Pronoun changes occur in indirect speech to reflect the perspective shift.

Tense changes can also occur, with past tenses often being shifted back one step in indirect speech. Punctuation changes, like converting question marks to statements, are common in indirect speech.

The five key differences between direct and indirect speech are:

  1. Quotation marks: Direct speech is enclosed in quotation marks, while indirect speech is not.
  2. Reporting verbs: Direct speech is typically introduced by a reporting verb such as “said” or “asked”. Indirect speech does not use a reporting verb.
  3. Tense: The tense of verbs in direct speech remains the same as it was when the words were spoken. In indirect speech, the tense of verbs may change, depending on the time of speaking and reporting.
  4. Pronouns: The pronouns in direct speech refer to the speaker’s own perspective, while the pronouns in indirect speech refer to the reporter’s perspective.
  5. Other words and phrases: Other words and phrases, such as demonstratives and adverbs of time and place, may also need to be changed in indirect speech to reflect the change in perspective.

Here are some examples to illustrate the differences:

Direct speech:

“I am going to the store,” said Mary.

“Can you help me with my homework?” asked John.

Indirect speech:

Mary said that she was going to the store.

John asked me if I could help him with his homework.

As you can see, the indirect speech versions of the sentences use different reporting verbs, tenses, and pronouns to reflect the fact that the reporter is telling us what Mary and John said, rather than quoting them directly.

Here is a table that summarizes the key differences between direct and indirect speech:

FeatureDirect speechIndirect speech
Quotation marksYesNo
Reporting verbsYesNo
TenseRemains the sameMay change
PronounsRefer to the speaker’s perspectiveRefer to the reporter’s perspective
Other words and phrasesMay need to be changed to reflect the change in perspective

I hope this helps!

Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top