Narration Rules: Definition, Examples, Charts

The term “narration rules” can refer to the guidelines or principles that govern the use of narration techniques in storytelling or written composition. These rules help writers maintain consistency, clarity, and coherence in their narratives. We will also learn narration rules as audio visual expression for better understandings.

Narration Rules

Here are some common narration rules:

  1. Sentence Parts
  2. Commas Replacement
  3. Pronouns
  4. Tenses
  5. Helping Verbs
  6. Change in Certain Words

1. Sentence Parts

A. Reporting Speech

B. Reported Speech

It involves relaying information that was originally spoken or written by another person. In reported speech, the reported or indirect speech is often introduced with reporting verbs such as “said,” “told,” or “asked.” The verb tense, pronouns, and other elements may change to reflect the shift from direct speech (exact words) to indirect speech (reported words).

The purpose of using reported speech is to summarize or relay information shared by someone else while maintaining the overall meaning and intent of the original statement or conversation.

Examples of Reported and Reporting Speech
Reporting SpeechReported Speech
He said to me,“We are going abroad for higher studies.”
They told,“Come to my house for dinner.”
I asked my teacher,“Will you please repeat the question”.
Remember: In above examples, (,) is called comma whereas (“”) is called inverted commas. Change say to >> Tell, said to >> told, says to >> tells.
Remember: The question sentence is called “Direct Speech” whereas the converted sentence is called “Indirect Speech“.
Examples He said to me, “We are going to abroad for higher studies.” (Direct Speech)
He told me that they were going abroad for higher studies. (Indirect Speech)

2. Commas Replacement

We will replace the comma (,) from reporting speech with that.

He said to me, “We are going to abroad for higher studies.” (Direct Speech)

He told me that they were going abroad for higher studies. (Indirect Speech)

3. Narration Rules for Pronouns

1. If the subject of the reported speech (2nd part) is 1st person (I, we), it will change with the subject of the reporting speech (1st part)

He said to me, “I write a letter for exams preparations.”

He told me that he wrote a letter for exams preparations.

2. If the subject of the reported speech (2nd part) is 2nd person (you), it will change with the object of the reporting speech (1st part). If there is no object in reporting speech, consider me/him as object and make changes.

He said to me, “You write a letter for exams preparations.”

He told me that I wrote a letter for exams preparations.

3. If the subject of the reported speech (2nd part) is 3rd person (he, she, they, it, name), no change will be made.

He said to me, “He writes a letter for exams preparations.”

He told me that he wrote a letter for exams preparations.

4. If the object of the reported speech is 1st person, change it with the subject of reporting speech and change the subjective form to objective form of reporting speech.

He said to me, “He writes a letter to me.”

He told me that he wrote a letter to him. (he to him)

5. If the object of the reported speech is 2nd person, change it with the object of reporting speech.

He said to me, “He writes a letter to you.”

He told me that he wrote a letter to me.

6. If the object of the reported speech is 3rd person, make no change.

He said to me, “He writes a letter to him.”

He told me that he wrote a letter to him. (No change)

7. If there is possessive pronoun in reported speech is 1st person, change it with subject of the reporting speech and change its subjective form to possessive form.

He said to me, “He writes my assignment because of illness.”

He told me that he wrote his assignment because of illness. (change he to him)

8. If the possessive pronoun in reported speech is 2nd person, change it with object of the reporting speech.

He said to me, “He writes my assignment because of illness.”

He told me that he wrote his assignment because of illness. (change he to him)

9. If the possessive pronoun in reported speech is 3rd person, make no change.

He said to me, “You write his assignment because of illness.”

He told me that he wrote I write his assignment because of illness. (No change)

4. Narration Rules for Tenses

The forms of the verb from reported speech are changed according to tense of the reporting speech. Here are few relevant rules:

1. If the reporting speech is in present or future tense and the reported speech in present, the form of the verb of reported speech remains unchanged. Make all other types of changes.

1. He says to me, “You write his assignment because of illness.”

He tells me that I wrote I write his assignment because of illness.

2. He will say to me, “You write his assignment because of illness.”

He will say me that I wrote I write his assignment because of illness

2. If the reporting speech is in past tense, and reported speech in present, the 1st form of the verb will be 2nd form and the 2nd form will be had + 3rd form of the verb.

He said to me, “They write his assignment because of illness.”

He told me that we wrote his assignment because of illness.

3. If the reporting speech is in past tense whereas the reported speech also in past ( 2nd form), the change will be made as: had + 3rd form

He said to me, “They wrote his assignment because of illness.”

He told me that they had written his assignment because of illness.

4. If the reporting speech is in past tense whereas the reported speech also in past perfect tense, there will be no change in tense.

He said to me, “They had written his assignment because of illness”.

He told me that they had written his assignment because of illness.

5. Narration Rules for Helping Verbs

The helping verbs in the tenses will be changed as if the reporting speech is past tense:

Before After
1. Is, are, amwas, were
2. was, werehad been
3. will, shallwould, should
4. has. Havehad
5. maymight
6. cancould
7. do, doesdid
8. Didhad done
9. must, had,
would, should,
could, might
no change
1. He said to me, “He is writing his assignment because of illness.”
He told me that he was writing his assignment because of illness.

He said to me, “I am writing his assignment because of illness.”
He told me that he was writing his assignment because of illness.

He said to me, “They are writing his assignment because of illness.”
He told me that they were writing his assignment because of illness.

2. He said to me, “He was writing his assignment because of illness.”
He told me that he had been writing his assignment because of illness.

He said to me, “They were writing his assignment because of illness.”
He told me that they had been writing his assignment because of illness.

3. He said to me, “They will write his assignment because of illness.”
He told me that they would write his assignment because of illness.

He said to me, “I shall write his assignment because of illness.”
He told me that he should write his assignment because of illness.

4. He said to me, “I have written his assignment because of illness.”
He told me that he had written his assignment because of illness.

He said to me, “She has written his assignment because of illness.”
He told me that she had written his assignment because of illness.

5. He said to me, “She may write his assignment because of illness.”
He told me that she might write his assignment because of illness.

6. He said to me, “She can write his assignment because of illness.”
He told me that she could write his assignment because of illness.

7. He said to me, “She does not write his assignment because of illness.”
He told me that she did not writing his assignment because of illness.

He said to me, “You do not write his assignment because of illness.”
He told me that I did not write his assignment because of illness.

He said to me, “You did not write his assignment because of illness.”
He told me that I had not written his assignment because of illness.

6. Narration Rules for Change in Certain Words

When it comes to narration, there may be instances where certain words need to be changed to maintain clarity, consistency, or to match the style of the narrative. Change these words only when the reporting speech is in past tense. Here are some general rules for changing certain words in narration:

BeforeAfter
thisthat
thesethose
herethere
nowthen
thusso
agobefore
hitherthither
hencethence
todaythat day
tonightthat night
tomorrowthe next day
the next daythe following day
yesterdaythe previous day
last nightthe previous night

Conclusion

So, these are the core narration rules to learn before starting the main lesson. Keep in mind that bypassing rules, will be difficult to learn narration as whole.

Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top