Direct And Indirect Speech For Classes 7 And 8

Basic rules

If the reporting verb (the verb outside the quotation marks) is in the past tense, the verb in the direct speech changes as follows.

Simple present changes to simple past.

  • ‘You are late,’ he said.
  • He said that I was late.

Present continuous changes to past continuous.

  • ‘I am doing my homework,’ she said.
  • She said that she was doing her homework.

Present perfect changes to past perfect.

  • Sam said, ‘I have sent the parcel’.
  • Sam said that he had sent the parcel.

Present perfect continuous changes to past perfect continuous

  • Sujatha said, ‘I have been working in this office for two years.’
  • Sujatha said that she had been working in that office for two years.

Simple past changes to past perfect.

  • Raju said, ‘I watched an interesting movie yesterday’.
  • Raju said that he had watched an interesting movie the day before / the previous day.

Past continuous changes to past perfect continuous.

  • Mother said, ‘I was watering the plants.’
  • Mother said that she had been watering the plants.

Will changes to would

Shall changes to would/should

Can changes to could

May changes to might

Must changes to had to / would have to

Must not changes to was/were not to

When the reporting verb is in the present or future tense, the verb in the direct speech does not change.

  • Raju says, ‘I want to go.’
  • Raju says that he wants to go.
  • Rani says, ‘I will not go.’
  • Rani says that she will not go.
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