Direct and indirect speech or narrations are related to reporting, and reporting means whenever you are delivering or narrating the speech of any person to others. There are two ways to report anything;

     You narrate the same speech of a person to others.
     Example: He said, “I shall not attend English class.”

You change the speech and narrate it in indirect manner.
Example: He told that he would not attend English class.

Now the first sentence above is the example of direct speech or direct narration because narrator has delivered the same speech and that is why the speech is in quotation marks because they are not narrator’s words. In the second sentence you see the narrator has changed the speech and delivered it in indirect manner hence it is indirect speech or indirect narration. Now look at some more examples below.


Direct speech

indirect speech
He says, “I shall come.” I say that he will come.
Erica said, “I shall be on leave tomorrow.” Erica told that she would be on leave next day.
She says, “I am busy today.” She says that she is busy today.
He said, “I am regular in my studies.” He said that he was regular in his studies.
Chris said to me, “What are you doing here?” Chris asked me what I was doing there.
Peter says, “I don’t like him.” Peter says that he doesn’t like him.
They say, “We shall win this time.” They say that they will win this time.
He said, “Earth is round.” He said that earth is round.
She said, “I am going to take test.” She said that she was going to take test.
He said, “it’s too early for you to come.” He said that it was too early for him to come.

Reporting and Reported Speech

In above examples you have seen that narrations have two clauses in a sentence; one is in quotation marks and the other is not. Narrations is an example of complex sentences in which one is dependent clause (reporting speech) and another is independent clause (reported speech). The quoted part is not the speaker’s words rather it is reported portion that is why it is called reported speech, whereas the clause which is out of quotation marks is called as reporting speech. Like; he says, he said, she said etc. Reporting speech usually is at the start of the sentence but it can be at the end. Reported speech can also be split. See the examples.


“I am busy” he said. (direct speech with reporting speech at the end)
He said that he was busy. (indirect speech)

My mother said to me, “Where are you going?” (direct speech with reporting
speech at the beginning)
My mother asked me where I was going. (indirect speech)

“I am working hard” she said to her friend, “to have good score this time.” (direct speech with split reported speech)
She said to her friend that she was working hart to have good score that time. (indirect speech)

Some other examples of split reported speech

“It is very hard”, he said, “to keep walking uphill.” (direct speech)
He said that it was very hard to keep walking uphill. (indirect speech)

“I am” she said angrily, “not going to the party.”
She said angrily that she was not going to the party.

“They are” said he proudly, “playing excellent that no one can defeat them.”
He told proudly that they were playing excellent that no one could defeat them.

Note: The method to convert any sentence into indirect speech is the same. It doesn’t matter whether reported speech comes at the start of the sentence, at the end of the sentence or it is split into two parts.