Change of Speech Grammar Rules, Questions and Video

Direct Speech: Quoting the exact words of the speaker is called “The Direct Speech”.
David said, “I am writing a letter now”.

Indirect Speech: Reporting of what a speaker said without quoting his exact words is called ‘Indirect Speech’.
David said that he was writing a letter then.



Here - there
this - that
these - those
yesterday - the day before (or)the previous day
tomorrow - the next day (or)the following day
thus - so
to-day - that day
to-night - that night
last week - the week before


If the reporting verb is in the Present or Future tense (e.g., say, will say) there is no change in the tense of the verb in the Indirect speech.

Antony says, “I eat a mango”. (DIRECT SPEECH)

Antony says, that he eats a mango”. (INDIRECT SPEECH)

If Reporting Verb is in the Past Tense. the tense of the verbs in the reported speech or Indirect Speech must be generally changed.

Present Tense in the Direct becomes past tense.
Johnsi said, “I write a letter”. (D.S)
Johnsi said that she wrote a letter. (I.S)

Past Tense in the direct becomes past perfect or remains unchanged.
Angel said, “I brought a pen yesterday”. (D.S)
Angel said that she had bought a pen the day before. (I.S)

Present Continuous in the direct becomes past continuous.
John said, “I am going to church”. (D.S)
John said that he was going to church. (I.S)

Past Continuous in the direct becomes past perfect continuous.
Nelson said, “I was playing cricket”. (D.S)
Nelson said that he had been playing cricket. (I.S)

Present Perfect in the direct becomes past perfect.
Kamal said, “I have done my home work”. (D.S)
Kamal said that he had done his home work. (I.S)

Present Perfect Continuous in the direct becomes past perfect continuous.
He said, “I have been reading a novel”. (D.S)
He said that he had been reading a novel. (I.S)

‘Will’ and ‘Shall’ are changed to ‘would’.
He said, “I will go to London tomorrow”. (D.S)
He said that he would go to London the next day. (I.S)

may - might
can - could
must - had to (or) must

Johnsi said, “I must go now”. (D.S)
Johnsi said that she must (or) had to go then. (I.S)

Exception to the above rule:
If the direct speech contains the Universal Truth, the tense of the direct speech remains unchanged even if the reporting verb is in the past.

The teacher said, “The sun rises in the East”. (D.S)
The teacher said that the sun rises in the East. (I.S)


Statement (or) Assertive Sentence

Rules :

  • Remove the quotation marks in the statement
  • Use the conjuction ‘that’
  • Change the reporting verb ‘say to’ into ‘tell’
  • Change the reporting verb ‘said to’ into ‘told’

Note :

  • He said that (correct)
  • He told me that (correct)
  • He told that (Incorrect)

“I will work hard to get first class” said Lazar (D.S.)
Lazar said he would work hard to get first class. (I.S.)

“You can do this work” said Nelson to Johnsi (D.S.)
Nelson told Johnsi that he could do that work. (I.S.)

He says, “I am glad to be here this evening”(D.S.)
He says that he is glad to be there that evening. (I.S.)

“I‘m going to the library now” said David (D.S.)
David said that he was going to the library then. (I.S.)


Imperative Sentence (Order or Request)

Rules :

  • Remove the quotation mark in an Imperative sentence.
  • Use ‘to’ if it is an affirmative sentence. (without don‘t)
  • Use ‘not to’ if the sentence begins without Don‘t.
  • Don‘t use ‘that’
  • Omit the word ‘please’. Use the word ‘request’ instead of ‘say’.
  • If the direct speech contains a request or a command, the reporting verb (say, said) change to tell, request, order, command etc. In its correct tense.


“Don‘t talk in the class” said the teacher to the boys. (D.S.)
The teacher advised the boys not to talk in the class. (I.S.)

Please give me something to eat. I am hungry” the old man said to them. (D.S.)
The old man requested them to give him something to eat and said that he was hungry (I.S.)

“Be careful” said he to her. (D.S.)
He ordered her to be careful. (I.S.)

“Bring me a cup of tea” said Nelson to Andriya. (D.S.)
Nelson asked Andriya to bring him a cup of tea. (I.S.)


Exclamatory Sentence

Rules :

  • Change the exclamatory sentence into statement or Assertive
  • Remove the quotation marks and exclamatory mark.
  • Use the conjunction ‘that’
  • Omit the interjections such as Oh, O, Alas, how, what, hurrah.
  • Add the word ‘very’ to the adjective or adverb if necessary.
  • If the verb is not given, use ‘Be’ form verb (is, was, are, were, am) in its correct tense according to the subject.
  • Change the reporting verb (say, said) to ‘exclaim joyfully’
  • Use ‘exclaim’ sorrowfully for sorrowful incidents.

“O, what a beautiful flower that is!” said she. (D.S.)
She exclaimed joyfully that that was a very beautiful flower. (I.S.)

“What a horrible sight!” we all exclaimed. (D.S.)
We all exclaimed that it was a very horrible sight. (I.S.)

“Alas! I have broken my brother’s watch” said he.
He exclaimed sorrowfully that he had broken his brothers watch. (I.S.)

“How beautiful she is!” said Boon.(D.S.)
Boon exclaimed joyfully that she was very beautiful. (I.S.)


Change of Speech Questions from Previous Year Exams

Change of Speech


Change of Speech Video Lecture


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1 Comment

  1. Bondhon

    He said to me, " I was rewarded . "


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