Chapitre 7: The direct and the indirect speech - Anglais Troisième | DigiClass
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The direct and the indirect speech

I.  The Direct speech

The $\textbf{direct speech}$ is when we repeat the $\textbf{exact words of the speaker,}$ it is generally characterized by the use of $\textbf{quotation marks,the colons, a reporting verb.}$

$\textbf{Example}$ : Moussa said: '' i am a good pupil ''.

II.  The indirect speech

The indirect speech is when you report the proposals of someone. it is characterized by the disapearance of the quotation marks, the colons, and the changing of tenses, adverbs, adverbials, pronouns and the introduction of ''that'' (which is not compulsory)  etc.

A.  Changing of the tenses

  • $\textbf{simple present $\rightarrow$ simple past}$
    Ex: Moussa said:" I am a good pupil "  $\rightarrow$   Moussa said that he was a good pupil.
  • $\textbf{simple future $\rightarrow$ present conditional}$
    Ex: moussa said:" I will be a good pupil" $\rightarrow$ Moussa said that he would be a good pupil.
  • $\textbf{simple past $\rightarrow$ past perfect.}$
    Ex: Moussa said:" I was a good pupil" $\rightarrow$ Moussa said that he had been a good pupil.
  • $\textbf{present perfect $\rightarrow$ past perfect}$
    Ex: Moussa said:" I have been a good pupil" $\rightarrow$ Moussa said that he had been a good pupil.
  • $\textbf{present progressive $\rightarrow$ past progressive}$
    Ex: Moussa said:" I am doing my English exercise. $\rightarrow$ Moussa said that he was doing his English exercise
  • $\textbf{imperative $\rightarrow$  ordered +infinitive}$
    Ex: Moussa said:" come here:"  $\rightarrow$  Moussa ordered him to come there.

B.  Changing of pronouns

I $\rightarrow$ He/She

Me $\rightarrow$ Her/Him

We $\rightarrow$ They

Us $\rightarrow$ Them

Our $\rightarrow$ Their

C.  Changing of adverbs and adverbials

Here $\rightarrow$ there

This $\rightarrow$ that

These $\rightarrow$ those

Today $\rightarrow$ that day

Yesterday $\rightarrow$ the day before

Tomorrow $\rightarrow$ the day after tomorrow

Next time,week,month,year etc  $\rightarrow$  the following time,week,month,year etc.

Eg: Moussa said:" the pupils were here yesterday''  $\rightarrow$ Moussa said that the pupils had been there the day before.

NB: When the reporting verb is in the simple present, there is no changing of tense.
Example: He says:" I am coming" $\rightarrow$ He says that he is coming.

III.  The indirect questions

A.  Yes/no questions

$\textbf{Yes/no}$ questions are opened questions in which you can anser by "yes" or "no".

In the direct speech if the question is a $\textbf{yes/no}$ question ,we add $\textbf{" if + changings}$ (tenses, pronouns etc) ".

NB: We replace the reporting verb with $\textbf{"asked"}$


  • He $\textbf{said :}$ "are you a pupil ?" $\rightarrow$ he $\textbf{asked}$ me if I were a pupil
  • The pupils $\textbf{said :}$ "will you come tomorrow ?"  $\rightarrow$ the pupils $\textbf{asked}$ if I would come the following day.

B.  Wh-Questions

If the sentence in the direct speech contains a Wh-question, we replace the reporting verb with $\textbf{"asked"}$ + the different changings seen so far.

Ex :

  • The teacher $\textbf{said :}$ " why are you late ?" $\rightarrow$ the teacher $\textbf{asked}$ me $\textbf{why} I was late
  • Karim $\textbf{said :}$ "what is your name ?" $\rightarrow$ karim $\textbf{asked}$ him $\textbf{what}$ his name was.