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Change the Narration (Advanced Level Rules)

 After completing basic level of narration in previous four articles, here we are to learn the advanced level rules to change the narration. 

Reported speech starting with ‘Let’:

Rule 1

If the reported speech starts with ‘Let us’ or ‘Let’s’:

Direct – I said, “Let’s play chess.” [Turn it into indirect speech.]

Now what to do???

Let’s follow the steps below.

Step I:

As ‘Let’s’ or ‘Let us’ denotes a suggestion or a proposal, the reporting verb (say/says/said) will be replaced with -suggest/suggests/suggested or propose/proposes/proposed followed by a ‘that’.

As, Indirect – I suggested that... 

Step II:

Use ‘we’ or ‘they’ as the subject of the clause after the conjunction ‘that’ removing the word ‘let’.

Use ‘we’ when the subject of the reporting verb is a first person,

We can use either ‘we’ or ‘they’ if the subject of the reporting verb is a third person.

As, Indirect – I suggested that we...

Remember: Here in the direct narration (reported speech) ‘Let’s’ is used. And we all know, Let’s = let us. So for the word us, ‘we’ is used in the narration as the subject of the clause after ‘that’.

Step III:

Use the modal verb ‘should’ after the subject ‘we’ or ‘they’.

As, Indirect – I suggested that we should...

Step IV:

Use the verb and the object of the reported speech.

As, Indirect – I suggested that we should play chess.

Here is our final answer. 

Some examples of this kind:

Direct – We said, “Let’s find him.”

Indirect – We suggested that we should find him.

Direct – Brie said, “Let’s go.”

Indirect – Brie proposed that they/we should go.

Direct – She says, “Let’s have some food.”

Indirect – She says the we/they should have some food.

Direct – He said, “Let us serve the people.”

Indirect – He proposed that we/they should serve the people.

How to Change the Narration of a Speech Containing multiple Clauses:

To change the narration of a speech containing multiple clauses, we will simply change the narration of all the clauses using basic rules. As –

Direct – The teacher said to me, “You obtain good marks because you work hard.

Clause 1 = You obtain good marks.

Clause 2 = because you work hard.

Simply change the narration of all the clauses using basic rules –

Indirect – The teacher told me that I obtained good marks because I worked hard.

Sometimes the reporting verb is in the middle of tow clauses. As –

Direct – “I am tired,” father said “So I want to sleep now.”

Indirect – Father said that he was tired, so he wanted to sleep.

Direct – “That is my horse,” said he, “and if I do not prove it, I will give up my claim.”

Indirect – He claimed that that was his horse and if he did not prove it, he would give up his claim. 

(Don’t wonder why the reporting verb becomes ‘claim’ in the indirect. It happened because the sense of the whole direct speech was a claim.)

Direct – “Spring has forgotten the garden”, they cried, “so we will live here all the year round.”

Indirect – They cried that Spring had forgotten the garden, so they will live here all the year round.

How to Change the Narration of a Sentence with a Vocative Word or an Addressing Word:

1. Direct – I said, “John, are you busy now?” 

– In this sentence, the listener is addressed as ‘John’, which is actually the listener’s name.


2. Direct – He said to us, “Brothers, are you happy?” 

– Here the listeners are addressed as ‘brothers’ which is neither the listeners’ actual name, nor is it used for blood relation, rather it is used casually for the sake of addressing.

So, how to change the narration of these two sentences, let’s see –

1st Speech

Direct – I said, “John, are you busy now?”

If the listener is addressed with name (proper noun), in the indirect narration this name (proper noun) is used as the object of the reporting verb and the rest part of the reported speech is used after usual necessary changes. 

As —

Indirect – I asked John if he was busy then. – Here the name ‘John’ is used as the object if the verb ‘asked’.

Another way of doing this is—

Think the direct narration above like –

Direct – I said John, “Are you busy now?” and simply change the narration into indirect speech. 

Other examples:–

Direct – Sandy said, “Preeti, I passed the examination.”

Indirect – Sandy told Preeti that he had passed the examination.

Direct – Jafar said, “Suman, Shaila is coming.”

Indirect – Jafar told Suman that Shaila was going.

Similar narration –

If the vocation addressing is a relationship:

Direct – She said, “Mother, Where is my pencil?”

The word ‘mother’ is used as the object of the reporting verb following a possessive pronoun (my, our, your, his, her, their, its etc.) according to the subject. 

Turn the rest part into indirect following the basic rules.

 As —

Indirect – She asked her mother where her pencil was.

Other examples:–

Direct – I said, “Uncle, someone is calling you.”

Indirect – I told my uncle that someone was calling him.

Direct – He said, “How are you, father?”

Indirect – He asked his father how he was.


2nd Speech:

Direct – He said to us, “Brothers, are you happy?”

The listeners are addressed as ‘brothers’ which doesn’t imply the actual name (proper noun), nor blood relation or any other close relationship.

For this sort of narration, we’ll write –

‘Addressing + me/us/you/him/her/it/them + as + vocative word’ or,

Subject + addressed + me/us/you/him/her/it/them + as + vocative word + and said (‘said’ or any other suitable verb)...”

So, here we have to write -

‘Addressing them as brothers he asked...’ or ‘He addressed them as brothers and asked...’

Indirect – Addressing them as brothers he asked if they were happy.

Other examples:–

Direct – The leader said, “Comrades, we will not give up.”

Indirect – Addressing them as comrades the leader said that they would not give up.

Direct – He said, “Ladies and gentlemen, I happy to be with you here.

Indirect – Addressing the people as ladies and gentlemen he said that he was happy to be with them there.

Direct – The old man said to me, “Sister, I am sorry.”

Indirect – Addressing me as sister the old man said that he was sorry.

How to Change the Narration of a Speech Starting with ‘Good morning’ / ‘Good night’ / ‘Good evening’ etc.:

Direct – Good morning students, I will be taking your Mathematics class." Said the new teacher.

Indirect – The new teacher wished the students good morning and said that he would bee taking their Mathematics class.


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