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Change the Narration (Advanced Level Rules) | Direct speech to Indirect Speech

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

Change the Narration (Advanced Level Rules)


Indirect Narration of a Speech Starting in 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 this???

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 after the conjunction ‘that’ removing the word ‘let’.

Use only ‘we’ when the subject of the reporting verb is a first person, and use either ‘we’ or ‘they’ when the subject 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 help the children.”

Indirect – He proposed that we/they should help the children.


Indirect Narration of a Speech with 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 between 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.


If the reported speech begins with words/phrases like well, now, okay, so, very well etc. and comment clauses like as you know, to tell you frankly, you see 'you know', 'mind you,' 'you must admit.'  etc. just to introduce a sentence are usually dropped in the indirect speech.

E.g. –

Direct – The teacher said, “Well, we are going to discuss the fourth chapter.”

Indirect – The teacher said that they were going to discuss the fourth chapter.

(simple rules to change the narration)

Direct – My friend said, “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

Indirect – My friend said that she would see me the next day.

(simple rules to change the narration)

Direct – The guide said to us, “Now, follow me.”

Indirect – The guide asked us to follow him.

(simple rules to change the narration of an imperative sentence.)

Direct – She said to me, “To tell you frankly, I don’t want to talk to him.”

Indirect – She told me that she didn’t want to talk to him.

Direct – The man said, “You know, I have nothing to do now.”

Indirect – The man said that he had nothing to do then.”

Direct – Her father said to her, “You see, you are now grown up and you will have to make your own decision.” 

Indirect – Her father said to her that she was then grown up and she would have to make her won decision.


Indirect 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.

 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.

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.

See Details for Vocative words.


Indirect Narration of a Speech Starting in Greetings :

How do you solve it?

In case the reported clause starts in various greetings like, ‘Good morning’ / ‘Good night’ / ‘Good evening’ etc., you simply put -

Wishied + object + greeting words + and said

Or, Wishinh + object + greeting words + subject said


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 be taking their Mathematics class.

Direct – Good evening viewers, we're going to start a new series.” Said the anchor.

Indirect – The anchor wished the viewers good evening and said that they were going to start a new series.

Direct – Richa said, Good afternoon Jack, how are you?”

Indirect – Richa wished Jack good afternoon and asked him how he was.


Indirect Speech of Sentences with Question Tags:

Sentences with question tags are tentative statements, the speaker is not sure of something, and there is doubt about the statement made. So, he a question is tagged for some reassurance

Changing the narration of this sort of speech is very simple.

Change the speech into indirect speech with the help of basic rules.

To transform a question tag into indirect speech, we only use -

Subject of the reporting verb +  think/thinks/thought after ‘that’.

Use 'think'/'thinks' when the reporting verb is in present tense (say/says). 

Use 'thought', when the reporting verb is in past tense (said). 

E.g. –

Direct – I said, “He is a liar, isn’t he?

Indirect – I said that I thought he was a liar.

Direct – She says to me, “You know me, don’t you?

Indirect – She tells me that she thinks I know her.

Direct – Raii said to me, “You can solve it, can’t you?

Indirect – Raii told me that she thought I could solve it.

Direct – Brother says, “You took my help, didn’t you?

Indirect – Brother says that he thinks I took his help.”

Direct – Father said, “You are looking for the keys, aren’t you?

Indirect – Father said that he thought I was looking for the keys.

Hope this will help you a lot.

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Thank you...

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