We regularly have to give information about what people say or think. To do this, you can use direct speech or indirect speech. On this basis, sentences are of two types: sentences with Direct Speech, and sentences with Indirect Speech.  A question such as:  What did he say? Can be answered in two ways:

  1. By reiterating or repeating the words spoken (direct speech)
  2. By reporting the words spoken (indirect speech).

What is Direct Speech?

The direct speech gives the illusion of objectivity and allows the relaying of information in all neutrality. It is the most literal form of the reproduction of the speech of others. However, the reporter can influence the speech, especially with elements such as verbs of speech.

Saying accurately what speaker has said is called direct speech (sometimes its is called quoted speech). Here what a person says appears inside quotation marks (“…”) and should be word for word.

The Common Rules Of Direct Speech

  • Each distinct character’s speech starts on a new line.
  • Speech is initiated with speech marks.
  • Each line of speech begins with a capital.
  • The line of speech ends with an exclamation mark, comma or question mark.
  • A full stop goes after the reporting clause.

If the direct speech in the sentence is broken up by information about who is speaking, add in a question mark, comma, or exclamation mark. Utilizing all these to end the first part of speech and a full stop or another comma prior the second piece (before the speech marks), for example: “It’s lovely,” she sighed, “but I can’t bear it right now.” / “I agree!” said Kate. “Let’s go!”

For example:

  • Shop attendant: “Are you searching for something unique?”
  • She said, “What season will you go to Iceland?” and I replied, “I don’t know yet! “
  • “There’s a bug in my bed!” screamed Mary.
  • James said, “There’s a donkey outside the window.”
  • “I have some good news,” she whispered mischievously.
  • “Can’t you guess?” she giggled.
  • When they saw it, they were like “This is astonishing!”
  • He said to them, ‘Will you listen to such a man?’
  • The Uba driver: “I’m going to turn right at the traffic lights.”
  • “Today’s lesson is on presentations”, she said.
  • President said, “I will be there in ten minutes.”
  • The principal said to Mary, “If you don’t complete your assignment, I will make a call to your fathers.”
  • John said to me, “What are you staring at?”
  • Mathew said, “You should give him another chance.”
  • Sometimes, reporting verb rises in the mid of the sentence:
  • Is that so, he asked, You don’t want to leave with us?
  • Adverbs can be used with the reporting verb, to describe how something is spoken.
  • “She won’t come to their party,” Mrs Anthoney said angrily.
  • “Today’s lesson is on presentations”, she said.
  • “I will always be there to support you”, he said emotionally.

Brought to you by the KidsEnglishCollege™ Editorial Team.

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