Detailed Look at the Parts of Direct and Indirect Speech

In today’s lesson we are going to learn the parts of Direct and Indirect speech in details. Both Direct and Indirect speech contains reporting clause, reporting verb and reported clause. 

Table of Contents

What is reporting clause?

The main function of reporting clause is to report. Reporting clause reveals what a speaker has said.

Rules of reporting clause 

  1. Reporting clause uses proper noun (name) or pronoun (he, she, you, they, etc.) to indicate the actual speaker.
  2. Reporting clause contains a reporting verb.
  3. Reporting clause can be used before, after or in the middle of direct speech.
  4. If reporting clause is used after the speech of the speaker, the comma is used before the reporting clause. And reporting verb in many cases can be placed before the proper noun or pronoun.
  5. If the speech ends with question or exclamatory mark, comma is not used. 


Puja said, “I like roses.” 

Here Puja is proper noun and the actual speaker of the words ‘I like roses.’ And said is the reporting verb in the reporting clause ‘Puja said’. 

“I am going to Delhi”, Rahul said. or “I am going to Delhi”, said Rahul.

In this example comma is used after the speech or reported clause. And the reporting verb ‘said’ is used both after and before the proper noun ‘Rahul’

“Have you read the story?” Garagi asked.

What is reporting verb?

Reporting verb is a type of verb present in both Direct and Indirect speech. Usually say and tell is used as reporting verb. Other reporting verbs are – ask, order, instruct, mention, report, etc. 


I told Susmita, “You are very honest.” [ direct speech]Reporting verb is told.
The cat said, “I like eating fish.”Reporting verb is said.
Mother instructed us to clean the room.[ indirect speech]Reporting verb is instructed
Ritu asked if I had a pen.Reporting verb is asked.

What is reported clause? 

Reported clause reveals the actual mouthpiece of a speaker. Simply speaking reported clause reports what a speaker has spoken. 


  1. In direct speech reported clause is always put inside quotation marks but in indirect speech reported clause is not put inside any such marks.
  2. In direct speech reported clause can be put before or after reporting clause but in case of indirect speech reported clause is put after the reporting clause. 
  3. In indirect speech tense, pronoun, expression of the reported clause is changed.


Do your homework”, mother said.

‘Do your homework’ is the reported clause and it is put before the reporting clause ‘mother said’.

Direct speechIndirect speech
Pratip said, “I am the best student in school.”Pratip said that he was the best student in school.

The reported clause ‘I am the best student in school’ is changed to ‘he was the best student in school‘ in indirect speech. 

Other examples of reported clause:

  1. Trisha said, “I like to play chess.”  
  2. Clean the classroom”, the teacher said.
  3. Chabi told Maya that she liked to draw