Direct & Indirect Speech

Narration which is a mode of expression, through which the words of a speaker is reported, can be done in two ways. They are –

  1. Direct Speech
  2. Indirect Speech

In today’s lesson we are going to learn in depth about Direct and Indirect speech.

Let’s begin with – 

What is Direct speech?

Direct speech is the direct expression of a speaker’s word. It means that in direct speech, the words of a speaker is presented as it is without making any kind of change.


  1. Bhim said, “I like sweet.”
  2. Krishna says, “I can play flute.”
  3. The teacher said, “Let’s learn narration.”

Rules of direct speech –

Direct speech can be divided into two parts – 

  1. Reporting clause.
  2. Reported clause.

Also, in reporting clause a verb is included. The verb is called reporting verb.


Superman said, “I am the strongest.”

Here the part ‘Superman said’ is reporting clause and ‘said’ is reporting verb. The part – “I am the strongest” is reported clause.

Other examples – 

  • Nitu says, “I am a girl.”

Reporting clause – Nitu says
Reporting verb – says 
Reported clause –“I am a girl.” 

  • Mother said, “God is good.”

Reporting clause – Mother said
Reporting verb – said 
Reported clause – “God is good.”

In direct speech punctuation marks (,) (“…”) are used. The reported clause is put inside a quotation mark (“…”). 

The reporting clause and the reported clause is divided by a comma. The comma is put after a reporting verb.


The peacock said, “I am the most beautiful bird in the world.”
The reported clause – ‘I am the most beautiful bird in the world’, is put inside a quotation mark. And a comma is used after ‘said’, the reporting verb. 

Direct speech can end with full stop (.), a question mark (?), an exclamation mark (!). The final punctuation mark is kept inside the quotation mark.


  1. Abhi asked, “Do you speak English?”
  2. Rupa said, “What a beautiful picture!”
  3. Rabi told, “I am learning narration.” 

What is Indirect speech?

Indirect speech is also a type of narration. It is different from Direct speech in the way that it does not present the actual words of the speaker. Although the actual meaning of the speaker’s words remain same, the way of presenting them changes. 


  1. Bhim said that he liked sweet.
  2. Krishna says that he can play flute.
  3. The teacher proposed that we should learn narration.

Notice how these examples are also given in the direct speech. Although the subject of the sentences remains same, the way of presenting them has changed.

Rules of Indirect Speech:

Indirect speech like Direct speech also have reporting verb and clause and reported clause.


The sun says that he rises from the east. 

Here ‘The sun says’ is reporting clause which contains the reporting verb – says. And ‘he rises from the east’ is reported clause.

  • Unlike Direct speech, Indirect speech uses conjunction (that, whether, if).


The tree tells that he gives oxygen. 

Here we can see the reporting clause and the reported clause is connected with the conjunction ‘that’. 

  • No punctuation marks like comma or quotation mark is used in Indirect speech.


Rabi said that he was studying.   

You can see from the above example that no punctuation mark is used. The reported clause is not put inside a quotation mark. 

  • Indirect speech always ends with full stop. Even in case of Imperative, exclamatory, assertive and interrogative sentence, it ends with a full stop.  


  1. Doraemon asked if you needed a gadget. [Indirect speech in interrogative sentence.]
  2. Rahul exclaimed with joy that he had got a job. [Indirect speech in exclamatory sentence.]
  3. The moon says that she lives in the sky. [Indirect speech in assertive sentence.]
  4. Megha suggested that we should sleep. [Indirect speech in imperative sentence.]