CBSE Class 8 English Reported Speech Concepts and Exercise

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There are two ways to convey the message of a person, or the words spoken by a person to another person.

Direct speech

Indirect speech

Suppose your friend whose name is John tells you in school, “I will give you a pen”. You come home and you want to tell your brother what your friend told you. There are two ways to tell him.

Direct speech: John said, “I will give you a pen”.

Indirect Speech: John said that he would give me a pen.

In direct speech the original words of a person are narrated (no change is made) and are enclosed in quotation mark. While in indirect speech some changes are made in original words of the person because these words have been uttered in the past so the tense will change accordingly and pronoun may also be changed accordingly. In indirect speech the statement of the person is not enclosed in quotation marks, the word “that” may be used before the statement to show that it is indirect speech. Indirect speech is also called reported speech because reported speech refers to the second part of indirect speech in which something has been told by a person.

Reporting verb: The verb in the first part of sentence (i.e. he said, she said, he says, they said, she says,) before the statement of a person in sentence is called the reporting verb.

Examples. In all of the following example the reporting verb is “said”.
He said, “I work in a factory” (Direct speech)
He said that he worked in a factory. (Indirect speech)
They said, “we are going to cinema” (Direct speech)
They said that they were going to cinema. (Indirect speech) 

Reported Speech. The second part of indirect speech in which something has been told by a person (which is enclosed in quotation marks in direct speech) is called reported speech. For example, a sentence of indirect speech is, He said that he worked in a factory. In this sentence the second part “he worked in a factory” is called reported speech and that is why the indirect speech as a whole can also be called reported speech.

Fundamental rules for Indirect Speech.

Reported speech is not enclosed in quotation marks.

Use of word “that”: The word “that” is used as a conjunction between the reporting verb and reported speech.

Change in pronoun: The pronoun (subject) of the reported speech is changed according to the pronoun of reporting verb or object (person) of reporting verb (first part of sentence). Sometimes the pronoun may not change.

Change in time: Time is changed according to certain rules like now to then, today to that day, tomorrow to next day and yesterday to previous day.

Direct speech: He said, “I am happy today”
Indirect Speech: He said that he was happy that day.

Change in the tense of reported speech: If the first part of sentence (reporting verb part) belongs to past tense the tense of reported speech will change. If the first part of sentence (reporting verb part) belongs to present or future tense, the tense of reported speech will not change.

Direct speech: He said, “I am happy”
Indirect Speech: He said that he was happy. (Tense of reported speech changed)
Direct speech: He says, “I am happy”
Indirect Speech: He said that he is happy. (Tense of reported speech didn’t change)

Table for change in tense of reported speech for all TENSES


Present simple tense into Past simple
Present Continuous tense into Past continuous
Present Perfect tense into Past perfect 
Present Perfect Continuous into Past perfect continuous
Past simple into Past Perfect
Past Continuous into Past Perfect Continuous
Past Perfect into Past Perfect
Future simple, will into would 
Future Continuous, will be into would be
Future Perfect, will have into would have

Today changes to that day/the same day 
Tomorrow changes to the next day/the following day 
Yesterday changes to the day before/the previous day 
Next week/month/year changes to the following week/month/year 
Last week/month/year changes to the previous week/month/year 
Now/just changes to then
Ago changes to before 
Here changes to there
This changes to that.



Complete the following sentences in reported speech:

John said, "I love this town."
John said

"Do you like soccer ?" He asked me.
He asked me

"I can't drive a lorry," he said.
He said

"Be nice to your brother," he said.
He asked me

"Don't be nasty," he said.
He urged me

"Don't waste your money" she said.
She told the boys

"What have you decided to do?" she asked him.
She asked him

"I always wake up early," he said.
He said

"You should revise your lessons," he said.
He advised the students

"Where have you been?" he asked me.
He wanted to know 



Change the speech in the following sentences.

Ravi said, “I am fond of tea.”

He said that it may rain that day.

The teacher said that the sun rises in the east.

He said, “When we lived in Bombay, we often went to beach.”

He said to me,” I will come again soon.”

I told her that she was a brave girl.

He said, “You are an honest man.”

Miss Jyoti said to me, “Put these pencil shavings in the dustbin.”

Ali said, “I will watch a horror movie tonight.”

The girl said that she had to go to Delhi the next day.

Shyama said, “The teacher left an hour ago.”

Manish said that he was busy then.

Doctor said to a patient, "Change your life style and eating habits".

She said to her neighbour, "Please take care of my son, will you?

The young lady said, "Alas! my husband is no more."

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