Fewpal
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Direct speech

We can give the exact words that were said. This kind of reporting is called direct speech.

She said, ‘What do you want?’
Peter said, ‘It is not my fault.’

Indirect speech

We can report a speaker’s thoughts and words in our own words, using conjunctions and changing pronouns, tenses and other words where necessary. This kind of reporting is called indirect speech.

She asked what I wanted.
Peter said that it was not his fault.

Direct speech is when we report what someone says by repeating the exact words. In writing, we use inverted commas:

David: I have to talk to you about something. (original statement)
"I have to talk to you about something," said David. (direct speech)

Indirect speech (also called reported speech) is when we give the same meaning of what someone says without repeating the exact words. In this case, we do not use inverted commas and certain changes may be necessary:

David: I have to talk to you about something. (original statement)
David said he had to talk to me about something. (indirect speech)

 We also use indirect speech when we report inner thoughts:

I had no idea where my keys were. (Where are my keys?)
She knew that the lock had been changed. (The lock has been changed.)

 

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