Reporting: Using Direct and Indirect Speech
We often report what we observe or experience regularly. There are different ways in which this is done in English. We can do so by the use of direct speech or by the use of indirect speech. Direct speech is when one “quotes” or reports exactly what the person has said. Indirect speech, on the other hand, is when what the person has said or done is reported using the past, present, future or the appropriate tense depending on the information being pasted on or shared. More so, it’s important to remember that we do not repeat or report exactly what is said and to also change the pronouns and time signifiers.
She said, “We are going to the beach tomorrow.”
“We are going to the beach tomorrow”, she said.
He said, “I want to ride my bike tomorrow.”
She said that we would go to beach tomorrow.
He said that he wanted to ride his bike tomorrow.
Below is a dialog of how to apply the expressions above in English. This dialog is also a great tool for role playing.
Judy and Jason are having a conversation about their day.
Judy: How was your day today, Jason?
Jason: Well, it was busy as usual; however, my boss says that he wanted everyone to wear suits everyday. I really looked forward to ‘casual Fridays’!
Judy: I know how you feel. I got that priviledge taken away months ago.
Jason: She is always micromanaging and complaining about how none of us meet the dress code. Therefore, she gave us all list of what is required daily.
Judy: Now, that’s frustrating. I have to say that I am happy that my boss is a little more laid back than that. He said, “I am not going to watch over your shoulders; we are all adults here.” I really do appreciate that kind of mentality, because I cannot work understand pressure.
Jason: Neither can I. That’s why I have been job hunting for the past few months or so, because I am not sure that this job is for me anymore.
Judy: Well, you know I support your decision to move on.
Jason: Thank you.
Report what you’ve seen or experience today at home with the children, shopping, at work, driving and so on.
You: My daughter/son/husband said, “_______________.” (quote directly).
He/she/they/you said that __________________ (report indirectly what was said).
Your friend: My boss/brother/sister/mother said, “______________.” (Use direct speech)
They/he/you/we said that (pronoun) ________.” (Report indirectly)