Basic English Grammar
Tanggal Terbit: March 22, 2010


Direct and Indirect speech is also called QUOTED AND REPORTED SPEECH. Quoted speech (Direct speech) refers to words said or reproduced when they are spoken. And, reported speech (Indirect speech) is an expression that reports or repeats the quoted speech to others.

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1st person is a quoted speech. Here, Quotation marks both in the beginning and in the end of the sentence are used. And 2nd person is a reported speech. Here, quotation marks are omitted.

There are Five types of quoted speech and reported speechs in English:

1.Statement, either in positive or Negative sentence.

For examples:

Quoted/Direct speech:
She said,"I see him".

Reported/Indirect speech:
She said that she saw him.


a.Yes/No-Question : Use /if/ or /whether/ to express yes/no question in reported speech!.

For examples:

Quoted/Direct speech:
She asked, "Are you a manager?"

Reported/Indirect speech:
She asked if I was a maneger.
She asked whether I was a manager (or not).

b.WH-Question : Change the question into sub clause!

For examples:

Quoted/Direct speech:
She asked, "Where do you live?"

Reported/Indirect speech:
She asked where I lived.

3.Exclamation : Use /to/ before the exclamation!

For examples:

Quoted/Direct speech:
She said, "Look out!"

Reported/Indirect speech:
She reminded me to look out.

4.Command : Use /to/ before the command expression!

For examples:

Quoted/Direct speech:
She said, "Stand up!"

Reported/Indirect speech:
She ordered me to stand up.

5.Prohibition : Use /not to/ before the prohibition!

For examples:

Quoted/Direct speech:
She said, "Don't touch the cake!"

Reported/Indirect speech:
She forbid me not to touch the cake.


Reported speech is an expression which is repeated by other person by modifying the sentence.

She said, "You never trust me".

The expression is in quoted speech. It means that the expression /"You never trust me"./ is said by the first person. When we would like to tell someone else about the expression or when someone asks us what she said, we, then, say it in reported speech. In other words, we reports what she said to other person. Here, we are as second person and other person who listens to what we report is the third person.

She said that I never trusted her.

When the quoted speech is changed into reported speech, there are some changes found or we should modify the quoted speech into reported speech.
What are usually changed or modified?

a).Subject and Object (if available)

For examples:

Andi said,"I like you"

In the quoted speech above, we see that the subject is /I/ and the object is /you/.

When Object is modified/changed;

Mila said, "They tell me their addresses".

Reported speech of the quoted speech above is:
Mila said that they told her their addresses.

In reported speech, the object /me/ which refers to /Mila/ is changed/modified in(to) Object /her/. It is because we report what mila said to us or what we heard from Mila's speaking.

b).Adverb of Time (if available)

When quoted speech is changed into reported speech, adverb of time is also changed.

For example:

Quoted speech: My brother said, "I go home today"
Reported speech : My brother said that he went home yesterday.

In the example above we find that the adverb /today/ is changed into /yesterday/. In other words, Adverb of time in present time must be in past form and, when the adverb of time is in past form then the adverb of time in reported speech must be farther from the past.

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For examples:

Present Form : Today
She said, "I quit today".

Past Form : Yesterday
She said, "I quitted yesterday".
She said that She quitted yesterday.

Past Perfect Form : Previous day
She said that she had quitted in the previous day.


Modifying tenses is the same as modifying adverb of time when quoted speech is changed/modified into reported speech. In other words, the present simple must be tranformed into past simple and past simple must be changed into past perfect form.

For examples:

She said,"I borrow your book"
She said that she borrowed my book.
She said that she had borrowed my book.

Borrow ---> Borrowed ---> had borrowed

Notice that when there is a modal auxilliary, the modals must be changed into past form, not the verb.

For examples:

She said, "I will come to your house soon".
She said she would come to my house soon".
She said she would have come to my house soon".

Will come ---> would come ---> would have come

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