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Sir, may

NCERT Solutions for Class 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12

(Statements, Commands, Requests, and Questions)

The words spoken by a person can be reported in two ways—Direct and Indirect. When we quote the exact words spoken by a person, we call it Direct Speech.

The exact words spoken by Sohan are put within inverted commas. But when we give the substance of what Sohan said, it is called the Indirect Speech.

1. Reporting Clause and Reported Speech:

Sohan told Mohan that he was going to school. The words which generally come before the inverted commas are called the reporting clause, i.e. Sohan said to Mohan and the verb ‘said’, is called the reporting verb. The words spoken by Sohan and put within inverted commas are called the reported speech, i.e. “I am going to school.”

2. Rules for Changing Direct Speech into Indirect Speech:

3. Rules for the Change of Pronouns:

4. Changes in words expressing nearness, time, auxiliaries, etc.

6. Changing Statements into Indirect Speech:

The rules for the change of pronouns, tenses, etc. are followed.

7. Rules for the Change of Interrogative (Questions) sentences:

The reporting verb “say’ is changed into ask, inquire,

The interrogative sentence is changed into a statement by placing the subject before the verb and the full stop is put at the end of the sentence.

If the interrogative sentence has a wh-word (who, when, where, how, why, etc) the wh-word is repeated in the sentence. It serves as conjunction.

If the interrogative sentence is a yes-no answer type sentence (with auxiliary verbs am, are, was, were, do, did, have, shall, etc), then ‘if or ‘whether’ is used as a conjunction.

The auxiliaries do, does, did in a positive question in the reported speech are dropped.

The conjunction is not used after the reporting clause.

8. Changing Commands and Requests into Indirect Speech:

(i) ‘Let’ is used to make a proposal.

10. Sentences with Question Tags

(i) In the indirect speech the question-tag is usually left.

(ii) In indirect speech these words are removed and the word ‘respectfully’ is used in the reporting clause.

Direct: Mahesh said, “Sir, may I go home?”

Indirect: Mahesh respectfully asked his sir if he might go home.

11. Sentences with ‘Yes’ or ‘No’

Direct     : He said, “Can you dance?” And I said, “No.”

Indirect: He asked me if I could dance and I replied that I couldn’t.

Direct    : My mother said, “Will you come home on time?” And I said, “Yes.”

Indirect: My mother asked me if I would come home on time and I replied that I would.

Note  : ‘Yes’ of ‘No’ hides a complete sentence. Therefore, change yes/no into a short answer.

Direct     : She said to me, “You didn’t break the window, did you?”

Indirect: She asked me if/whether I had broken the window.

Direct : He said to Geeta, “You are going to the station, aren’t you?”

Indirect: He asked Geeta if/ whether she was going to the station.

12. Sentences with ‘have to’ or ‘had to’

(i) Change ‘have to’ according to the rules.

(ii) But change ‘had to’ into ‘had had to’ in the indirect speech.

Direct    : Hari said, “I have to work a lot.”

Indirect: Hari said that he had to work a lot.

Direct    : Hari said, “I had to work a lot.”

Indirect: Hari said that he had had to work a lot.

13. Sentences with ‘Sir’, ‘Madam’ or ‘Your Honour’ etc.

You can master in English Grammar of various classes by our articles like Tenses, Clauses, Prepositions, Story writing, Unseen Passage, Notice Writing etc.

14. Exclamations and Wishes

Sometimes Exclamatory sentences contain exclamations like Hurrah!, Alas!, Oh!, Heavens!, Bravo, etc. Such exclamatory words are removed in the indirect speech and we use ‘exclaimed with sorrow’, exclaimed with joy, exclaimed with surprise, etc. instead of ‘said’.


(i)  Use ‘exclaimed’ in place of ‘said’ in the reporting verb in the indirect speech.

(ii) In Indirect sentences, we use exclamatory sentences as statements.

(iii) Indirect speech begins with that and full stop (•) is used instead of the exclamation mark (!).

Exercise (Solved)

Change the following sentences into Indirect Speech:

(i) He said, “I will do it now.”

Answer: He said that he would do it then.

(ii) He says, “Honesty is the best policy.”

Answer: He says that honesty is the best policy.

(iii) Ramesh says, “I have written a letter.”

Answer: Ramesh says that he has written a letter.

(iv) She said, “Mahesh will be reading a book.”

Answer: She said that Mahesh would be reading a book.

(v) She said, “Where is your father?”

Answer: She inquired where his father was.

(vi) He said to me, “Please take your book.”

Answer: He requested me to take my book.

(vii) The Principal said to the peon, “Let this boy go out.”

Answer: The Principal ordered the peon to let that boy go out.

(viii) He said to me, “May you live long!”

Answer: He prayed that I might live long.

(ix) She said, “Goodbye friends!”

Answer: She bade goodbye to her friends.

(ix) The student said, “Alas! I wasted my time last year.”

Answer: The student regretted that he had wasted his time the previous year.

Exercise (Unsolved)

Change the following sentences into Indirect Speech: