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Education Resources

Direct and Indirect Speech in English Grammar from MB0023 of Business Communication

Sunday, April 4, 2010

In our daily communication, we come across various types of conversations. Of these, there are two ways of what one person has related to the other. They are –

1. Direct Speech: This refers to the relating of the spoken words of one person to the other verbatim. We can recognize a direct speech with the help of the punctuations. It is written within the inverted commas. A comma or colon is placed immediately before the spoken words.

Mr. Rooster said to Mrs. Hen, “I never eat meat. So I like the way you cook these berries.”

Note: The inverted comma in the above presentation of the conversation between Mr. Rooster and Mrs. Hen. They are talking to each other. So it is a direct speech.

2. Indirect Speech: This is also called as ‘Reported Speech’ because it refers to the meaning of the word spoken by one person though the exact spoken words are not used.

Note: The absence of inverted comma and the change in tense of the verb. This is indirect speech.

Mr. Rooster to Mrs. Hen that he never ate meat. He also praised her saying that he liked the way she cooked those berries.

Direct and indirect speech chapter in English grammar is just like Voice lesson. It is based on types of verbs; we have ‘active voice’ and ‘passive voice’.

The sentences which have ‘transitive verbs’ can be changed from “active voice” to “passive voice”.

E.g.: The Principal read the report. (Active voice)

The report was read by the Principal. (Passive voice)

In the simplest word, in the type of active voice, the subject of the sentence acts on the agent. While in the passive voice, the subject is acted upon by the agent.

So, both chapters – narration and voice are the most important in English grammar to learn, read and speak. The chapter has been taken from SMU MBA MB0023 of Business Communication book.

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