Pavan Chauhan | March 15th, 2012 at 02:59pm
We hope that you all are busy preparing for the exam. As the countdown to the Board Exam has begun, we wish to provide you with some handy tips on certain topics in Grammar like Reported Speech, Voice Change etc. The Grammar section, if properly dealt with, can fetch you very good score. In this article we will throw some light on the exceptions in the rules of narration, i.e., reported speech. We will also present a table showing the various conversions that occur while transforming a speech from direct to indirect and vice-versa. We suggest that you should be aware of these exceptions so that any question based on these exceptional rules can be attempted without any trouble. These exceptions are not difficult to remember, only that you need to understand the logic behind them. You have to understand the situations in which a general rule of narration will not apply. This is very interesting as well.
Exceptions in Reported Speech
- When a reported sentence conveys a universal truth or a general fact, the tense need not be changed. It remains in the present tense even after changing its form
The teacher said: “The sun rises in the east, the moon causes the tides and Holi is the festival of colours.”
This sentence can be reported as: The teacher said that the sun rises in the east, the moon causes the tides, and Holi is the festival of colours.
- In the reported speech, if ‘will’ is the modal used to express a future time and the situation holds true even at the time of the report, the modal doesn’t change its form to ‘would’ even though the reporting verb is in the past tense.
Professor said: We will find a solution soon.
This sentence can be reported as: Professor said that we will find a solution soon.
Boss said: “The world conference will be held next summer.”
This sentence can be reported as: Boss said that the world conference will be held next summer.
- Words like this and these change to that and those unless the object pointed is too near.
He said: “I am glad to be here this evening.”
This sentence would change to: He said that he was glad to be there that evening.
She said: “These are the books I had been looking for.”
This sentence would change to: She said that those were the books she had been looking for.
- The indirect sentences which use simple past or past continuous (also known as past progressive) do not change their tense in reported speech, when used with when or if.
She said: “When I was driving, Joe called me.”
This sentence changes to: She said that when she was driving, Joe called her.
She said: “If I had more time I would learn Spanish.”
This sentence changes to: She said that if she had more time she would learn Spanish.
- In certain situations where we need to report something immediately or within a very short period of time, the tense of the verb in the reported speech doesn’t change or remains the same as in the direct speech.
- If you are travelling in a bus and haven’t heard what the conductor just said, you might as well ask your friend: “What did the conductor say?”
The instant reply to this would be: The conductor said that the next stop is Surajkund.
Another instance of the same can be:
- If you are late for a cinema and ask the ticket checker: “When will the movie begin?”
To this the instant reply would be: The ticket checker said that the movie will begin in 5 minutes.
Conversion of Certain Terms in Reported Speech
||Then, at that time
||The following day, the next day, a day later
||The previous day, the day before
||The following month, the next month, a month later
||The following year, the next year, a year later
||The month before, the previous month, the preceding month
||The year before, the previous year, the preceding year
|In two days, two weeks, etc.
||Two days from then, two weeks from then, etc.
|Five days ago
||Five days before, five days earlier
|Five weeks ago
||Five weeks before, five weeks earlier
Hope our endeavour in providing you with these handy tips will be fruitful in ensuring you to tackle any level of question on reported speech.
Wishing you all the very best!