20+ examples of direct and indirect speeches (with rules)

By | January 16, 2022

Welcome to the http://themintupdates.com. This presentation is based on direct and indirect speeches, basic rules regarding their usage and numerous examples to help foster your understanding. Read on.

In a direct speech, the same words said or written by a person are reproduced or given without any addition or subtraction(word-for-word).When put into writing, direct speeches are always in inverted commas or quotation marks.

Example: “I shall fight Nelson,” declared Raymond.

On the other hand, when the same words said or written by a person reproduced by another person, even without losing the main idea, it is said to be an indirect speech.

Example: Raymond declared that he would fight Nelson.


Click here to read on subject verb agreement (concord) with examples.



  • A direct speech presents the exact words of a person, so when written, quotation marks are required.
  • An indirect speech does not present the exact the exact words of a person so when written, inverted commas are not required.
  • Note the following changes which occur in the use of pronouns as subject/object.


  • Direct: I am reading

Indirect: He/she says that he/she is reading.

  • Direct: “You are a fool,” said Sammy. (You as singular subject)

           Indirect: Sammy said that he/she is a fool.

  • Direct: “You are a fool,” said Sammy”. (You as plural subject)

          Indirect: Sammy said that they were fools.

  • Direct: Jane said “The book is for you”.

          Indirect: Jane said the book was for him/her.

  • Direct: The teacher said the food is for you. (you as plural object)

          Indirect: The teacher said the food was for them.

  • Direct: “There is going to be a party for us”,the pastor said.

          Indirect: The pastor said that there was going to be a party for them.

  • Direct: The repairer asked, ”Show me yours.” (yours as singular)

         Indirect: The repairer asked him/her to show his/hers.

  • Direct: The repairer asked, ”Show me yours.” (yours as plural)

          Indirect: The repairer asked them to show him theirs.

  • Direct: “We are all to blame”, the minister admitted.

          Indirect: The minister admitted that we were all to blame.

  • Direct: “My doors are open,” Enoch assured.

          Indirect: Enoch assured (that) his doors were open.

  • Direct: “The boy is mine” Grandpa claimed.

          Indirect: Grandpa claimed that the boy was his.

  • Direct: Jones admitted, “I like your shirt.” (your as singular)

          Indirect: Jones admitted that he liked his/her shirt.

  • Direct: The students said, “Our teacher is kind.”

          Indirect: The students said (that) their teacher was kind.

  • Direct: Tom admitted, “I like your outings.” (your as plural)

          Indirect: Tom admitted (that) he admired their outings.

  • Direct: The mangoes are ours, “claimed the children.

          Indirect: The children claimed that the mangoes were theirs.

  • Direct: “My mother is sick,” the boy confirmed.

          Indirect: The boy confirmed that his mother was sick.

  • Direct: “He has arrived,” they confirmed.

          Indirect: They confirmed that he had arrived.

  • Direct: “They have lost,” he confirmed.

         Indirect: He confirmed that they had lost.

  • Direct: He threatened, “You will die.”

          Indirect: He threatened that he would die.

  • Direct: “We shall succeed.” They vowed.

         Indirect: They vowed that they would succeed.

  • Direct: “Yes, I can do it.” He replied.

          Indirect: He replied that he could do it.

  • Direct: The boss reiterated, “You may resign.”

         Indirect: The boss reiterated that he might resign.

  • Direct: I should have been annoyed if Mary had married James,” The catechist retorted.

          Indirect: The catechist retorted that he would have been annoyed if Mary had married  James.

  • Direct: You will have died by the end of October,” the doctor confirmed.

          Indirect: The doctor confirmed that he/she  would have died by the end of October.

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  • Direct: The armed robber shot the shop owner,” the judge affirmed. (shot as simple past)

          Indirect: The judge affirmed (that) the armed robber had shot (past participle or past perfect form of the verb) the shop owner. 

  • Direct: “I am the messiah,” the president proclaimed.

          Indirect: The president proclaimed that he was the messiah.

  • NOTE: Such helping verbs (anomalous finites) as ought to, must, used to, could., would etc. are maintained in  both speeches.


  1. Direct: “He used to come on Sundays,” the headmaster confirmed.

          Indirect: The headmaster confirmed that he used to come on Sundays.

  1. Direct: “You must stop this,” the landlord warned.

          Indirect: The landlord warned that he must stop that.

  1. Direct: “You ought to redesign the plan,” the consultant commented.

          Indirect: The consultant commented that he ought to redesign the plan.

  • Also note that ‘will’ and ‘shall’ in direct speech change to ‘would’ and ‘should’ respectively in indirect speech.


  1. Direct: “Will you accept my offer?” the manager inquired.

          Indirect: The manger inquired if/whether he/she would accept his/her offer.

  1. Direct: “Shall I bring the machine?” the apprentice asked.

          Indirect: The apprentice asked if/whether he/she should bring the machine.

  • Moreover, use ‘should’ in the direct speech where there is no auxiliary verb in the direct speech.


  1. Direct: Emelia promised, “Expect me at 8 o’ clock am on Friday.

          Indirect: Emelia promised that they/we/he/she should be expected at 8 o’ clock am on Friday.

  1. Direct: She pleaded, “Let them stay.”

          Indirect: She pleaded that they/we/he/she should let them stay.


  • Note the changes in the following adverbs/adverbial clauses:


  1. Direct: “The work must be done tomorrow”, the minister instructed.

          Indirect: The minister instructed that the work must/had to be done the following/next day.

  1. Direct: “The dog died yesterday”, the security man confirmed.
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          Indirect: The security man confirmed  that the dog died/had died the previous day.

  1. Direct: “They are coming now”, the servant hinted.

           Indirect: The servant hinted that they were coming then.


  1. Direct: “The document was found the day before yesterday”, the registrar revealed.                                                                            Indirect: The registrar revealed that the document was found two days ago.
  2. Direct: He hinted. “The visa will be issued this week.”

         Indirect: He hinted that the visa will be issued that week.

  1. Direct: “They finished the exam three hours ago”, he told us.

           Indirect: He told us that they finished/had finished the exams three hours before.

  1. Direct: The coach confirmed, “Ronaldo is playing tonight.”

          Indirect: The coach confirmed that Ronaldo was playing that night.

  1. Direct : “The snake was buried here”, the boys pointed out.

          Indirect: The boys pointed out that the snake was/had been  buried there.

  1. Direct: “The work is to be done presently”, the contractor confirmed.

           Indirect: The contractor confirmed that the work was to be done at that moment.


  • This and  these in direct speech become that and those in indirect speech respectively.


Examples :

  1. Direct: “This decision will not help”, the lawyer advised.

          Indirect: The lawyer advised  (that) that the decision will not help.

  1. Direct: The pharmacist explained, “These drugs are for adults.”

          Indirect: The pharmacist explained that those drugs were for adults.





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