Verbal Ability - Direct & Reported Speech



Direct speech are exact quotes of the speech. They are completely identical transcripts of speech between two people.

For Example

  • He said, “Tell me what you know.”

    I said, “I don’t know anything on this topic.”

Reported speech is the way a listener would narrate the incident in front of another person.

For Example

  • He asked me to tell what I knew

    I said that I didn’t know anything on that topic.

Direct to Reported Speech

The verbs in present tense will change into their corresponding past tenses in the following manner −

  • Simple present to simple past
  • Present progressive to past progressive
  • Present perfect to past perfect
  • Present perfect progressive to past perfect progressive.
  • The word “will, shall” will be replaced by “would”.
  • The word “can” will be replaced by “could”.


The only action words that will not change its tense are actions that are universal truth.

For Example

  • Direct Speech − “The Sun rises in the east.”
  • Indirect Speech − He told me that the sun rises in the east.