AN INTRODUCTION TO ENGLISH GRAMMAR & LANGUAGE
The boy was laughed by most of his friends. Rahul says, “I want to visit Mumbai.” – Direct Speech
In this sentence, Preposition ‘at’ should be used after Rahul says that he wants to visit Mumbai. – Indirect
‘laughed’; because ‘at’ is the Preposition that is followed Speech
after ‘laughed’. Some Important Facts on Narration
The correct form of the sentence will be – 1. Look at the following sentence.
The boy was laughed at by most of his friends.
Raju said, “I am happy.”
The first part of the sentence – ‘Raju said’ is called
Active: He laughed at the beggar.
Reporting speech / Reporting clause / Reporting verb,
̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ etc.
Subject Verb Preposition Object The second part of the sentence – ‘I am happy’ is
Passive: The beggar was laughed at called Reported speech / Reported clause / Reported state-
̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ment, etc.
Subject To be Verb3 Preposition 2. Reported speech can be used at the beginning /
by him. end / middle of the sentence.
̄ ̄ Examples:
by Agent The principal said, “The school shall remain
Let us look at a few Verbs that first take a Preposition closed for a month.”
and then the Object. “Let’s go for long drive”, he said to his friends.
look at + Object look after + Object “Shakespeare”, said the teacher, “was a
look down upon + Object laugh at + Object
smile at + Object ride at + Object
mock at + Object fire at + Object GENERAL RULES OF NARRATION
travel by + Object driven by + Object A. Direct Narration into Indirect Narration
came on + Object sing to + Object In order to convert Direct Narration into Indirect Nar-
take for + Object ignorant of + Object ration, there are certain rules which are applicable for all
written in + Object kinds of sentences. These rules are called General rules.
1. The inverted commas (“ ”) used in Direct Narration
NARRATION are removed while changing the sentence into Indirect Nar-
Narration means something that is narrated, an ac- Example:
count of, detailing an event, etc. The word ‘narration’ is Direct Narration: She says, “I am late”.
taken from the word ‘narrate’, which means ‘to give an Indirect Narration: She says that she is late.
account or tell something’. (Here, inverted commas (“ ”) has been removed.)
The other synonyms of ‘narration’ are – Statement, 2. When the Reporting Verb is in the Present Tense of
Assertion, Declaration, etc. Future Tense, there is no change in the Verb of the Re-
Direct Narration states the statement of person, ex- ported Speech.
actly the same, spoken by him or her. This statement is Examples:
put within inverted commas (“ ”).
Direct Narration: He says, “Ruchi goes early”.
Indirect Narration: He says that Ruchi goes early.
Sita said, “I have seen Hanuman.”
Direct Narration: Kumar will say, “Prakash is always
The sentence contains the statement as said by Sita – angry”.
“I have seen Hanuman”, which in Direct Narration.
Indirect Narration: Kumar will say that Prakash is
Indirect Narration states the statement of a person, always angry.
which we analyse or interpret in our own words or just 3. When the Reporting Verb is in the Past Tense, a
narrate or summarise the principal motive of the speaker.
few changes take place in the Tense of the Verb of the
Example: Reported Speech.
Sonia said that she was late for the meeting. (a) Present Indefinite changes into Past Indefinite Tense.
The sentence focuses the statement of Sonia, which Example:
we expressed in our own words. This sentence is said to
Direct Narration: You said, “I never go there”.
be in Indirect Narration.
Indirect Narration: You said that you never went there.
Kinds of Narration
(b) Present Imperfect changes into Past Imperfect Tense.
When a speech is quoted in the actual words used by
the speaker, it is called the Direct Speech or Narration.
But when the speech is reported in the form of a narra- Direct Narration: Saroj said, “I am willing
tive, giving the substance or meaning or the words used ̄ ̄
by the speaker, without quoting his actual words, it is Past Tense Present Imperfect
called the Indirect Speech or Narration. to go there”.