English Grammar Narration Notes and Questions

Introduction

Definition: Narration is the art of reporting the words of a speaker. There are two ways of expressing the speech of the speaker:
(i) Direct Speech
(ii) Indirect Speech

Direct Speech

It induces repetition of the words of the speaker as they have been said. These words are kept in inverted commas ” ——————“
• John said to me, “I will help your sister.”
• v John told me that he would help my sister.
The above given two sentences refer to the two ways of reporting the words of a speaker.
In sentence 1, the actual or exact words of the speaker are presented. This speech is called Direct Speech.

Points to keep in mind:
• In Direct Speech the actual words of the speaker are put within Inverted Commas. (” “)
• The sentence within Inverted Commas begin with a Capital Letter.

There are two parts of a sentence in Direct Speech

Reporting Verb
The first part of the sentence in Direct Speech is called Reporting Verb.
For Example: John said to me

Reported Speech
The actual words of the speaker put within inverted commas are called Reported Speech.
For Example: “I will help your sister.”

Indirect Speech
When the substance or meaning of a person’s speech is presented, it is called indirect Speech. In Indirect
Narration or Speech, the words of speaker may be said in our own words.
• Amit said, “I work as a civil engineer in that firm.”
• Amit said that he worked as a civil engineer in that firm.
The above given two sentences refer to the two ways of reporting the words of a speaker.
In sentence 2, the actual or exact words of the speaker are not presented. But the substance or meaning of the speech is presented. This speech is called Indirect Speech.

Points to keep in mind:

• In Indirect Speech the words of the speaker are not put within inverted commas
• A conjunction is introduced after said. The comma and inverted commas are omitted.
• The tense of the actual words of the speaker may or may not change.
• Word denoting person used within inverted commas may or may not change.

General Rules for changing Direct Speech into Indirect Speech

There are three general rules for changing Direct Speech into Indirect Speech, which are as follows:
(i) Change of tense
(ii) Change of person
(iii) Change of other parts of speech.

Change of Tense
(i) When the reporting verb is in present or future, the tense of the verb in the reported speech does not change.

(ii) When the reporting verb is in the post, the tense of the verb in the reported speech is changed into the corresponding past tense as per the following table:

Examples:

Direct:He said to me, “You have done your job.” 
Indirect:He told me that I had done my job.
Direct:I said to them, “You are doing your job.” 
Indirect:I told them that they were doing their job. 
Direct:She said, “He was carrying a sack of rice.”
Indirect:She said that he had been carrying a sack of rice.

(ii)    When the reported speech has a universal truth, the tense of the verb of the reported speech does not change even though the reporting verb is in the past tense.

Direct:The teacher said ‘’the earth is round‘’ 
Indirect:The teacher said that the earth is round. 
Direct:Donald said to me, ‘‘the earth is round
Indirect:Donald told me that the earth moves round the sun

Change of Person
The three person used in direct speech within inverted commas change as per the following:

First Person       :             According to subject of reporting verb. 
Second Person :             According to Object of Reporting Verb. 
Third Person     :             No change – Remains same

Example:

Direct:Steve said to me, “I have inducted the best talent.” 
Indirect:Steve told me that the he had inducted the best talent.

Here I (First Person) of Reported Speech has changed according to Steve (Subject) Of Reporting verb

Direct:The teacher said to Rita, “You have won the prize.” 
Indirect:The teacher told Rita that she had won the prize.

Here you, the second person, changes according to object (Rita) of reporting verb

Change of Other Parts of Speech
Some words are used in Reported Speech, which express nearness are changed  into words expressing distance as per the following:

Direct     :   They said to me, “We will try our level best to secure top rank in the exam which will be held tomorrow.”

Indirect :  They told me that they would try their level best to secure first rank in the exam which would be held the next day.

Direct     :    I said to him, “I am a bit perturbed about my work today.”

Indirect :   I told him that I was a bit perturbed about my work that day.

Special rules for changing Direct Speech into Indirect Speech.

There are some special rules which are applied in the conversion of different types of sentences from Direct to Indirect.

Rules for the conversion of Assertive sentences from Direct to Indirect.

(i) The verb ‘said to’ of Reporting Verb changes into told.

(ii) The inverted comma is replaced by the conjunction that. Rest of the rules will remain same.

Rules for the conversion of Interrogative sentences from Direct to Indirect. (i) The verb ‘said to’ of Reporting Verb is changed into ‘asked’ or ‘enquired’.

(ii) The comma, inverted commas and question mark are omitted.

(iii) The sentence structure in the Reported Speech is changed from question to statement.

(iv) When the question begins with an interrogative word (what, who, how, where, when, whom, which, why, etc.) in the Reported Speech, the same is retained in the Indirect Speech.

(v) When the question begins with an Auxiliary Verb in the Reported Speech a conjunction ‘if or whether’ is used in the beginning of the Reported Speech.

Direct:My mother said to me/’Where were you roaming throughout the day? 
Indirect:My mother asked me where l had been roaming throughout the day. 
Direct:The teacher said to Lina, “Why did you not come to school today?” 
Indirect:The teacher asked Lina why he had not come to school that day.
Direct:I said to him, “Will you cooperate to cope up with the situation?” 
Indirect:I asked him if he would cooperate to cope up with the situation.
Direct:The director said to the actors, “Can you bring the real emotion in your act?” 
Indirect:The director told the actors if they could bring the real Emotion in their act.

Rules for the Conversion of Imperative Sentence into Indirect Speech.

(i) The verb ‘said to’ of reporting Verb is changed into ordered, requested, advised or forbade according to the sense of Reported Speech.

(ii) The comma and inverted commas are omitted by to.

(iii) The Imperative Mood of the Reported Speech is changed into Infinite Mood. (iv) The word showing request (Please) is omitted.

Direct:The teacher said to the student, “Close the door before leaving the room.” 
Indirect:The teacher ordered the students to close the door before leaving the room. 
Direct:My best friend said to me, “Please give me your watch.”
Indirect:My best friend requested me to give him my watch.
Direct:The doctor said to the patient, “Take this medicine once daily.”
Indirect:The doctor advised the patient to take that medicine once daily. 
Direct:Stev said to me, “Don’t buy this book.”
Indirect:Steve forbade me to buy that book.

Rules for the conversion of Exclamatory Sentence into Indirect Speech.

(i) The verb ‘said to’ of Reporting Verb is changed into exclaimed with joy / sorrow / surprise / anger/ applause /fear / contempt / regret, etc. according to the sense of Reported Speech. (ii) The comma and inverted commas are omitted and the conjunction ‘that’ is used. (iii) Words showing exclamation (Hurrah !, Alas !, Oh !, Fie !, Fie !, etc. ) are omitted. (iv) The sentence structure is changed from exclamatory to statement.

Direct:The tourist said, “What a beautiful sunset!”
Indirect:The tourist exclaimed with surprise that it was a very beautiful sunset. 
Direct:The teacher said, “What a nonsense!”
Indirect:The teacher exclaimed with anger that it was a great nonsense. 
Direct:Ponting said, “Hurrah! I have won the prize.”
Indirect:Ponting exclaimed with joy that he had won the prize. 
Direct:The man said, “Alas! I am ruined.”
Indirect:The man exclaimed with sorrow that he was ruined.

Rules for the conversion of Optative Sentence into Indirect Speech.

(i) The verb ‘said to’ of Reporting Verb is changed into wished / prayed / desired / cursed, etc. according to the sense of the Reported Speech.

(ii) The commas and inverted commas are omitted and the conjunction ‘that’ is used.

(iii) The sentence structure is changed from optative to statement.

Change the following Direct speech into indirect speech.

The teacher says, “The examinations will begin on Monday.
Answer: he teacher says that the examinations will begin on Monday.

Jhonson will say, “Books have become very costly.”
Answer: Jhonson will say that books have become very costly.

Mother said, “The breakfast is ready”
Answer: Mother said that the breakfast was ready.

He said, “Stephen needs a new uniform.”
Answer: He said that Stephen needed a new uniform.

Change the following Direct speech into indirect speech.

Stephen said, “Mrs. Bajaj works in a school”
(A) Stephen said that Mrs. Bajaj is working in a school.
(B) Stephen said that Mrs. Bajaj worked in a school.
(C) Stephen said Mrs. Bajaj works in a school.
(D) Stephen is working in a school
(E) None of these

Answer

B

Explanation: Stephen said that Mrs. Bajaj worked m a school.

The manager said, “Mathew is working sincerely.”
(A) The manager said that Mathew has worked sincerely.
(B) The manager said that Mathew is working sincerely.
(C) The manager said that Mathew was working sincerely.
(D) The manager said that Mathew has been working sincerely.
(E) None of these

Answer

C

Explanation: The manager said that Mathew was working sincerely.

Change the following Direct speech into indirect speech.

The manager said to the workman, “I cannot pay you higher wages.”
(A) The manager told the workman that he could not pay him higher wages.
(B) The manager told the workman that he could not be paid higher wages.
(C) The manager forbade the workman to pay higher.
(D) All of these
(E) None of these

Answer:

A

Stephen said, “India has won the match.”
(A) Stephen said that India have won the match.
(B) Stephen said that India is being won the match.
(C) Stephen said, “India has won the match.
(D) Stephen said that India had won the match.
(E) None of these

Answer:

D

The sage said, “God helps those who help themselves.”
(A) The sage said that God helped those who’s helped themselves.
(B) The sage said that God helps those who help themselves.
(C) The sage said that God helped those who helped themselves.
(D) The sage said that God is helping those who help themselves.
(E) None of these

Answer:

B

Steve said, “Jack came very late.”
(A) Steve said that Jack had come very late.
(B) Steve said that Jack was come very late.
(C) Steve said that Jack has come very late.
(D) Steve said Jack came very late.
(E) None of these

Answer:

A

Michael said to me, “I will do it now or never.”
(A) Michael told me that I would do it then or never.
(B) Michael told me that he would do that now or never.
(C) Michael told me that he would do it then or never.
(D) Michael told me that he would do it now or never.
(E) None of these

Answer:

C

The major said to his men, “Bravo! you fought bravely.”
(A) The major said to his men Bravo! you fought bravely.
(B) The major applauded his men, saying that they have fought bravely.
(C) The major applauded his men, saying that they was fought bravely.
(D) The major applauded his men, saying that they had fought bravely.
(E) None of these

Answer:

D

I said to my brother, “Let us go to some hill station for a change.”
(A) I suggested my brother that we should go to some hill station for a change.
(B) I asked my brother to go to some hill station for a change.
(C) I permitted my brother to go to some hill station for a change.
(D) I asked my brother if he would go to some hill station for a change.
(E) None of these

Answer:

A

James said to his teacher, “I have cleaned it as best as I could”.
(A) James told his teacher that he had cleaned it as best as he could
(B) James told his teacher that he has cleaned it as best as he could
(C) James said to his teacher I have cleaned it as best as I could
(D) James told his teacher that he was cleaned it as best as I could.
(E) None of these

Answer:

A

Michael said to me, “The snow has been falling and you cannot go”.
(A) Michael told me that the snow has been falling and I could not go
(B) Michael told me that the snow had been falling and I could not go
(C) Michael told me that the snow was been falling and I could not go
(D) All of these
(E) None of these

Answer:

B

My cousin said, “My room-mate snored throughout the night.”
(A) My cousin told that her room-mate may snore throughout the night
(B) My cousin complained that her room-mate snored throughout the night.
(C) My cousin told that her room-mate snored throughout the night
(D) My cousin said that her room-mate had snored throughout the night
(E) None of these

Answer:

D

Questions

1. The employer told the workman that he could not pay him higher

2. Stephen said that India had won the mat

3. The sage said that God helps those who help themselv

4. Steve said that Jack had come very late.

5. Michael told me that he would do it then or nev

6. The major applauded his men, saying that they had fought brave

7. I suggested my brother that we should go to some hill station for a chang

8. James told his teacher that he had cleaned it as best as he could.

9. Michael told me that the snow had been falling and I could not go.

10. My cousin said that her room-mate had snored throughout the night.