Monday, 27 October 2014

Narration Changing Theory Part-01

Narration and its Changing Theory (Part-01)

Narration and its transformation from direct speech to indirect speech is an essential lesson of English grammar. In our daily life, we talk to each other in order to express the thoughts of our mind. In this case, our speeches can be divided into 2 sections: direct speech and indirect speech. The speech that we express direct without any change within it is considered as direct speech but the speech that we express thorough self-expression changing the direct form is considered as indirect speech

However, today,I am going to discuss over the classes of narration
and the changing methods of speeches from direct to indirect. Here, I will show you an excellent method of changing speeches from direct to indirect. You will get it the easiest and successful method you have ever learn t. 

Of course, you and me both are bored with the bookish theory of it on various grammar books. I am not against those methods but want to discover a new theory of narration learning. So, let’s start our discussion now on the primary ideas of narration and its changing rules. But, this lesson covers a wide area in English grammar. So, I will discuss it through several lessons. And this is the 1st part of narration and its changing method. 

As I have told you before that there are two categories of speeches. One is direct speech and another one is indirect speech. So, we can classify narration into 2 classes:

Narration: Direct speech / indirect speech

Direct speech is the original speech of the speaker without any change in it.

Indirect speech is the transformed speech by someone else who is telling it mixing his/her self-expression within it.

For clear idea, have a look on this conversation:

Direct speech:
 He said to me, ‘‘You will stay here till I do not come back.’’ I replied, ‘‘yes, I am waiting for you here.’’ ‘‘Please come back soon.’’, I said.
(The speeches given here are in direct form without changing any element of the original speaker-

Indirect speech: He said to me that I would stay there till he did not come back. I replied in affirmative and said that I was waiting there. I requested him to come back soon.
(The speeches given here are in indirect form changing the original version told by the speaker

Now, I hope you have no problem in understanding the direct speech and indirect speech. Have you noticed that in direct speech, there are
 inverted commas (‘‘ ’’) before and after the speech. But in indirect speech, there is no inverted commas and the conjunction ‘that’ is used in connecting sentences. 

Now, the major task of us in this lesson is to
 change speeches from direct to indirect and now I want to tell you how you will do that step by step- 

The entire part of the narration that means the sentences can be divided into two parts: 

1. Reporting Verb
2. Reported Speech 

See this example here:

He said to me,
‘‘I have competed my homework today.’’
Reporting  Verb
Reported  Speech

Reporting Verb – the part in which you will identify the speaker and the listener of the speech and the expression in speech. The expression means whether the speech is an assertive sentence, interrogative sentence, imperative sentence, optative sentence or an exclamatory sentence. Moreover, this part can be placed at the first position or at the last position.

Reported Speech – the speech that is told by the speaker and this part is included within the inverted commas (‘‘ ’’). 

Now, I am introducing you to
 an interesting theory that will show you how to transform direct speech into indirect speech. In this theory, you will learn which elements should be changed during transformation. 

Theory Structure of Narration:

Now learn the parts and their meanings of the theory for better understanding: 
Explanation of the structure:

R.V.= Reporting Verbs 
R.S .= Reported Speech 
V= Verb 
P= Person 
T= Tense of Verbs 
A= Adverbials 

Example of the logic: 
According to the theory, you have seen that in
 ‘reporting verb’, you have to change the ‘verb’ only.

But in
 ‘reported speech’, you have to change 3 elements such as ‘person’, ‘tense of verbs’, and ‘adverbials’.

There are some certain rules of changing these elements during transformation of narration. Now, concentrate on these points carefully and attentively.

Now see an example in sentence: 

Tense of verb
said to
Have competed
Reporting verb
Reported speech

Now according to the sentence, we have to change the elements such as: 

 in Reporting verb=Said to
‘Persons’ in Reported speech= I, my 
 ‘Tense of verb’ in Reported speech= have completed 
 ‘Adverbials’ in Reported speech= today  

After changing the elements, the indirect speech will be: 

He said to me that he had completed his homework that day.

Notice that there is no inverted commas (‘‘ ’’) in indirect speech and a conjunction ‘that’ is used to connect two sentences.
But the question you should ask me now that how you will change these elements?


Let’s learn the rules of changing all the elements: 

How to change ‘verb’ in Reporting Verb?

You have to firstly observe the speech in
 inverted commas (‘‘ ’’). Because according to the type or kind of the sentence in speech, you have to change your ‘verb’ in ‘reporting verb’

Here is a simple chart of the forms of verbs:

Reporting Verbs
Reported  Speeches
said to/replied/ told
(Assertive sentence)
ask/asked/inquired of
(Interrogative sentence)
(Imperative sentence)
wish/wished for
pray/prayed for
(Optative sentence)
exclaim/exclaimed with joy/sorrow /wonder
(Exclamatory sentence)

Today, I will only discuss over the function of Assertive sentences. The rest categories are discussed on next lesson Narration and its Changing Theory(Part-02). You can read that lesson by clicking on the link above. 

How to change ‘Persons’ in reported speech? 

You know that there are
 3 kinds of persons in English language such as first person (I, we, me, us, my, our), second person (you, you, your), and third person (he, she, they, it, him, her, them, it, his, her, their, its). Here, you have to change the form of person in ‘reported speech’ following the form of subject and object in ‘reporting verb’

Notice the chart here: 

Reporting verb
Reported speech
Will be followed by Subject
1st person
Will be followed by Object
2nd person
No change
3rd person

Notice these examples:
Direct: He said to me, ‘‘You have sent me a nice gift for them yesterday.’’
Indirect: He said to me that I had sent him a nice gift for them the previous day.

Note: Here in ‘reported speech’, the persons are ‘you’, ‘me’, and ‘them’. The 2nd person ‘you’ have followed the object of reporting verb ‘me’ and become ‘I’. in the same way, the 1stperson ‘me’ has followed the subject of reporting verb ‘he’ and become ‘him'. But the third person ‘them’ has not been changed.

I can imagine that you have got another one question in your mind.
Yes, it is about the changing forms of person, right?

You have to use the form of persons such as subjective, objective, and possessive forms as it is given in ‘reported speech’. For an example, in the sentence above, you have got the 1st person ‘me’ in reported speech that will follow the subject of the reporting verb ‘he’. But you cannot write the same form as it given in reporting verb. 

 You must change the form of person into the form that is given in ‘reported speech’. This is why, the person in reporting verb ‘he’ has been changed into ‘him’ and put down in the place of ‘me’. The form has been changed from subjective to objective as the original form in 'reported speech' is objective form.

If you have no clear idea of the forms of person, you must read the lesson Person and its classifications before.

How to change 
‘Tense of verb’ in reported speech?

Generally, we are to transform the present tense into past tense in case of verb changing in the ‘reported speech’. But, always remember, if there is two verbs (modal auxiliary verb+ principal verb), you will change only the first part of the verb.

Here, I am giving a chart for your clear understanding
Direct speech
Indirect speech
Indefinite/continues/perfect/perfect continues tense
Indefinite/continues/perfect/perfect continues tense
Past indefinite tense
Past perfect tense
Past continues tense
Past perfect continues tense
Past perfect tense
No change
Past perfect continues tense
No change
(Future tense) Shall/will
Must/had to/
Here are examples:
Direct: You said to me,‘‘ I am helping you in this problem.’’
Indirect: You said to me that you were helping me in that problem.

Direct: I said to you, ‘‘He will help you in this problem.’’
Indirect: I said to you that he would help you in that problem.

By the way, If you have no clear idea of tenses, you must read the lesson Tense and its classifications before in order to have a better understanding.

Now, we will discuss the last element of our theory. Yes, it is adverbials. But there is no rule at all. You have to memorize certain phrases which will be transformed in indirect speech.

Here is the chart of the Adverbials
Direct speech
Indirect speech
That is why
This day
That day
That day
To night
That night
The next/following day
The previous day
Last night/day/week/month/year
The previous night/day/week/month/year
Next day/week/month/year
The following day/week/month/year
The day after tomorrow
In two days time
The day before yesterday
Two days before

In a direct speech, you may get more than one or two adverbials. Just change those as directed in this chart.

Now, imagine a magic!
Yes, you have learn t the transformation theory of narration from direct speech to indirect speech. And the magical point is that, you can successfully change the narration even the meaning of the sentence is not clear to you. Because, you have to change only 3 elements from the reported speech such as persons, tense of verb, and adverbials.

And you have learnt all those elements. There is nothing else and you will have no problem to recognize the persons, tenses, or adverbials in a sentence. The other parts of the sentence will be constant. So, you can change a speech even without knowing the complete meaning of it.

So, the steps of your transformation of narration will be as follows:

·                     Observe the sentence category of the ‘reported speech’ and select the ‘verb’ for your ‘reporting verb’.
·                     Mark the persons and change
·                     Mark the tense of verb and change
·                     Mark the adverbials and change

Finally, I would like to inform you 2 major facts, you must know…

01. If the ‘verb’ in ‘reporting verb’ is in present tense or future tense, your tense of verb in‘reported speech' will be unchanged but the other elements such as persons and adverbials will be changed.

For an example:
Direct: He says/will say to me,‘‘ I can help you when you are in a problem.’’
Indirect: He says/will say to me that he can help me when I am in a problem.

02. The ‘reporting verb' may be in the beginning or at the end of the speech. But when you will transform it into indirect, you must put it in the beginning of the sentence.

For an example:
Direct: ‘‘I feel helpless during my exams’’, he said to me.
Indirect: He said to me that he felt helpless during his exams.

No more today. I will come soon with the next part of the lesson Narration and its Changing Rules

In  next lesson on Narration and its Changing Theory(Part-02), I have discussed over the changing theory of all kinds of sentences from direct speech to indirect speech.
If you face any problem in understanding this lesson, let me know on comment section below.

Thank you very much.

Sentence Narration Changing Rules

10 rules of Passage Narration

Narration Changing Theory Part-01

Narration Changing Theory Part-02

Narration Test,


  1. Wonderful task but you it will be more effective for the student that how many things are changed to change narration in a chart... thanks a lot

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