Changing personal pronouns in indirect speech

While making indirect speech, change of pronouns and tenses become essential. Personal pronouns of direct speech get changed in the indirect speech as per the rules of indirect speech. Herein, you will read simple rules of changing personal pronouns in indirect speech

Change in personal pronouns while making indirect speech

Take a look at some important rules of making indirect speech by changing pronouns used in direct speech.
When the subject of direct speech in the quotation marks is first person -I, we, my, our etc.
Then, it is changed according to the subject of the reporting verb.

1. Example showing change in first person

 

Xi Jinpig said, “I will consider to impose more tariffs.

In this sentence, in the direct speech, there is first person singular subject.
And, subject of reporting verb is third person singular.
In this context, according to the rules, subject of the direct speech changes according to the subject of the reporting verb.

  • Xi Jinpig said that he would consider to impose more tarrifs.

2. Let’s see some useful examples.

  • The man said, “I am the witness of that earthquake.
  • The man said that he was the witness of that earthquake.
  • John said,  “I am so busy to talk to you”.
  • John said that he was so busy to talk to him.

3. Rules for the second person pronoun

Second person in the indirect speech changes according to the object of the reporting verb.

Ronny said to me,  “You are so hard working”.

In this sentence, the subject of the direct speech is in second person form.
Therefore, it gets changed according to the object of the reporting verb.
Here, object of the reporting verb is “me” Hence, the subject of the direct speech would be ‘I’

4. Example showing change in second person

Ronny said to me that I was so hard working.

  • My father said,” you are so careless.”
  • My father said to me that I was so careless.

5. Changing third person in indirect speech

There is no need to change third person pronouns in the indirect speech as it is used as default pronouns.
If there is name of person used in the direct speech, there is no need to change it in the indirect speech.

6. Examples showing third person pronouns

  • John said, “He was so busy.”
  • John said that he was so busy.
  • He said,  “I am making a chair.”
  • He said that he was making a chair.
  • Samuel said, “I want a bike.”
  • Samuel said that he wanted a bike.

This is all about the changing personal pronouns in indirect speech. Herein, first and second person pronoun in the reporting speech get changed in the indirect speech. But, third person personal pronoun doesn’t get changed.

6. Change in the tense

First of all, we must not forget a thing that change in the direct speech should be in consistent with reporting verb.

In Short, tense of direct speech changes according to the tense of reporting verb.

When the reporting verb is in the present or future tense, then there is no need to change the tense of direct speech.
But, when the reporting verb is in the past tense, then the tense of direct speech changes accordingly.

Simple present to simple past.

When the direct speech is in the simple present, then the tense is changed to simple past in the indirect speech.

  • Direct speech -Student said, “Teacher teaches writing skills. ”
  • Indirect speech -Student said that teacher teached writing skills.

Present continuous to past continuous

  • Direct speech -He said, “They are working continuously. ”
  • Indirect speech -He said that they were working continuously.

Perfect present to past perfect

  • Direct speech-Emma said, “I have completed my assignment.”
  • Indirect speech -Emma said that she had completed her assignment.

Present continuous perfect to past continuous perfect

  •  Direct speech -She said.”I have been exercising since last week. ”
  • Indirect speech -She said that she had been exercising since the week before.

Past to past changes

When the tense of direct speech is in the past tense, then we will notice following changes in the indirect speech.

Simple past to past perfect.

  • Direct speech-Matt said, “I did better job.”
  • Indirect speech– Matt said that he had done better job.

Past continuous to past perfect continuous

  • Direct speech- Henry said,  “I was digging a hole.”
  • Indirect speech-Henry said that he had been digging a hole.

Rules for change in time and place adverbs

Changes in the adverbs of time and place in the direct speech takes place in the following way-

•These-those,
•This -that,
•These-those,
•Now-then,
•Ago- -before,
•Today- -that day, the same day,
•Yesterday –the previous day, the day before,
•Tonight– that night,
•Tomorrow –the next day, the following day,
•Last night–the previous night, the night before,
For the upcoming time, “following”is used, whereas for the passed time “previous” is used.

These are some useful rules. I hope, these will help you in your preparation.

Indirect speech of assertive sentences

Mitigators and intensifying adverbs