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English Grammar Tutorials

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  • Chapter 13. Narration (Cont'd...)

    narration

    13.2 Rules for narration change (cont'd...)

    Let us observed the following sentences as for the examples. Please try to correlate how the Tables 13.1 - 13.4 are used to change a sentence from direct speech to Indirect speech.

    Direct narration: Ramu says, “Shyam is a good boy”. Here ‘Shyam is a good boy’ it is in the quoted marks. It is an assertive sentence. So we will change it accordingly to the table of the assertive sentence. In indirect narration the sentence will be, Ramu says that Shyam is a good boy. Here, we see that reporting verb ‘say’ remains the same as the chart allows it. Then the quotation marks and comma after reporting verb are removed and to connect the first part i.e. `Ramu says' with the second part ‘Shyam is a good boy’, ‘that’ is placed after the reporting verb. No other changes are necessary here according to the tables. Let us see another example as follow:

    Direct: Hari says, “I am ill and weak.
    Indirect: Hari says that he is ill and weak.

    Here ‘I’ refers to Hari, third person singular number, masculine gender and nominative case. So the pronoun ‘I’ has been changed into ‘he’ as it refers to Hari. Let us take another example:

    Direct: Nabin says, “My mother teaches me Bengali.
    Indirect: Nabin says that his mother teaches him.

    Please note that here ‘my’ has been changed into ‘his’ and ‘me’ has been changed into ‘him’ according to person ‘Nabin’ speaking. Now let us take another example:

    Direct: The king said to his minister, “We are the body guards of this kingdom.
    Indirect: The king told his minister that they were the body guards of that kingdom.

    Here we note the change of reporting verb from ‘said’ to ‘told’, connective ‘that’, ‘we’ to ‘they’ and ‘are’ to ‘were’ (according to the rules of sequence of tenses) and ‘this’ to ‘that’ (i.e. from near sense to far sense). If we minutely observe the tables, we might have no obstacle to understand the changes. In this way we are to follow the changes in the examples of different cases.

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