Basic Narration Changes | Narration Rules

Learn about the “Introduction to Basic Narration Changes” by definitions, formulas, rules, tricks, examples, and exercises. You will learn Introduction to Direct Indirect Speech and Basic Changes.

Introduction to Direct Indirect Speech and Basic Changes

  • How do you introduce direct and indirect speech?
  • Direct and indirect speech definition?
  • Direct and indirect speech with examples?
  • What are the basic rules of changing direct speech into indirect speech?

Introduction to Narration

We can express anyone’s speech or talk in two ways. 

1. Direct Speech

2. Indirect Speech

1. Direct Speech

To state anyone’s speech as such or as actual.

2. Indirect Speech

To state anyone’s speech with modification or with changed words so that the actual meaning remains the same.

Parts of Direct Speech

We shall apply changes in indirect speech as we want to change it to direct speech. So, direct speech contains two parts.

He said to me, (Reporting Speech)

“He is going to school” (Reported Speech)

Basic Changes

Basically, we apply five changes from indirect speech to direct speech.

1. Replacement of Say, said, etc

2. Replacement of Commas

3. Change of Pronoun

4. Change of Tenses

5. Change of Certain Words

Change/Replacement of “Said to”:

Exercise Just for the above rules:

I said to him, “Reported Speech.” (Dir.)
I told him that ………………….. (Ind)

Irfan says to them,” any type of a sentence”(Dir)
Irfan tells them that…………………….. (Ind)

They say to me, “……………………..”(Dir)
They tell me that ……………………. (Ind)

They said, “……………………”(Dir)
They said that…………………. (Ind)
(No change)

He says, “……………………..”(Dir)
He says that…………………… (Ind)
(No change)

Learn Important Points Also:


The above changes are according to the rules but not compulsory if you do not make these changes, the sentences will not be incorrect. In other words, these changes are optional. So, you can say that the compulsory changes are all in a reported speech from the replacement of commas followed by the change of pronouns, change of tenses, and change of certain words.

All these compulsory changes have been discussed in the next phase and you can consult it but we advise you to go step by step to get productive learning.

Narration Rules for Certain Words

1. Rule One

If the reporting speech is in Past Indefinite Tense, the following certain words in reporting speech will be changed to the following:

Change in Certain Words

this → that

He said, “This is my pen.”

He said that that is his pen.

these → those

I said, “These are beautiful goats”.

I said that those were beautiful goats.

here → there

You said, “Akmal is here.”

You said that Akmal was there.

now  →then

The teacher said to him, “You should write now.”

The teacher told him that he should write then.

thus →so

He said, “Thus they stood at once”.

He said that so they had stood at once. 

ago →before

The peon said, “The officer came five minutes ago“.

The peon said that the officer had come five minutes before.

More Changes in Certain Words:

hither →thither

I said, “It is easy to see hither in a word”.

I said that it was easy to see thither in a word.

hence →thence

The teacher said, “They tried and hence proved it”.

The teacher said that they had tried and thence proved it.

today →that day

She said, “I got up late today“.

She said that she had gotten late that day.

tonight →that night

We said, “The passengers arrived tonight.”

We said that the passengers had arrived that night.

tomorrow →the next day

We said, “The passengers will arrive tomorrow.”

We said that the passengers would arrive the next day.

the next day →the following day

We said, “The passengers will arrive the next day.“

We said that the passengers would arrive the following day. 

yesterday  → the previous day

We said, “The passengers arrived yesterday.“

We said that the passengers had arrived the previous day

last night  →the previous night

We said, “The passengers arrived last night.“

We said that the passengers had arrived the previous night.

2. Rule Two

The words like all right, hello, well, yes, and no will be removed.



He said, “Hello Afzal, I am going.”

He said to Afzal that he was going.

All right

They said, “All right, we should go now.”

They said that they should go then.


She said, “Well, Ali will not stay.”

She said that Ali would not stay.


The teacher said, “Yes, He can go.”

The teacher said that he could go.


He said, “No, I did not take tea.”

He said that he had not taken tea.

3. Rule Three

Good morning, Good afternoon, good noon, and Good evening will be replaced or changed with greet/greeted by placing it right after the subject who use to say these words.


Good noon 

He said, “Brother, good noon.”
He greeted his brother.

Good afternoon

They said, “Friends, good afternoon.”
They greeted their friends.

Good morning

I said, “Uncle, good morning.”
greeted my uncle

Good evening 

We said, “Good evening, Ali”.
We greeted Ali.

4. Rule Four

Good night, goodbye will be a good night to and goodbye to then place the name to whom the subject says these words.



She said, “Goodbye, Saima.”

She said goodbye to Saima.

Good night

Irfan said, “Good night father.”

Irfan said good night to his father.

5. Rule Five

Madam or Sir will be replaced with respectfully.



He said, “Sir, I have done it.”

He said respectfully that he had done it.


She said, “Madam, I solved this MCQ.

She said respectfully that she had solved that MCQ.

6. Rule Six

If there is an object of reporting speech used in reported speech then add this object right after said to. And the words like hello and hi will be removed.


I said, “Zain, I am going.”

I told/said to Zain that he was going.

He said, Hello Zain, I am going.”

He told/said to Zain he was going. 

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