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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Direct to Indirect Speech

Direct to Indirect Speech

In this section, We are going to see How the conversion of Direct to Indirect Speech and Indirect to Direct Speech is done?

We may report the words of a speaker in two ways.

1. Direct Speech

We may quote the actual words of the speaker. This method is called Direct Speech.

2. Indirect Speech

We may report what he said without quoting his exact words. This method is called Indirect Speech or Reported Speech.


• Direct: Clinton said, “I am very busy now.”

• Indirect: Clinton said that he was very busy then.

• Direct : He said, “ my mother is writing letter.”

• Indirect: He said that his mother was writing letter.

How to change Direct to Indirect Speech?

It will be noticed that in Direct Speech, we use inverted commas to mark off the exact words of the speaker.In Indirect Speech we do not use the inverted commas.

It will be further noticed that in changing the above Direct Speech into Indirect speech, certain changes have been made.


i. We have used the conjunction ‘that’ before the Indirect Statement.

ii. The pronoun “I” is changed to “HE”. (The Pronoun is changed in Person)

iii. The verb “am” is changed to “was”.

iv. The adverb “now” is changed to “then”.

Rules for changing Direct into Indirect Speech:

A. When the reporting or principal verb is in the Past Tense, all the Present Tenses in the Direct Speech are changed into Past Tense.

a. A simple present tense becomes simple past tense.


• Direct : He said, “I am unwell.”

• Indirect: He said that he was unwell.

b. A present continuous tense becomes a past continuous.


• Direct : He said, “ my mother is writing letter.”

• Indirect: He said that his mother was writing letter.

c. A present perfect becomes a past perfect:

Are you clear about the conversion of Direct to Indirect Speech?


• Direct: He said, “I have passed the examination.”

• Indirect: he said that he had passed the examination.

d. As a rule the simple past tense in the Direct Speech becomes the past perfect tense in Indirect Speech.


• Direct: He said, “His horse died in the night.”

• Indirect: he said that his horse had died in the night.


The shall of the future is changed into should. 

The will of the future is changed into would. 
The can and may of the future are changed into could and mightrespectively.

Are you clear about the conversion of Direct to Indirect Speech?B. The tenses will not change if the statement is still relevant or if it is a universal truth. We can often choose whether to keep The original tenses or change them.


• Direct: “I know her address”, said John.

• Indirect: John said that he knows/knew her address.

In this Indirect Speech, both the past tense and the present tense make the sentence a correct one.

• Direct: The teacher said, “The earth goes round the sun.”

• Indirect: The teacher said that the earth goes/went round the sun.

• Direct: She said, “German is easy to learn.”

• Indirect: She said that German was/is easy to learn.

The past tense is often used when it is uncertain if the statement is true or when we are reporting objectively.

Are you clear about the conversion of Direct to Indirect Speech?

C. If the reporting verb is in present tense, the tenses of the Direct Speech do not change. For example, we may rewrite the above examples, putting the reporting verb in the present tense.


• Direct : He says, “I am unwell.”

• Indirect: He says that he is unwell.

• Direct : He says, “ my mother is writing letter.”

• Indirect: He says that his mother is writing letter.

• Direct: He says, “I have passed the examination.”

• Indirect: he says that he has passed the examination.

• Direct: He says, “His horse died in the night.”

• Indirect: he says that his horse died in the night.

Are you clear about the conversion of Direct to Indirect Speech?

D. The pronouns of the Direct Speech are changed where necessary, so that their relations with the reporter and his hearer, Rather than with the original speaker are indicated.


• Direct: He said to me, “I do not believe you.”

• Indirect: He said that he did not believe me.

• Direct: She said to him, “I do not believe you.”

• Indirect: She said to him that she did not believe him.

• Direct: I said to him, “I did not believe you.”

• Indirect: I said to him that I did not believe him.

• Direct: I said to you, “I do not believe you.”

• Indirect: I said to you that I do not believe you.

Are you clear about the conversion of Direct to Indirect Speech?

E. Words expressing nearness in time or places are generally changed into words expressing distance.


• Direct: He said, “I am glad to be here this evening.”

• Indirect: he said that he was glad to be there that evening.

• Direct: He said, “I was here yesterday.”

• Indirect: He said that he was there the day before.

Are you clear about the conversion of Direct to Indirect Speech?

Now, let us see the words which get changed when the Direct Speech is changed into Indirect Speech.

• Now becomes then

• Here becomes there
• Ago becomes before
• Thus becomes so
• Today becomes that day
• Tomorrow becomes the next day
• Yesterday becomes the day before
• Last night becomes the night before
• This becomes that
• These becomes those

Are you clear about the conversion of Direct to Indirect Speech?

F. How the questions used in the Direct Speech are changed into Indirect Speech? 

In reporting questions, the indirect Speech is introduced by such verbs as asked, inquired etc…


• Direct: He said to me, “What are you doing?”

• Indirect: He asked me what I was doing.

• Direct: A stranger asked me, “Where do you live?”

• Indirect: A stranger enquired where I lived.

• Direct: The Policemen said to us, “Where are you going?”

• Indirect: The Policemen asked us where we were going.

• Direct: He said, “Will you listen to such a man?”

• Indirect: He asked them whether they would listen to such a man.
• Indirect: Would they, he asked, listen to such a man.

• Direct: His angry mother jeered, “Do you suppose you know better than your father?”

• Indirect: His angry mother jeered and asked whether he supposed that he knew better than his father.

Are you clear about the conversion of Direct to Indirect Speech?

G. How the Commands and the Requests in the Direct Speeches are changed when the Direct Speeches are changed into indirect Speeches?

In reporting commands and requests, the indirect speech is introduced by some verb expressing commands and requests, and the Imperative Mood is changed into Infinitive Mood.


• Direct: Raja said to John, “Go away.”

• Indirect: Raja ordered John to go away.

• Direct: He said to Mary, “Please wait here till I return.”

• Indirect: he requested Mary to wait there till he returned.

Are you clear about the conversion of Direct to Indirect Speech?

• Direct: “Call the first witness”, said the Judge.

• Indirect: The Judge commanded them to call the first witness.

• Direct: He shouted, “Let me go.”

• Indirect: he shouted to them to let him go.

• Direct: He said, “Be quite and listen to my words”.

• Indirect: He urged them to be quite and listen to his words.

Are you clear about the conversion of Direct to Indirect Speech?

H. How the Exclamation and the Wishes in the Direct Speeches are changed when the Direct Speeches are changed into Indirect Speeches? 

In reporting exclamation and wishes, the Indirect Speech is introduced by some verb expressing Exclamation and Wishes.


• Direct: He said, “Alas! I am undone”.

• Indirect: He exclaimed sadly that he was undone.

• Direct: Alice said, “How clever I am?”

• Indirect: Alice exclaimed that he was very clever.

• Direct: He said, “Bravo! You have done well.”

• Indirect: he applauded him, saying that he had done well.

• Direct: “So help me, Heaven!” he cried, “I will never steal again”.

• Indirect: He called upon Heaven to witness his resolve never to resolve.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Third Quiz on Subject-Verb Agreement

Third Quiz on Subject-Verb Agreement[Logo]
InstructionsSelect the appropriate verbs from the drop-down menus to complete each sentence correctly. There are thirty-three "opportunities for error" in these paragraphs. When you click on "check answers," the computer will indicate your score and put a sideways grin :) next to each correct answer and an X next to any incorrect answers. Reconsider and change any incorrect responses; then re-grade the quiz. Caution: the singular verb is not always given first.

Soccer — or football (or foosball or futbol), as it is called by the rest of the world outside the United States —   surely the most popular sport in the world. Every four years, the world championship of soccer, the World Cup,   watched by literally billions all over the world, beating out the United States professional football's Superbowl by far. It is estimated that 1.7 billion television viewers watched the World Cup final between France and Brazil in July of 1998. And it is also a genuine world championship, involving teams from 32 countries in the final rounds, unlike the much more parochial and misnamed World Series in American baseball (that  even involve Japan or Cuba, two baseball hotbeds). But although soccer has become an important sport in the American sports scene, it will never make inroads into the hearts and markets of American sports the way that football, basketball, hockey, baseball, and even tennis and golf   done. There are many reasons for this.Recently the New England Revolution beat the Tampa Bay Mutiny in a game played during a horrid rainstorm. Nearly 5000 fans showed up, which  that soccer is, indeed, popular in the United States. However, the story of the game  buried near the back of the newspaper's sports section, and there  certainly no television coverage. In fact, the biggest reason for soccer's failure as a mass appeal sport in the United States is that it doesn't conform easily to the demands of television. Basketball succeeds enormously in America because it regularly   what it calls "television time-outs" as well as the time-outs that the teams themselves call to re-group, not to mention half-times and, on the professional level, quarter breaks. Those time-outs in the action   ideally made for television commercials. And television coverage is the lifeblood of American sports. College basketball   for a game scheduled on CBS or ESPN (highly recruited high school players are more likely to go to a team that regularly gets national television exposure), and we could even say that television coverage  dictated the pace and feel of American football. Anyone who  attended a live football game knows how commercial time-outs   the game and sometimes, at its most exciting moments,   the flow of events. There is no serious objection, however, because without television, football knows that it simply wouldn't remain in the homes and hearts of Americans. Also, without those advertising dollars, the teams couldn't afford the sky-high salaries of their high-priced superstars.
Soccer, on the other hand, except for its half-time break, has no time-outs; except for half-time, it is constant run, run, run, run, back and forth, back and forth, relentlessly, with only a few seconds of relaxation when a goal is scored, and that can happen seldom, sometimes never. The best that commercial television coverage can hope for is an injury time-out, and in soccer that  only with decapitation or disembowelment.
Second, Americans love their violence, and soccer doesn't deliver on this score the way that American football and hockey   . There are brief moments, spurts of violence, yes, but fans can't expect the full-time menu of bone-crushing carnage that American football and hockey can deliver minute after minute, game after game. In soccer, players are actually singled out and warned — shamed, with embarrassingly silly "yellow cards," for acts of violence and duplicity that would be smiled at in most American sports other than tennis and golf.
Third, it is just too difficult to score in soccer. America   its football games with scores like 49 to 35 and a professional basketball game with scores below 100   regarded as a defensive bore. In soccer, on the other hand, scores like 2 to 1, even 1 to 0,  commonplace and apparently desirable; games scoreless at the end of regulation time happen all the time. (In the 515 games played in the final phase in the history of the World Cup games through 1994, only 1584 goals  scored. That's three a game!) And if there   no resolution at the end of overtime, the teams resort to a shoot-out that   more to do with luck than with real soccer skills. Worse yet, it is possible for a team to dominate in terms of sheer talent and "shots-on-goal" and still lose the game by virtue of a momentary lapse in defensive attention, a stroke of bad luck, and the opponent's break-away goal. Things like that can happen, too, in baseball, but the problem somehow   out over baseball's very long season of daily games. In soccer, it just isn't fair. Soccer authorities should consider making the goal smaller and doing away with the goalie to make scoring easier. And the business of starting over after each goal, in the middle of the field,   to be reconsidered. It's too much like the center-jump after each goal in the basketball game of yesteryear.
It   unlikely that Americans will ever fully comprehend or appreciate a sport in which players are not allowed to use their arms and hands. Although the footwork of soccer players   a magnificent skill to behold, most American fans are perplexed by straitjacketed soccer players' inability and unwillingness to "pick up the darn ball and run with it!" The inability to use substitutes (unless the players to be substituted for are lying dead or maimed on the field of play)   also bewildering to Americans, who glorify the "sixth man" in basketball and a baseball game in which virtually the entire roster (including an otherwise unemployable old man called "the designated hitter")   deployed on the field at one time or another.
Finally, the field in soccer is enormous. Considerably larger than the American football field, the soccer field could contain at least a dozen basketball courts. Americans like their action condensed, in a small field of vision — ten enormous sweaty people bouncing off one another and moving rapidly through a space the size of a medium-sized bedroom, twenty-two even larger people in bulky uniforms converging on a small, oddly shaped ball. In soccer, on the other hand, there   a premium on "spreading out," not infringing upon the force field occupied by a team-mate, so that fancy foot-passing is possible. This spreading out across the vast meadow of the soccer playing field   not lend itself, again, to close get-down-and-dirty television scrutiny. Soccer is a great sport and it certainly   the increased attention and popularity it is getting on all levels. But — primarily, again, because it does not lend itself to television — it will never make it big in the United States the way these other sports   , not until it  some of its fundamental strategies.
  Your score is: 

Subject-Verb Agreement Quiz List
 Guide to Grammar and Writing

A Second Quiz on Subject-Verb Agreement

A Second Quiz on Subject-Verb Agreement[Logo]
After each sentence select the verb form that will best fit in the blank. The explanation will describe the process of arriving at the correct choice for that sentence. If you choose the correct response, it might still be a good idea to consult the explanation, to see if your understanding of the verb choice is the same as ours.

1. Carlos is the only one of those students who __________ lived up to the potential described in the yearbook.


2. The International Club, as well as the Choral Society and the Rowing Club, __________ to submit a new constitution.


3. One of my best friends _____________ an extra on Seinfeld this week.


4. Not only the students but also their instructor ________ been called to the principal's office.


5. Most of the milk _____ gone bad. Six gallons of milk _______ still in the refrigerator.
has ---- are
have ---- is


6. Each and every student and instructor in this building __________ for a new facility by next year.


7. The students and instructors each ________for a new facility by next year.


8. Rice and beans, my favorite dish, __________ me of my native Puerto Rico.


9. A large number of voters still ___________ along straight-party lines.


10. Four years _______ a long time to spend away from your friends and family.


11. Politics __________ sometimes a dirty business.


12. To an outsider, the economics of this country ________ to be in disarray.


Subject-Verb Agreement Quiz List
 Guide to Grammar and Writing

Quiz on Subject-Verb Agreement

Quiz on Subject-Verb Agreement[Logo]
Select one answer from the choices provided after each sentence. The word you choose should fit the blank in the sentence. Don't use the HINT buttons unless you really need them.
1.  Either the physicians in this hospital or the chief administrator ____ going to have to make a decision.

2.  ______ my boss or my sisters in the union going to win this grievance?
3.  Some of the votes __________ to have been miscounted.
4.  The tornadoes that tear through this county every spring _____ more than just a nuisance.
5.  Everyone selected to serve on this jury _____ to be willing to give up a lot of time.
6.  Kara Wolters, together with her teammates, _________ a formidable opponent on the basketball court.

7.  He seems to forget that there __________ things to be done before he can graduate.
8.  There _______ to be some people left in that town after yesterday's flood.

9.  Some of the grain __________ to be contaminated.
10.  Three-quarters of the students __________ against the tuition hike.
11.  Three-quarters of the student body __________ against the tuition hike.
12.  A high percentage of the population _________ voting for the new school.
13.  A high percentage of the people _________ voting for the new school.

Subject-Verb Agreement Quiz List
 Guide to Grammar and Writing


Basic Principle: Singular subjects need singular verbs; plural subjects need plural verbs. My brother is a nutritionist. My sisters are mathematicians.
See the section on Plurals for additional help with subject-verb agreement.
The indefinite pronouns anyone, everyone, someone, no one, nobody are always singular and, therefore, require singular verbs.
  • Everyone has done his or her homework.
  • Somebody has left her purse.
Some indefinite pronouns — such as all, some — are singular or plural depending on what they're referring to. (Is the thing referred to countable or not?) Be careful choosing a verb to accompany such pronouns.
  • Some of the beads are missing.
  • Some of the water is gone.
On the other hand, there is one indefinite pronoun, none, that can be either singular or plural; it often doesn't matter whether you use a singular or a plural verb — unless something else in the sentence determines its number. (Writers generally think of none as meaning not any and will choose a plural verb, as in "None of the engines are working," but when something else makes us regard none as meaningnot one, we want a singular verb, as in "None of the food is fresh.")
  • None of you claims responsibility for this incident?
  • None of you claim responsibility for this incident?
  • None of the students have done their homework. (In this last example, the word their precludes the use of the singular verb.

Some indefinite pronouns are particularly troublesome Everyone and everybody (listed above, also) certainly feel like more than one person and, therefore, students are sometimes tempted to use a plural verb with them. They are always singular, though. Each is often followed by a prepositional phrase ending in a plural word (Each of the cars), thus confusing the verb choice. Each,too, is always singular and requires a singular verb.
    Everyone has finished his or her homework.
You would always say, "Everybody is here." This means that the word is singular and nothing will change that.
    Each of the students is responsible for doing his or her work in the library.
Don't let the word "students" confuse you; the subject is each and each is always singular — Each is responsible.
Phrases such as together with, as well as, and along with are not the same as and. The phrase introduced by as well as or along with will modify the earlier word (mayor in this case), but it does not compound the subjects (as the word and would do).
  • The mayor as well as his brothers is going to prison.
  • The mayor and his brothers are going to jail.
The pronouns neither and either are singular and require singular verbs even though they seem to be referring, in a sense, to two things.
  • Neither of the two traffic lights is working.
  • Which shirt do you want for Christmas?
    Either is fine with me.
In informal writing, neither and either sometimes take a plural verb when these pronouns are followed by a prepositional phrase beginning with of. This is particularly true of interrogative constructions: "Haveeither of you two clowns read the assignment?" "Are either of you taking this seriously?" Burchfield calls this "a clash between notional and actual agreement."*
The conjunction or does not conjoin (as and does): when nor or or is used the subject closer to the verb determines the number of the verb. Whether the subject comes before or after the verb doesn't matter; the proximity determines the number.
  • Either my father or my brothers are going to sell the house.
  • Neither my brothers nor my father is going to sell the house.
  • Are either my brothers or my father responsible?
  • Is either my father or my brothers responsible?
Because a sentence like "Neither my brothers nor my father is going to sell the house" sounds peculiar, it is probably a good idea to put the plural subject closer to the verb whenever that is possible.
The words there and here are never subjects.
  • There are two reasons [plural subject] for this.
  • There is no reason for this.
  • Here are two apples.
With these constructions (called expletive constructions), the subject follows the verb but still determines the number of the verb.
Verbs in the present tense for third-person, singular subjects (he, she, it and anything those words can stand for) have s-endings. Other verbs do not add s-endings.
    He loves and she loves and they love_ and . . . .
Sometimes modifiers will get betwen a subject and its verb, but these modifiers must not confuse the agreement between the subject and its verb.
    The mayor, who has been convicted along with his four brothers on four counts of various crimes but who also seems, like a cat, to have several political lives, is finally going to jail.
Sometimes nouns take weird forms and can fool us into thinking they're plural when they're really singular and vice-versa. Consult the section on the Plural Forms of Nouns and the section onCollective Nouns for additional help. Words such as glasses, pants, pliers, and scissors are regarded as plural (and require plural verbs) unless they're preceded the phrase pair of (in which case the word pair becomes the subject).
  • My glasses were on the bed.
  • My pants were torn.
  • A pair of plaid trousers is in the closet.
Some words end in -s and appear to be plural but are really singular and require singular verbs.
  • The news from the front is bad.
  • Measles is a dangerous disease for pregnant women.
On the other hand, some words ending in -s refer to a single thing but are nonetheless plural and require a plural verb.
  • My assets were wiped out in the depression.
  • The average worker's earnings have gone up dramatically.
  • Our thanks go to the workers who supported the union.
The names of sports teams that do not end in "s" will take a plural verb: the Miami Heat have been looking … , The Connecticut Sun are hoping that new talent … . See the section on plurals for help with this problem.
Fractional expressions such as half of, a part of, a percentage of, a majority of are sometimes singular and sometimes plural, depending on the meaning. (The same is true, of course, when all, any, more, most and some act as subjects.) Sums and products of mathematical processes are expressed as singular and require singular verbs. The expression "more than one" (oddly enough) takes a singular verb: "More than one student has tried this."
  • Some of the voters are still angry.
  • A large percentage of the older population is voting against her.
  • Two-fifths of the troops were lost in the battle.
  • Two-fifths of the vineyard was destroyed by fire.
  • Forty percent of the students are in favor of changing the policy.
  • Forty percent of the student body is in favor of changing the policy.
  • Two and two is four.
  • Four times four divided by two is eight.
If your sentence compounds a positive and a negative subject and one is plural, the other singular, the verb should agree with the positive subject.
  • The department members but not the chair have decided not to teach on Valentine's Day.
  • It is not the faculty members but the president who decides this issue.
  • It was the speaker, not his ideas, that has provoked the students to riot.