English Basics

Indirect Speech – Change In Pronoun – Rules

Indirect Speech – Change In Pronoun – Rules

To convert a direct speech into Indirect Speech, the pronoun (subject or object) a sentence is changed. Here is a simple example:

  • Direct Speech:     He said, “ I like music”.
  • Indirect Speech:  He said that he liked music.

In the above example, the pronoun (I) is changed to pronoun (he) in Indirect Speech. This sentence has two parts: a reporting verb (e.g. He said) and a reported speech (e.g. I like music). The pronoun of reported speech changed according to the pronoun of reporting verb of the sentence.

There are four easy rules for the change in pronoun in Indirect Speech.

Rule No. 1: The 1st Person pronoun of reported Speech (e.g. We, I, Me, My, Mine, Us, or our) is changed according to the Pronoun of the reporting verb if it is 3rd person Pronoun (i.e. She, He, It, They, Their, her, his)

  • Direct Speech:          She said, “I will go to London”.   
  • Indirect Speech:      She said that she would go to London.
  • Direct Speech:         He said, “I work in a factory”.
  • Indirect Speech:      He said that he work in a factory.
  • Direct Speech:         They said, “We have completed the work”
  • Indirect Speech:      They said they had completed the work.              
  • Direct Speech:         He said, “My laptop is heavy” 
  • Indirect Speech:      He said that his laptop was heavy.
  • Direct Speech:         She said, “My son is cute”.
  • Indirect Speech:      She said that her son was cute.


Rule No. 2: The 1st Person pronoun of reported Speech (i.e. We, I, Me, Mine, Us, or our) is NOT changed, if the Pronoun of reporting verb is also 1st Person Pronoun (i.e. I, we)

  • Direct Speech:        I said, “I had applied for a Job”
  • Indirect Speech:    I said that I had applied for a Job.
  • Direct Speech:        We said, “We sing a song” 
  • Indirect Speech:     We said that we sang a song.


Rule No. 3: The 2nd Person Pronoun (i.e. you, yours) of the reported Speech is changed according to “object” of the reporting verb.

  • Direct Speech:       She said to me, “You are a brilliant student”        
  • Indirect Speech:   She said to me that I was brilliant student.
  • Direct Speech:       She said to him, “You are a brilliant student”
  • Indirect Speech:   She said to him that he was a brilliant student.
  • Direct Speech:       She said to them, “you are brilliant students” 
  • Indirect Speech:   She said to them that they were brilliant students.
  • Direct Speech:       He said to me, “Your shirts are beautiful.
  • Indirect Speech:   He said to me that my shirts were beautiful.
  • Direct Speech:       He said to them, “Your shirts are beautiful”.
  • Indirect Speech:   He said to them that their shirts are beautiful.
Rule No. 4: The 3rd Person Pronoun (i.e. She, He, It, They, His, Him, them, His) of the reported Speech will NOT be changed in the Indirect Speech.
  • Direct Speech:       He said, “She will buy a pen”.
  • Indirect Speech:   He said that she would buy a pen.
  • Direct Speech:       She said, “They are singing a song”
  • Indirect Speech:   She said that they were singing a song.
  • Direct Speech:       They said, “It is raining”.
  • Indirect Speech:   They said that it was raining.
  • Direct Speech:       You said, “She loves him”.
  • Indirect Speech:   You said that she loved him.
  • Direct Speech:       David said, “He works in a factory”.
  • Indirect Speech:    David said that he worked in a factory.
  • Direct Speech:       He said, “She is waiting for them.
  • Indirect Speech:   He said that she was waiting for them.

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