Direct Indirect for SSC & Railway Exams

By : Neha Uppal

Updated : Nov 2, 2020, 15:56

English Grammar questions form an important portion of SSC and government exams. Direct and Indirect Speech is a common type of question on this topic. It is also highly scoring if you are aware of all the rules and methods of the subject. Direct and Indirect Speech is asked in SSC related exams like SSC CGL and SSC CPO, among others.

It can be useful to polish your Direct and Indirect speech for multiple types of questions like Reported Speech and Error Spotting. Some questions can be straightforward, and some others can be tricky. Make it a point to have your basics clear on Direct and Indirect Speech conversion.

Important Direct and Indirect Rules and Methods

There is no direct and indirect speech formula; you’ll have to memorise the concept and rules of direct and indirect speech. Have a look at the chart below.



1. Change of tense of reporting verb

When you convert the tense, you must be careful to change the present tense to the past tense as per the type of verb.

Present Simple becomes Past Simple

Present Continuous becomes Past Continuous

Past Simple becomes past perfect simple, and so on.

2. Change of time and place

The time and place must be changed in the indirect speech to depict the actual time or place. For example-

“now” becomes “then.”

“today” becomes “that day.”

“here” becomes “there.”

“come” becomes “go.”

3. Change of pronouns

The distinction should be clear between first person, second person and a third person who is reported.

If the speaker and the reported person are the same in the first person, the pronoun remains the first person.

4. Change of sentence structure

You must adjust the sentence structure according to the subject and object in the sentence. Usage of connectors like “that”, “if”, “whether” is important as per the context.

5. Removal of speech indicators

The main difference between Direct and Indirect Speech is the usage of apostrophes. You must remove speech markers in Indirect speech and accordingly change the sentence structure.

6. Tenses that remain unchanged

The future tense remains unchanged if the reporting verb is in the future tense. Same goes for the present tense.

7.  Change in Modal Verbs

This can be tricky, but you should mostly stick to the past tense of the verbs and note the special cases. For example-

“will/shall” becomes “would”

“can/may” becomes “could” and so on.

You can download direct and indirect speech questions pdf from BYJU'S Exam Prep for your practice. 

Direct and  indirect Speech Tricks and Tips for Exam 

  1. To solve Direct and Indirect questions, you must be very clear on your concept of tenses, verbs and pronouns.
  2. You must memorise tables of conversion with examples by following resources on the internet and books.
  3. Practice as many sentences as you can. Set a time slot each day to practice 10 or 20 direct, indirect conversions. Solve previous years papers.
  4. Keep practising direct and indirect speech exercises for SSC exams.
  5. Read reports of incidents which are provided in newspapers that often use indirect speech.
  6. You can always learn and adapt from direct and indirect speech questions and answers. 
  7. When you are converting direct speech to indirect speech, try to separate the longer sentences to short portions for easier conversion. Take special care of connectors and modal verbs.

Importance of Direct and Indirect SSC Questions

  • Direct Indirect SSC questions are very common in the English grammar section.
  • The concept is also useful in solving questions of phrase conversion and error spotting apart from direct conversion.
  • This section is highly scoring if the concept is clear for the participant.
  • Direct, Indirect Speech is also very useful for real-world applications to write reports and compositions.

Most Recommended Books for Direct Indirect SSC



Objective General English 

S. P. Bakshi

A Mirror of Common Errors 

A. K. Singh

Corrective English 

A. K. Singh

Plinth to Paramount 

Neetu Singh

Why prepare Direct and Indirect from BYJU'S Exam Prep?

BYJU'S Exam Prep is an online portal which can be your one shot destination to all your preparation resources. You can find questions and Direct Indirect SSC quizzes that you need to prepare for. There are detailed concept maps and tables to polish Direct and Indirect Speech conversion. You can also use the test series and previous papers to test yourself regularly. BYJU'S Exam Prep has direct indirect SSC quizzes for you to test your skills. Detailed videos are made to clarify difficult concepts. A team of experts and teachers are always ready to help you out in case of any confusion or distress.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How to change direct speech to indirect speech?

Ans- To change direct speech to indirect speech, you must understand the tense and verbs in the direct sentences and accordingly convert to the corresponding indirect form.

  • How to improve my knowledge of direct, indirect speech?

Ans- To improve your knowledge of Direct and Indirect speech, you must start with a book which explains the basics to you with examples, and then keep practising direct and indirect speech quiz for SSC

  • How to identify direct speech from indirect speech?

Ans- The main difference between the two types of speeches is the usage of apostrophes. As the names suggest, in Direct speech, the entire spoken sentence is copied word for word. In indirect speech, the speaker tells you the same thing in a reporting sense.

  • Which exams ask direct and indirect speech questions?

Ans- These questions are prevalent in many competitive exams like SSC, banking and government exams.

  • What is the importance of Direct and Indirect Speech?

Ans- Direct and Indirect speech is useful to write correct sentences while reporting at the incident. It is very useful when you want to narrate stories from a different time or someone else’s perspective.