Narration sentences Rules with examples

In this article, we will learn all Narration sentences with examples. We study ‘Direct‘ and ‘Indirect speech‘ under Narration.

How to find the sentence is in Direct Speech?

If the sentence spoken by the speaker is written without any change, the sentence is said to be in a Direct speech.
For example, Pawan Says I work hard

Direct Speech Example, Reporting Verb, Reporting Speech

How to find the sentence is in Indirect Speech?
If the sentence spoken by the speaker is changed by the narrator following certain rules, it is called the Indirect Speech.
For Example, Ram says that he works hard.

Types of Narration sentences 

  1. AssertiveDeclarative sentences
  2. Interrogative sentences
  3. Imperative sentences
  4. Exclamatory sentences
  5. Optative sentences

1. How to change assertive/Declarative sentences into indirect speech?

  • He says, “I work hard”. (Direct Speech)
    He says, that he works hard. (Indirect Speech)

Narration rules for assertive sentences

  1. Comma‘ and ‘inverted commas‘ are removed and conjunctionthat‘ is used while changing the sentence into indirect speech.
  2. Pronoun changes according to the following rules-
    direct & indirect speech example
  3. Say/Said remains unchanged in Indirect speech.
  4. ‘Say to’ changes into ‘tell‘ and ‘Said to‘ changes into ‘told‘.
    For Example
    He says to me, ‘You work hard’. (Direct)
    He tells me that I work hard. (Indirect)


  1. to‘ is not used after ‘tell‘ and ‘told‘.
  2. An object comes aftertell‘ and ‘told‘. In the same way ‘ordered‘, ‘requested‘, ‘forbade‘ will be followed by an object.

If the reporting verb is in ‘present‘ or ‘future tense‘, there shall be no change in the tense of the reported speech changes according to the rules given below.

He said, ‘I came here yesterday’. (Direct)
He said that he had come there the previous day. (Indirect)

Change in Tense

how to change sentence in narration

Change of Modals

  • Shall/will – should/would
  • May – Might
  • Can – Could

Change in Time and Place

  • today – that day
  • tomorrow – the next day
  • Yesterday – the previous day/ the day before
  • tonight – that night
  • last – the previous
  • here – there
  • this – that
  • these – those
  • ago – before
  • now – then


  1. She said, ‘I cannot help you at this time.’ (Direct)
    She said that she couldn’t help me at that time. (Indirect)
  2. He said to me, ‘I shall come to meet you tomorrow.’ (Direct)
    He told me that he would come to meet me the next day. (Indirect)
  3. Ram said, ‘I haven’t taken any exam this year but I intend to take two exams the next year’. (Direct)
    Ram said that he hadn’t taken any exams that year but he intended to take two exams the next year. (Indirect)
  4. He said ‘Virtue is its own reward’. (Direct)
    He said that virtue is its own reward (Sentence is a phrase). (Indirect)
  5. Our teacher said, ‘We have to finish that work today as we know that tomorrow never comes.’ (Direct)
    Our teacher said that we had to finish that work that day as we know that tomorrow never comes. (Indirect)

2. How to change Interrogative sentences into indirect speech?

  • He said to me, ‘Are you coming?’ (Direct)
    He asked me whether I was coming. (Indirect)
  • He said to me, ‘when are you coming’? (the question of wh family) (Direct)
    He asked me when I was coming. (Indirect)

Narration Rules for Interrogative Sentences

  1. Change ‘Said to‘ into asked, questioned, inquired or interrogated.
  2. Question mark (?)‘ should be changed into ‘full stop‘.
  3. The sentences will not be in interrogative form in Indirect Speech. This means that a Helping verb is used after the subject.
  4. Tense and pronoun shall be changed according to the rules.
  5.  If the question can be answered in yes/no. conjunction if /whether will be used. If the question is of ‘wh family’ no conjunction will be used.


  1. He said to me, ‘Do you know me?’ (Direct)
    He asked me if I knew him. (Indirect)
  2. She said to him, ‘What are you doing now?’ (Direct)
    She asked him what he was doing then. (Indirect)
  3. He said to him, ‘Did you intend to come with me?’ (Direct)
    He asked him if he had intended to come with him. (Indirect)
  4. He said to her, ‘Haven’t you seen this movie?’ (Direct)
    He asked her if she hadn’t seen that movie. (Indirect)
  5. He said to her, ‘Madam, can I help you?’
    She said, ‘no’ (Direct)
    He asked her respectfully if he could help her.
    She answered in the negative. (Indirect)
  6. He said to me, ‘when will the train arrive?’ (Direct)
    He enquired of me when the train would arrive. (Indirect)

Explanation of Sentence 5

  • If we used Sir/Madam/Your honour or any other word of respect in the Direct Speech, such word should be replaced by word ‘respectfully‘ in the Indirect Speech.
  • If we use Darling/dear/my beloved or any other word of affection in the Direct Speech, such word should be replaced by the word ‘lovingly/affectionately‘ in the Indirect Speech.
  • If the answer is in ‘yes‘ or ‘no‘, they must be changed into ‘answered in the affirmative/answered in the negative respectively.

3. How to Change Imperative sentences into indirect speech?

  • He said to me, ‘Go away’ (Direct)
    He ordered me to go away. (Indirect)

Narration Rules for Imperative sentences

  1. Change ‘said to‘ into ordered/respected/forbade/suggested etc.
  2. Conjunction ‘to‘ will replace comma and inverted commas.
  3. To‘ is followed by ‘V1
  4. Tense and pronoun change according to rules.


  1. She said to me. ‘Do not come here’ (Direct)
    She forbade me to come there. (passive)
    She ordered me not to come there. (Indirect)
  2. He said, ‘Call the first witness now.’ (Direct)
    He ordered them to call the first witness then. (Indirect)
  3. She said, ‘Spread the clothes in the sunlight and do not wash anything else.’ (Direct)
    She ordered him to spread the clothes in the sunlight and not to wash anything else. (Indirect)
  4. The captain said to  the soldiers, ‘Stand at ease.’ (Direct)
    The captain commanded the soldiers to stand at ease. (Indirect)
  5. My mother said to me, ‘Help others but do not expect anything in return. (Direct)
    My mother advised me to help others but not to expect anything in return.’ (Indirect)

4. How to change Exclamatory Sentences into indirect speech?

  • She said, ‘Alas! I am undone”. (Direct)
    She exclaimed with sorrow that she was undone. (Indirect)

Narration rules for Exclamatory sentences

  1. Said + Alas! = exclaimed with sorrow.
    Said + Hurray! = exclaimed with joy
    Said + Fi! Ugh! = exclaimed with despise/disgust.
    Said + Wow! = exclaimed with joy.
    Said + Oh! = exclaimed with surprise/regret.
  2. The conjunction ‘that‘ will replace comma and inverted commas.
  3. Tense and pronoun change according to rules.


  1. She said, ‘Hurray! we have won this match.’ (Direct)
    She exclaimed with joy that they had won that match. (Indirect)
  2. She said, ‘How beautiful is the rain!’ (Direct)
    She exclaimed with joy that the rain was very beautiful. (Indirect)
  3. He said, ‘Bravo! you have done well.’ (Direct)
    He applauded him saying that he had done well. (Indirect)
  4. She said, ‘What a pleasant surprise! (Direct)
    She exclaimed that it was a pleasant surprise. (Indirect)

5. How to change Optative sentences into indirect speech?

  • He said, ‘ May God bless you.” (Direct)
    He prayed that God might bless me. (Indirect)

Narration Rules for optative sentences

  1. Change ‘Said’ into ‘wished’ or prayed’
  2. The conjunction ‘that’ is used.
  3. Tense and pronoun are changed according to rules.


  1. She said, ‘May, God pardon him. (Direct)
    She prayed that God might pardon him. (Indirect)
  2. They said, ‘Long live the king’. (Direct)
    They prayed that the king might live long. (Indirect)

Narration Important Points:

Here you have some condition or list of the word if these conditions, or words come into sentences, how you can change the sentence.

  • Need not, used to, would rather, would better, had rather, had better, are not change when direct Speech is changed into Indirect Speech.
    He said, ‘I used to go to school by bus’. (Direct)
    He said that he used to go to school by bus. (Indirect)
  • If past continuous is used with time clause, the tense does not change.
    He said to me, ‘while I was studying, you were playing’. (Direct)
    He said that when he met him, she was playing. (Indirect)
  • If past indefinite is used along with tow simultaneous actions, the tense is not changed.
    She said, I prepared the tea and he fried the chips. (Direct)
    She said that she prepared the tea and he fried the chips. (Indirect)
  • In the case of a historical events, the tense does not change.
    He said, ‘Ghandihiji started the Quit Indian Movement’. (Direct)
    He said that Gandhiji started the Quit India Movement. (Indirect)
  • Will/Shall s changed to would/should. But the statement will/shall, should be changed to ‘should’ if the statement is suggestive. (see example 2)

    1. He said, ‘I shall come tomorrow’. (Direct)
      He said that he would come the next day. (Indirect)
    2. She said to me, ‘What shall I do after the exam’? (Direct)
      She asked me what she should do after the exam. (Indirect)
  • Modals will be changed according to the meaning of the sentence.

    1. She said, ‘If I get selected, I need not take any exam further’. (Direct)
      She said that if she got selected, she would not have to take any exam further. (Indirect)
    2. He said, ‘need I send an e-mail?’ (Direct)
      He asked me if he had to send an e-mail. (Indirect)
    3. He said, “when I was a kid, I would not go out alone’. (here ‘could’ is for ‘permission’) (Direct)
      He said that when she was a kid, she was not allowed to go out alone. (Indirect)
    4. She said, ‘Rohit, you must be prudent’. (Direct)
      she said Rohit to be prudent. (here ‘must’ is used for order) (Indirect)
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1 thought on “Narration Sentences with examples | Rules, 5 sentences”

  1. Excellent work !
    Your way of expressing examples with pictures is really very helpful and content is also authentic.
    Keep posting ……

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