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Direct and indirect speech: Change of pronouns

A change in speaker may mean a change of pronoun.


  • Alice: "I am going home.”
  • Mary: Alice said that she was going home.

In the example given above, Alice says I to refer to herself. Mary, talking about what Alice said, naturally uses she.

  • Bill said that he didn’t like the party. (NOT Bill said that I didn’t like the party.)
Rules for the change of Pronouns

1. First person pronouns (I, we, me, mine, us, ours) normally change to the third person (he, she, they, his, her, their, him, her, them).

  • He told her, "I want to meet your father.”
  • He told her that he wanted to meet her father.

2. There will be no change in the pronoun when the speaker reports his own words.

  • I said, "I am going.”
  • I said that I was going.

3. Second person pronouns (you, yours) change according to the person of the object of the reporting verb.

  • He told her, "I love you.”
  • He told her that he loved her.
  • I told him, "You are a stupid.”
  • I told him that he was a stupid.

4. Third person pronouns do not normally change in the reported speech.

  • She said, "I love him.”
  • She said that she loved him.
Category: Direct and indirect speech | Added by: Teacher_Koce (2014-01-07)
Views: 772 | Tags: pronouns, Direct, change, indirect speech
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