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Difference Between Direct Speech and Indirect Speech

In novels, most of them will be narrations else. We will come across dialogues said by the people. So while writing a book, the writer has to take care of the narrative and dialogue parts.


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When we start writing, we use different types of speech. Either we convey what the speaker has said. Else we make it as a statement in our own words.

  1. Direct Speech
  2. Indirect Speech

Hence they play a significant role in literature or a journal. The writer has to know where to use the lines in dialogue form and where to use the narrative structure of the speech.

Key Takeaways

  1. Direct speech quotes a speaker’s exact words; indirect speech conveys the meaning without using the original words
  2. Direct speech uses quotation marks; indirect speech does not
  3. Direct speech retains the original tense; indirect speech may require tense changes to maintain accuracy.

Direct Speech vs. Indirect Speech

The difference between direct speech and indirect speech is that natural speech repeats the exact words of a speaker. In contrast, Indirect speech is recounting the expression of a speaker in one’s own words.

Direct Speech vs Indirect speech

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Comparison Table

ParametersDirect SpeechIndirect Speech
MeaningIn a direct Speech, the plain meaning is conveyed.In an indirect speech, an exaggerated meaning is usually conveyed.
Alternative namesDirect speech is also called Quoted Speech.An indirect speech is also called Reported Speech.
PerspectiveThe words can be understood from s point of view.The words of view can be understood from various other listeners’ points of view.
Usage of Punctuation marksDirect Speech makes use of punctuation marks.There will be no punctuation marks for an indirect speech except for a period at the end.
EmotionsA direct speech will have more impact on a person’s feelings.An indirect speech can not create much similar to that of direct speech.


What is Direct Speech?

A direct speech is a  set of phrases or points conveyed by the owner of the words. While writing, the terms are always enclosed within punctuation marks; usually, quotation marks are used.

A teacher lecturing their wards is an example of direct speech. The person conveying the message will have direct control over the people’s emotions. People could sympathize with them when they hear it from someone who has gone through tough times.  

Some examples of direct speech are:

  1. Mr.Andrew said, “I am going to the office.”
  2. Dr.Paul told Peter, “You should take your medicine regularly.”
  3. Han said to Jane, “o not switch on the light.”
direct speech

What is Indirect Speech?

An indirect speech is a form of speech reported by someone apart from the original. Hence indirect speech is also called reported speech.

Apart from this, it cannot be used as such when mentioning the time in an indirect speech. For example, ‘yesterday’ will be conveyed in indirect speech as the day before. So an indirect speech should undergo various changes to convey the meaning of a direct speech.

 Some examples of Indirect Speech are

  1. Mr.Andrew said that he was going to the office.
  2. Dr.Paul advised Peter that he should take his medicine regularly.
  3. Han told Jane not to switch on the light.
indirect speech

Main Differences Between Direct Speech and Indirect Speech

  1. The person who owns the words will deliver them in a direct speech. But an indirect speech is provided by an intermediate person to the rest of the people.
  2. In a direct speech, there may be fillers when the speaker wants to take some time, but an indirect speech can not have many usages of fillers.

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