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Speech Marks: When to Use Them

In this worksheet, students will revise the differences between direct speech (which requires speech marks) and reported speech (which doesn't).

'Speech Marks: When to Use Them' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 3

Curriculum topic:  Grammar and Vocabulary

Curriculum subtopic:  Extend and Apply Grammatical Knowledge

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

In direct speech, we write the exact words that a person says and put speech marks around them.

For example:

"I'm hungry!" said Peter.

 

Reported speech tells the reader what the person said, but without using the exact words and without speech marks.

For example:

Peter said that he was hungry.

 

The word that can be missed out.

Peter said he was hungry.

 

As well as removing the speech marks, we need to change the word I to he and put the sentence into the past tense. Exclamation marks and question marks are also left out of reported speech.

 

If the direct speech is a question, then the word order also needs to be changed when converting it to reported speech.

"What time is Jack coming home?" asked Carla.

In reported speech this becomes:

Carla asked what time Jack was coming home. (NotCarla asked what time was Jack coming home.)

Read the following sentence and decide whether it is direct or reported speech.

 

"Can you come here, please?" asked Kim.

direct speech

reported speech

Read the following sentence and decide whether it is direct or reported speech.

 

The elderly lady said that she was waiting for the bus.

direct speech

reported speech

The following sentence is written using direct speech.

 

"My birthday is in September," said Bobby.

 

The version below is uses reported speech. Is it correct or not?

 

Bobby said that my birthday was in September.

correct

incorrect

The following sentence is written using direct speech.

 

"Why can't I stay up to watch the film?" asked Pippa.

 

The version below uses reported speech. Is it correct or not?

 

Pippa asked why she couldn't stay up to watch the film?

correct

incorrect

The following sentence is written using direct speech.

 

Michael said, "I'm bored."

 

The version below is uses reported speech. Is it correct or not?

 

Michael said that he was bored.

correct

incorrect

The following sentence is written using direct speech.

 

"When is my appointment?" asked Mrs Williams.

 

The version below is uses reported speech. Is it correct or not?

 

Mrs Williams asked when was her appointment.

correct

incorrect

There are sometimes a number of ways of changing direct speech into reported speech, but the important thing is that the reported speech must give the same information as the direct speech.

 

Read this sentence in direct speech.

 

"Thank you for my present, Grandma," said Mikey.

 

Read the following sentences in reported speech and tick the ones that give the same information as the sentence in direct speech.

Mikey thanked his grandmother for his present.

Mikey said thank you to his grandmother for his present.

Mikey said thank Grandma for my present.

Mikey thanked Grandma for my present.

Read the following sentence containing direct speech.

 

"Can James come round to my house?" asked Josh.

 

Which of the following sentences gives the same information using reported speech? Tick all the boxes you think are correct.

Josh asked if James could come round to my house.

Josh asked whether James could come round to his house.

Josh asked can James come round to his house.

Josh asked if James could come round to his house.

Read the following sentence spoken by Amy on Monday.

 

"My dad is coming home tomorrow," said Amy.

 

If Amy's speech is reported on Wednesday, which of the following sentences is correct?

 

1) Amy said her dad was coming home tomorrow.

 

2) Amy said her dad was coming home yesterday.

sentence 1

sentence 2

Read the following sentence spoken by Billy. 

 

"We're going to Florida in June," said Billy.

 

If Billy's speech is reported in May, which of the following sentences is correct?

 

1) Billy said he was going to Florida next month.

 

2) Billy said he was going to Florida last month.

sentence 1

sentence 2

  • Question 1

Read the following sentence and decide whether it is direct or reported speech.

 

"Can you come here, please?" asked Kim.

CORRECT ANSWER
direct speech
EDDIE SAYS
This is direct speech because the words are spoken by Kim. The speech marks around the words show this.
  • Question 2

Read the following sentence and decide whether it is direct or reported speech.

 

The elderly lady said that she was waiting for the bus.

CORRECT ANSWER
reported speech
EDDIE SAYS
This example doesn't use speech marks so it is reported speech.
  • Question 3

The following sentence is written using direct speech.

 

"My birthday is in September," said Bobby.

 

The version below is uses reported speech. Is it correct or not?

 

Bobby said that my birthday was in September.

CORRECT ANSWER
incorrect
EDDIE SAYS
To correct the example, the word 'my' (1st person) should be replaced by 'his' (3rd person).
  • Question 4

The following sentence is written using direct speech.

 

"Why can't I stay up to watch the film?" asked Pippa.

 

The version below uses reported speech. Is it correct or not?

 

Pippa asked why she couldn't stay up to watch the film?

CORRECT ANSWER
incorrect
EDDIE SAYS
Reported speech doesn't need a question or exclamation mark. A direct question isn't being asked so a question mark is not required.
  • Question 5

The following sentence is written using direct speech.

 

Michael said, "I'm bored."

 

The version below is uses reported speech. Is it correct or not?

 

Michael said that he was bored.

CORRECT ANSWER
correct
EDDIE SAYS
Yes, this example is correct because there are no speech marks or question/exclamation marks.
  • Question 6

The following sentence is written using direct speech.

 

"When is my appointment?" asked Mrs Williams.

 

The version below is uses reported speech. Is it correct or not?

 

Mrs Williams asked when was her appointment.

CORRECT ANSWER
incorrect
EDDIE SAYS
The word order needs to be changed so that the word 'was' comes at the end e.g. Mrs. Williams asked when her appointment was.
  • Question 7

There are sometimes a number of ways of changing direct speech into reported speech, but the important thing is that the reported speech must give the same information as the direct speech.

 

Read this sentence in direct speech.

 

"Thank you for my present, Grandma," said Mikey.

 

Read the following sentences in reported speech and tick the ones that give the same information as the sentence in direct speech.

CORRECT ANSWER
Mikey thanked his grandmother for his present.
Mikey said thank you to his grandmother for his present.
EDDIE SAYS
Option 3 is incorrect because it doesn't include the same information. Mikey is thanking his grandmother himself not asking someone else to do it. Option 4 is incorrect because the word 'my' (1st person) is used instead of 'his' (3rd person). The present belongs to Michael; it is 'his' present.
  • Question 8

Read the following sentence containing direct speech.

 

"Can James come round to my house?" asked Josh.

 

Which of the following sentences gives the same information using reported speech? Tick all the boxes you think are correct.

CORRECT ANSWER
Josh asked whether James could come round to his house.
Josh asked if James could come round to his house.
EDDIE SAYS
Option 1 is incorrect because the word 'my' (1st person) is used instead of 'his' (3rd person). The house belongs to Josh; it is 'his' house. Option 3 is incorrect because the word 'can' is used instead of 'if'.
  • Question 9

Read the following sentence spoken by Amy on Monday.

 

"My dad is coming home tomorrow," said Amy.

 

If Amy's speech is reported on Wednesday, which of the following sentences is correct?

 

1) Amy said her dad was coming home tomorrow.

 

2) Amy said her dad was coming home yesterday.

CORRECT ANSWER
sentence 2
EDDIE SAYS
The word 'tomorrow' is no longer correct. Amy was referring to Tuesday, which is now the previous day.
  • Question 10

Read the following sentence spoken by Billy. 

 

"We're going to Florida in June," said Billy.

 

If Billy's speech is reported in May, which of the following sentences is correct?

 

1) Billy said he was going to Florida next month.

 

2) Billy said he was going to Florida last month.

CORRECT ANSWER
sentence 1
EDDIE SAYS
Option 1 is correct because Billy's holiday will be in June (the month after May).
---- OR ----

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