Direct Speech and Indirect Speech

Learn about direct and indirect speech!

Our Program

Speech is a very crucial part of every story that children need to familiarize themselves with. They need to learn the difference between direct and indirect speech and how to use each type in their own writing. Let’s talk about speech!

What is the difference between direct speech and indirect speech?

Direct speech is the speech that’s surrounded by quotation marks. Indirect speech, on the other hand, is not surrounded by speech marks and is just written within the text like any other sentence.

Here is an example:

Direct speech: “Why don’t you want to watch a movie with me?” asked Grudge the Bear.

Indirect speech: Grudge the Bear asked me why I didn’t want to watch a movie with him.

Notice how in the above examples, the same speech is being expressed, but in different ways. In the direct speech example, the question is coming directly from Grudge. However, in the indirect speech example, the author is explaining to the reader the question that Grudge asked. These two ways of expressing the same speech have different implications behind them, which is why an author may choose one type of speech over the other at certain times in their stories.

Activity for direct and indirect speech

In the table below, we’ve allowed space for you and your child to fill in the missing boxes in this table of direct and indirect speech examples. For each row, fill in the missing component! You will either need to turn a direct speech statement into indirect speech, or vice versa.

Graph comparing direct and indirect speech

Free Resource!

Now that we’ve provided your child writer with a solid foundation to understand the difference between direct and indirect speech, we have a downloadable activity for them to try and put their knowledge to the test!

Practice Idenitfying Indirect and Direct Speech Activity

Get this resource as a PDF

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