Direct and indirect speech: Change of pronouns

Posted by Manjusha Filed in English Grammar

A change in speaker may mean a change of pronoun.


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

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).

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

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

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

Sections in this article

Direct and indirect speech
Rules for the change of pronouns
Reporting verb
Rules for the change of tenses
Rules for the change of adverbs
Reporting hopes, intentions and promises
Reporting orders, requests and advice
Reporting questions
Reporting questions: grammar exercise
Reported speech exercise
Reporting Yes/No questions