Narration in English grammar is the way of reporting the words or speech of someone who spoke at some point. It can be done in two ways: direct speech and indirect speech. Direct speech is when we use quotation marks to enclose the exact words of the speaker, without any change. Indirect speech is when we use our own words to convey the meaning of what the speaker said, without using quotation marks. We usually need to make some changes in the tense, pronoun, and words that describe time, place, or distance when we use indirect speech.
Some of the rules of narration are:
- We use a reporting verb (such as said, asked, told, etc.) to introduce the reported speech. The reporting verb can be in the present tense or the past tense, depending on when the speech was reported.
- If the reporting verb is in the present tense, we do not need to change the tense of the reported speech. For example:
- Direct: She says, “I am happy.”
- Indirect: She says that she is happy.
- If the reporting verb is in the past tense, we usually need to change the tense of the reported speech to one step back. For example:
- Direct: He said, “I am hungry.”
- Indirect: He said that he was hungry.
- We also need to change the pronouns and possessive adjectives according to the point of view of the reporter. For example:
- Direct: She said, “You are my friend.”
- Indirect: She said that I was her friend.
- We need to use a conjunction (such as that, if, whether, etc.) to connect the reporting verb and the reported speech. For example:
- Direct: He asked, “Do you like this book?”
- Indirect: He asked me if I liked that book.
- We need to change the words that describe time, place, or distance according to the situation of the reporter. For example:
- Direct: She said, “I will see you tomorrow at this place.”
- Indirect: She said that she would see me the next day at that place.
For more information and examples on narration in English grammar, you can refer to these web sources¹²³⁴⁵. I hope this helps you understand narration better. 😊
(1) Narration – Direct and Indirect Speech Rules – Vedantu.
(2) Narration: Reported to Reporting Speech | Learn English – Learngrammar.net.
(3) What is ‘narration’ in English grammar? – iSchoolConnect.
(4) What is Narration in English Grammar? – English Basics.
(5) English Grammar Direct and Indirect Speech Rules – EduDose.
What are some common reporting verbs?
Some common reporting verbs are:
- say and tell: These are the most basic and general reporting verbs that can be used to introduce direct or indirect speech. For example:
- She said, “I’m fine.”
- He told me that he was fine.
- ask and answer: These are used to report questions and responses. For example:
- She asked me what I wanted.
- He answered that he wanted nothing.
- agree and disagree: These are used to report opinions or views that are either the same or different from others. For example:
- She agreed with me that it was a good idea.
- He disagreed with her that it was a bad idea.
- suggest and recommend: These are used to report proposals or advice that are given to others. For example:
- She suggested that we should go to the park.
- He recommended that we should stay at home.
- admit and deny: These are used to report confessions or rejections of something. For example:
- She admitted that she had made a mistake.
- He denied that he had done anything wrong.
There are many other reporting verbs in English, each with their own meaning and grammar structure. You can refer to these web sources¹²³⁴⁵ for more information and examples on reporting verbs. I hope this helps you learn more about reporting verbs. 😊
Source: Conversation with Bing, 9/17/2023
(1) Reporting Verbs in English: List with Examples & Exercises. https://onlineteachersuk.com/reporting-verbs/.
(2) Verbs for Reporting – The University of Adelaide. https://www.adelaide.edu.au/writingcentre/sites/default/files/docs/learningguide-verbsforreporting.pdf.
(3) Not so common reporting verbs – Home of English Grammar. https://www.englishgrammar.org/common-reporting-verbs/.
(4) List of Reporting Verbs in Academic Writing – Grammar Monster. https://www.grammar-monster.com/lists/list_of_reporting_verbs_in_academic_writing.htm.
(5) Reporting verbs – English grammar reference | ELTbase. https://www.eltbase.com/notes-59-reporting-verbs.