Direct discourse is speech that is made directly from the speaker to the receiver. If you see quotation marks in a text, this is direct discourse.

  • “Jim, can you get me a soda?”
  • “I will be out of the office for two weeks.” 
  • “Please mow the lawn sometime today.” 

Indirect discourse reports on the speech of others without using a direct quotation. In other words, indirect discourse paraphrases what others have said. Notice how the examples of direct discourse above are changed to indirect discourse here with the use of some key words in italics:

  • Jim, Sarah asked you if you could buy her a soda.
  • Erin said that she will be out of the office for two weeks. 
  • Dad told us to mow the lawn sometime today. 


Last revised on July 10, 2019.