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Grammar 62 - Reported Speech 1
The US will take India's help to launch one of its satellites soon. Read all about it in this quiz.

Grammar 62 - Reported Speech 1

Often, we have to relate what we have seen or heard to other people. More specifically, we need to speak about what other people have said. This can be accomplished in two ways - either we can summarise in our own words what a person has said (indirect speech), or we can repeat it verbatim (direct speech, or quotes). This is the first of two High English quizzes which will test your knowledge of reported speech.

Different situations require different methods. For instance, when we read about a judgment of a court, we tend see it reported exactly the way the judge has pronounced. On the other hand, when a news reporter has attended a press conference direct quotes are less common. What was said at the conference tends to be reported in the reporter's own words.

There are conventions to be followed when reporting either directly or indirectly. Take a look at these two example sentences:

‘My brother said to me, “I think we should see mother together.”’
‘My brother said to me that we should see mother together.’

The first of these is an example of direct speech and the second of indirect speech. In the first sentence, we notice that the statement that a brother makes is written between inverted commas (also called quotation marks or quotes). We have learnt in our past lessons that actual words spoken by a speaker are always inserted between inverted commas. This signifies that the quotation is attributed to the person and there can be no confusion as to what was said. In the second sentence, we notice that we do not use quotations marks. Usually, we resort to direct speech when we feel what is said is important. On the other hand, we resort to indirect speech when we feel that what was said exactly is not important but the message conveyed is important. We can make use of both direct and indirect speech to make our communication more effective. Take the quiz that follows, which is based on the news item below.

The Times of India

Many may find it a crowning glory, but Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) scientists think it's just an acknowledgement long due. The US, which imposed sanctions on India, will take India's help to launch one of its satellites soon.

ISRO has a track record of launching satellites for 19 countries including space-faring nations, but this is the first time the US will be using an Indian vehicle, the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, to put one of its satellites in orbit.

"The US will be the 20th country to sign up for a commercial launch by India," said ISRO chairman A S Kiran Kumar, on the sidelines of the 5th convocation of AMET University. "It's the cost-effective technology we have."

India has so far launched 45 satellites for 19 nations. Kiran Kumar said another 28 foreign satellites will be launched in the next two years. "The need of the hour is to increase our capacity," he said.

ISRO, at present, is gearing up for the launch of GSLV-Mark-II, probably around August 27. "The 2.1-tonne capacity GSLV-Mark-II will be carrying a communication satellite," he said. "By March 2016, we will launch seven satellites."

ISRO, meanwhile, has put to long-duration test its indigenously developed cryogenic engine for GSLV-Mark-III, which can carry satellites weighing up to four tonnes. "We will launch it by December 2016," Kumar said. India's big missions, including the proposed manned mission, rest on the shoulders of GSLV-MIII.

Having successfully launched a Mars mission, India is planning a mission to Venus. ISRO is also on the lookout for a launch pad outside Sriharikota, in Kulasekharapattinam in southern Tamil Nadu.
1.
Choose from the following the person who has been quoted in the news item.
A S Kiran Kumar
GSLV-Mark-II
Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle
GSLV-MIII
A S Kiran Kumar is the Chairman of ISRO and he has been quoted in the news item. The other options are inanimate objects!
2.
Choose from the following the nature of the news item.
It is a reported speech comprising direct speech only.
It is a reported speech comprising indirect speech only.
It is not a reported speech.
It is a reported speech comprising direct and indirect speech.
The news item is a report of an interview with the Chairman of ISRO. It comprises both direct and indirect speech
3.
What is the news item about?
It is about the US' capabilities to launch satellites.
It is about ISRO's capabilities to launch satellites.
It is about ISRO launching a mission to Venus.
It is about ISRO launching a mission to Mars.
It is clear that the main message of the news item is ISRO's capabilities to launch satellites. Option 1 is incorrect as the news item talks about ISRO launching a satellite for the US. The other options are bits of information that are incidental to the main message
4.
How many persons or entities are directly quoted in the news item?
Two persons only.
One person and one entity.
One person only.
Two persons and two entities.
Only the Chairman of ISRO has been quoted
5.
How many of the seven paragraphs in the news item are reporting what someone has said?
Five paragraphs.
Seven paragraphs.
Three paragraphs.
Four paragraphs.
In four paragraphs, ISRO's Chairman has been reported
6.
How many of the seven paragraphs in the news item are reporting the exact words of what someone has said?
Two paragraphs.
Four paragraphs.
One paragraph.
Three paragraphs.
In all the four paragraphs in which someone has been reported their exact words are quoted
7.
How many of the seven paragraphs in the news item are reporting what someone has said in the author's words (indirect speech)?
Three paragraphs.
Two paragraphs.
One paragraph.
Four paragraphs.
Only the fourth paragraph contains indirect speech
8.
How many paragraphs have a combination of direct and indirect speech?
Two paragraphs.
One paragraph.
Three paragraphs.
Four paragraphs.
Only the fourth paragraph contains direct and indirect speech
9.
How many paragraphs have only direct speech?
Seven paragraphs.
Four paragraphs.
Five paragraphs.
Three paragraphs.
The third, fifth and sixth paragraphs have only direct speech
10.
Which among the following is an effective way to report speech?
A combination of direct and indirect speech.
Direct speech only.
Indirect speech only.
Author's view only.
A judicious combination of direct and indirect speech would be a very effective way of reporting speech
Author:  V T Narendra

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