Definition of direct speech in English:

direct speech

Pronunciation /dəˈrɛkt/


  • The reporting of speech by repeating the actual words of a speaker, for example “I'm going,” she said.

    Contrasted with reported speech

    ‘Today, they slyly tried to report indirect speech as direct speech.’
    • ‘The uses of quotation marks for direct speech, quoted material, and other purposes are discussed separately below; there is considerable overlap among the various categories.’
    • ‘The direct speech of male characters was invariably introduced by the simple tag he said, but the speech of women by a variety of expressive verbal groups, she gasped, she sighed, she whispered urgently, she cried passionately.’
    • ‘First, it's wrong to take a clause out of an indirect quotation and pretend that it's direct speech.’
    • ‘Authors rarely record direct speech and leave few clues about the register of abuse - what people found tame and harmless, and what seemed shocking and profane.’
    • ‘He had a habit of using straight and direct speech and he favored long, vaguely charging words to describe battle, and other things perhaps.’
    • ‘Schneider's re-creation of day-to-day existence in a city under siege is stark and powerful and her use of direct speech adds to the sense of documentary immediacy.’
    • ‘The reported speech of the song, ‘She said she loves you,’ represents a transposition of what would in direct speech have been ‘She said, ‘I love him’.’’
    • ‘Now Neal Stephenson, in direct speech, uses the auxiliary ‘shall’ in the second and third persons exclusively and indiscriminately, regardless of the degree of simple futurity or compulsion.’
    • ‘Much of this story consists of heated debate, which the storyteller relays in vivid direct speech, as Seoirse painfully learns to follow his own conscience through conflict with the Fairy Queen and her brother.’
    • ‘All three poems by Swift are conversational in two ways: their own manner is colloquial, but in addition they each incorporate direct speech by others.’
    • ‘With a deftness of touch reminiscent of Chaucer, Map achieves a high degree of realism through the pretense of reporting direct speech.’
    • ‘All of them are identified by their names directly beneath them, while the tituli on the painted frieze below are composed as the figures' direct speech.’
    • ‘Fletcher also neglects to observe that the passage he cites from The Caslle is direct speech.’
    • ‘Like most Bengali novels, direct speech occupies a large portion of Dahan.’
    • ‘Chomsky's mention of the address was initially based on paraphrased accounts which he misquoted as direct speech.’
    • ‘Your statement has this in direct speech, but you never heard that yourself?’
    • ‘His use of direct speech employed in the work of understanding is helpful.’
    • ‘Text could be rewritten from the bubbles to practise the form of written direct speech.’
    • ‘In this exchange, ‘She said she loves you’ is the transposition of the direct speech, ‘She said, ‘I love him’.’’