Direct or quoted speech is a sentence (or several sentences) that reports speech or thought in its original form, as phrased by the original speaker. It is usually enclosed in quotation marks. The cited speaker is either mentioned in the inquit (Latin "he/she says") or implied.
Comparison between direct, indirect and free indirect speech
- Quoted or direct speech:
- He laid down his bundle and thought of his misfortune. "And just what pleasure have I found, since I came into this world?" he asked.
- Reported or normal indirect speech:
- He laid down his bundle and thought of his misfortune. He asked himself what pleasure he had found since he came into the world.
- He laid down his bundle and thought of his misfortune. And just what pleasure had he found, since he came into this world?
A crucial semantic distinction between direct and indirect speech is that when one uses direct speech the reported clause is exactly what has been said, whereas indirect speech is a representation of speech in one's own words.
- Loos, Eugene E.; Susan Anderson; Dwight H. Day, Jr.; Paul C. Jordan; J. Douglas Wingate. "What is direct speech?". Glossary of linguistic terms. SIL International. Retrieved 2010-06-20.
- Leech, G. & Short, M. Style in Fiction. Pearson Educated Limited, 2007, p. 255.