GRAMMAR NOTES: DIRECT AND INDIRECT STYLE
Corollary Theorems site visitor's interest, this "Direct/Indirect Style" page is second
only to "Sentence Syntax", among the
pages we present. Consequently, we need to detail it, a little bit more . . .
Now, in order to control the "(literary)
manner of expression",
someone needs to master:
1. grammar [GRAMMAR = MORPHOLOGY + SENTENCE SYNTAX + COMPLEX SENTENCE SYNTAX]—this is very
important since nothing works without a good command of grammar;
2. punctuation [PUNCTUATION]—note that grammar itself is controlled using a
3. the few simple grammatical techniques of implementing direct/indirect style [DIRECT/INDIRECT STYLE], as they
are presented in LSEG4;
4. next comes your personal ability of structuring logically your
thoughts/ideas—and our grammar books should help a lot with this
one too [LOGIC];
5. lastly, it is a professional capacity (acquired after
a few years of practice) of enhancing your personal manner of expression [PERSONAL TALENT]—which
is, exactly, your personal literary style.
Consider the following formula:
CLEAR (LITERARY) MANNER OF
EXPRESSION = MORPHOLOGY +
SENTENCE SYNTAX + COMPLEX SENTENCE SYNTAX + PUNCTUATION + DIRECT/INDIRECT STYLE + LOGIC (+ PERSONAL TALENT)
Note that the above formula is fairly complex; this means, if one single component/subcomponent is missing,
the entire assembly (taken as the "manner of expression") becomes a (literary) mess. [Well now, the "personal talent"
component—materialized as your personal literary style—could be missing in
non-fictional documents.] Consequently, LSEG4 and
L4EW have been specifically designed to help you
master/control the entire formula in bold above.
Do not get scared of the complexity, and of the amount of study-work
involved. ANYTHING can be easily assimilated when it is explained
logically, in simple words, and using a clear, easy-to-follow,
structure/pattern. Of course, this may take some time, though important
are only the results.
Now, we do have the means, dear readers; the rest is entirely up to you ...
“Direct and indirect style” (also improperly though commonly named
“direct and indirect speech”) are two particular methods of reproducing
in writing someone’s words.
In direct style, the words are reproduced
exactly using quotes; in indirect style, however, someone’s words and
actions need to be translated/transformed into a particular style of “a
third person narration”.
The focus in LSEG4 is on a few grammatical
aspects which represent the fundamental knowledge about “the style of
writing”. Once properly assimilated the basic (though mandatory)
information presented in LSEG4, the readers could look for other
specialty books dedicated to enhancing the literary style of
writing—this is, naturally, if the readers need to do that.
Direct style is relatively easy to implement: the words are reproduced
exactly using quotes.
Indirect style, on the other hand, requires a few
particular “transformations” in order to reproduce the words and the
actions as accurately and consistently as possible.
In indirect style, the "interrogative sentence" becomes a subordinate
clause connected to main clause via the conjunctions “if” or
“whether”—this is, only when the direct style clause does not start with
an interrogative word.
In addition, the verb “to ask” is replaced by
explicit forms in indirect style: “to inquire”, “to wonder”, “wanted to
know” etc. Note that the auxiliary verb “to do” is omitted in indirect
If the sentence is “emphatic” in direct style, therefore charged with
strong emotional content, in indirect style the declarative verb is
replaced with words/ expressions/clauses that explain the emphatic
content as detailed as necessary.
A complete grammatical reference, very easy to learn: Logically Structured English Grammar 4—as theory plus exercises!