Language and Linguistics

Direct Speech Characteristics and Examples in detail

Direct Speech

Direct speech is when a message is reproduced faithfully or in a text literally, is the most reliable way of referring to a speech issued. In order to express it graphically, we must make use of the dialogue lines. Direct Speech Characteristics and Examples

In case the idea does not belong to us, the quotation marks (“) are used to make it understood that it is not our own thought and that we are not involved in its authorship. A clear example of this is: “Simón Bolívar expressed:” A being without studies is an incomplete being. “

Another way of defining this type of discourse is the following: it is the way in which two or more individuals exchange messages in a given time and space. It is the responsibility of the transcriber to accurately reproduce both the thoughts of the speakers, their ideas, and even emotions.


The origin of the word discourse comes from the Latin word discursus, which means “a series of words with logical and grammatical coherence with which what is felt or thought is expressed.”

Taking into account its etymology, it is understood that speech is the syntactic relationship of a succession of words emitted by an individual to express a message; making use, of course, of a known language.


Just as there is direct speech, we also have indirect speech, both refer to the emission of messages, but with different interpretations. The speeches can be classified according to the intentions they have and the objectives they want to achieve.

As already explained, there are two types of discourses: the narrative, one that shows the facts of a story and its characters, whether they are real or fictitious; and the argumentative, through which rationing and logical explanations are proposed in order to persuade an interlocutor.

Expository, advertising and informative speeches are also part of the range. All, consequently, can be transformed into direct or indirect ones according to the moment of their reproduction, and the time and space of their emission. Direct Speech Characteristics and Examples


The main characteristics of direct speech are:


The sender gives the message according to what he is feeling and thinking. In case it is written, your intervention is marked with the use of the dash and / or quotation marks (as the case may be). It is there when the narrator is silent, giving the character space and time to express himself directly.

Specification of time and space

In the broadcast of direct speech, words and phrases are used that denote the present time of reproduction of the message (at this moment, here, now, already, today, in the present). In addition to this, the place where the interlocutors are expressing must be specified.


In all direct speech, the dialogue or exchange of messages must be fluid, clear, precise and concise. Without pressure, that is, totally and absolutely spontaneous, a true copy of what the participants said.


Exclamation and question marks are used, to the extent that the emotions, thoughts and feelings of the emitters come out, as a way of making those present feel the force of what is said.


Direct speech has as its fundamental objective the faithful interpretation of the other’s word, to avoid misunderstandings and, therefore, the misrepresentation of what the sender says, in such a way that the receiver receives it without any alteration. Direct Speech Characteristics and Examples


Example 1

Gerardo: Hello, Matías! How was the Anatomy Pathology conference?

Matías: The first thirty minutes were interesting! And it got boring from then on. It is that the second exhibitor did not give foot with ball, so I took advantage of sleeping.

Gerardo: You are always so spontaneous, then you give me your notes. See you after school.

Matías: Sure, don’t forget to sleep if the class gets boring… ha ha ha! ”.

This case emerges from the graphic expression of direct speech in terms of the use of dialogue and some spelling signs, in addition to the naturalness of the interlocutors.

Example 2

“After leaving the doctor, Eugenia called me and said:“ The test results were positive, so I will prepare the surprise for Federico. I’ll tell him that in seven months he’ll be a dad. I’m two months old now, friend, I’m so happy! ”.

In this example, quotation marks are used in order to make it clear who the author of what is said is, as a true copy of what he or she expresses.

Example 3

  • “–I was up all night. Between the noises of the street and those of my mind I could not sleep an eye.
  • –You must calm down friend, let everything flow and that life gives you the answers.
  • “I know, friend, but the darkness I am in does not allow me to see the light.” Thanks for your support.
  • -I will always be for you”.

In this example, use is made of lines (-) –which people tend to confuse with scripts–, typical of narrative texts when the writer wants to denote the participation of the characters in his story.

Differences with indirect speech

As already mentioned, it is known that there is a direct and an indirect discourse. The first is related to the faithful copy of what the interlocutor said, while the second refers to the interpretation of the sender’s message.

It is then pertinent to establish the clear differences that exist between these two discourses:

  • – In direct speech, the character is the one who has the floor, their participation is indicated through a dialogue script, or the use of quotation marks. In the case of the indirect, the narrator is the one who has it, and interprets each action or thought. As a consequence, there is no longer the use of hyphens or quotation marks.
  • – In the live, the verbs of reference are used, those that limit the participation of the interlocutor, and can go before or at the end of their intervention. In the case of indirect speech, these verbs are placed before the sentence that expresses what the character has said.
  • – Verbs appear in the present in direct speech, because they denote the time in which the character speaks. On the contrary, in indirect speech the verb tenses are related to the intervention of the narrator when telling the story. As a general rule they are used in the past tense.
  • – In the live, the tone used by the character is considered and respected, because the reproduction of his intervention or participation is carried out. In the indirect the narrator reveals what the characters said in the direct speech, therefore the exclamation or question marks that may express emotions are suppressed. Direct Speech Characteristics and Examples

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