Direct speech is a representation of the actual words someone said. A direct speech report usually has a reporting verb in the past simple. The most common reporting verb is said. The reporting clause may come first or second.
Direct speech repeats, or quotes, the exact words spoken. When we use direct speech in writing, we place the words spoken between quotation marks (” “) and there is no change in these words. We may be reporting something that’s being said NOW (for example a telephone conversation), or telling someone later about a previous conversation.