Unit 8.2

Questions in Reported Speech

Syntax

When we want to report one person’s speech to another person we usually don’t use the exact words because we focus on the message rather than the exact words. That is why we transform the sentences. It is called reported speech.

Questions in reported speech don’t have inverted order, we use the normal word order.

In reported speeches, questions turn into affirmative forms: subjects don’t come after verbs like in normal questions and we don’t use auxiliary verbs if we do not need them.

We can use the reporting verbs ask, demand, wonder…

We do not use question marks in reported speech questions and we report yes/no questions with the words if or whether.

Direct SpeechIndirect Speech
He asked: “Do you want metallic colour?”He asked whether I wanted metallic colour.
“Where is the rainbow?”My little sister asked me where the rainbow was.
“Have you ever met with a perfectionist?”She asked me that whether I had ever met with a perfectionist.
They asked: “Do we need to wear tie?”They asked that if they need to wear tie.

We can use reported speech when we report a question to somebody else.

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