Reporting a question, command or request

In reporting a question, the indirect speech is introduced by verbs such as asked, inquired etc.

When the question is not introduced by an interrogative word, the reporting verb is followed by if or whether.

Direct speech: He said to me, ‘Where are you going?’
Indirect speech: He asked me where I was going. (NOT He asked me where was I going.)

Direct speech: The policeman said, ‘What are you doing?’
Indirect speech: The policeman asked what I was doing. (NOT The policeman asked what are you doing.)

Direct speech: ‘Where do you live?’ said the stranger.
Indirect speech: The stranger asked where I lived.

Direct speech: He said, ‘Will you help me?’
Indirect: He asked me if I would help him.

Direct speech: ‘Do you think you know better than your father?’ jeered the angry mother.
Indirect speech: His angry mother jeered and asked him whether he thought he knew better than his father.

Reporting commands and requests

When a command or request is reported, the indirect speech is introduced by a verb expressing command or request. We also change the imperative mood into the infinitive.

Direct speech: John said to Peter, ‘Go away.’
Indirect speech: John ordered Peter to go away.

Direct speech: He said to me, ‘Please wait here till I return.’
Indirect speech: He requested me to wait there till he returned.

Direct speech: ‘Call the first witness,’ said the judge.
Indirect speech: The judge ordered them to call the first witness.

Direct speech: He said, ‘Be quiet.’
Indirect speech: He urged them to be quiet.