Reporting questions

While reporting questions we use a verb like ask. Note that reported questions are not inverted. That means in a reported question the subject comes before the verb whereas in a direct question the verb comes before the subject. Other rules will remain the same.

Study the examples given below.

  • Direct: He said to me, ‘Where are you going?’
  • Indirect: He asked me where I was going. (NOT He asked me where was I going?)
  • Direct: He said, ‘Mary, why didn’t you answer my call?’
  • Indirect: He asked Mary why she hadn’t answered his call.
  • Direct: The teacher said to Tom, ‘Have you done all the exercises?’
  • Indirect: The teacher asked Tom if he had done all his exercises.

In indirect speech, Yes / No questions are introduced by if or whether.


Rewrite the following sentences in reported speech.

1. He asked me, ‘Can’t you remember my name?’

2. ‘Are you interested in reading books, John?’ I asked.

3. ‘Who are you, Sir, and what do you want?’ They asked the stranger.

4. ‘Are you going to take the examinations? Will the university allow you to do so?’ his parents asked him.


1. He asked me if I couldn’t remember his name.

2. I asked John if he was interested in reading books.

3. They politely asked the stranger who he was and what he wanted.

4. His parents asked him if he was going to take the examinations. They further asked him if the university would allow him to do so.