Posts Tagged ‘reporting commands and requests’

Reporting promises, orders, requests etc

July 18th, 2011 in Improve English

Promises, orders, requests, advice and suggestions are reported with infinitives. We usually use a reporting verb like promise, command, order, agree, tell, offer, advice or suggest.

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

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

Direct speech: ‘Be careful,’ I told him.
Indirect speech: I told him to be careful.

Direct speech: ‘Be quiet and listen to my words,’ he said.
Indirect speech: He urged them to be quiet and listen to his words.

Direct speech: I told him, ‘Think again.’
Indirect speech: I advised him to think again.

Grammar notes

We do not use infinitive structures after suggest and say. Instead, we use that-clauses.

Direct speech: I told him, ‘Consult a doctor.’
Indirect speech: I suggested that he should consult a doctor. (NOT I suggested him to consult a doctor.)

Suggest can also be followed by an –ing form.

I suggested consulting a doctor.

Direct speech: The policeman said, ‘You must not park here.’
Indirect speech: The policeman said that I must not park there.