English Grammar

The Basics of English Language


Indirect Speech for Interrogative Sentences

Indirect speech for Interrogative (question) sentence.

 

For changing interrogative (question) sentence into indirect speech we have to observe the nature of question and then change it into indirect speech according to it rules for indirect speech. A question can be of two types. One type which can be answered in only YES or NO and other type which needs a little bit explanation for its answer and cannot be answered in only YES or NO.

Examples

          Do you like music? (It can be answered in YES or NO)
          How are you? (It cannot be answered in YES or NO but it needs a little bit                                    explanation i.e, I am fine.)

 

Questions which can be answered in YES/NO.

To change questions (which can be answered in yes or no) into indirect speech, word “if” or “whether” is used before the question in indirect speech. Rules for change in tense of question sentences are same as for change in normal tenses in indirect speech but sentence will not start with the auxiliary verb of the tense. The word “that” is not used between reporting verb and reported speech as conjunction in indirect speech for question sentence. Question mark is not used in indirect speech.

Examples
.
          Direct speech: He said to me, “do you like music?”
          Indirect Speech: He asked me if I liked music. (Not, did I like music)
          Or Indirect Speech: He asked me whether I liked music.
          
          Direct speech:  
She said, “Will he participate in the quiz competition?”
          Indirect Speech: She asked me if he would participate in quiz competition.
          Direct speech: I said to him, “are you feeling well?”
          Indirect Speech: I asked him if he was feeling well.
          Direct speech: They said to me, “did u go to school?”
          Indirect Speech: They asked me if I had gone to school.
          Direct speech: He said to me, “Have you taken the breakfast?”
          Indirect Speech: He asked me if I had taken the breakfast

 

Question which cannot be answered in YES/NO.


To change such questions into indirect speech, the words “if” or “whether” is not used. The tense of the question is changed according to the rules for change in normal tenses in indirect speech but sentence will not start with the auxiliary verb of the tense. The word “that” is not used between reporting verb and reported speech as conjunction, in indirect speech for question sentence. Question mark is not used in indirect speech.

Examples.

             Direct speech: He said to me, “how are you?”
             Indirect speech: He asked me how I was. (Not, how was I)
             Direct speech: Teacher said to him, “what is your name?”
             Indirect speech: Teacher asked him what his name was.
             Direct speech: She said to him, “why did you come late?”
             Indirect speech: She asked him why he had come late.
             Direct speech: He said, “when will they come?”
             Indirect speech: He asked when they would come.
             Direct speech: She asked his son, “why are you crying?”
             Indirect speech: She asked her son why he was crying.

 

RELEVANT LINKS

  1. Direct and Indirect Speech
  2. Indirect Speech for TENSE
  3. Indirect Speech for MODALS
  4. Indirect Speech for Exclamatory and Imperative Sentences
  5. Change in Pronoun and Time in Indirect Speech