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Reported Speech (Part 2) – Requests, Orders, and Questions

My colleague asked me to help him update his computer.

Read Reported Speech (Part 1) to learn how to make reported statements.

In Part 2, we will focus on requests, orders, and questions.

DIRECT SPEECH REPORTED SPEECH EXAMPLE
Requests/orders Asked (me/him/her) to…
Told (me/him/her) to…
“Please make 10 copies of this report.”
She asked me to make 10 copies of the report.

“Go to the bank.”
He told me to go to the bank.

Yes/no questions Asked if…
Wanted to know if…
“Are you coming to the party?”
He asked if I was coming to the party.

“Has John seen the new movie?”
She asked if John had seen the new movie.

Other questions Asked…
Wanted to know…
“When was the company founded?”
She asked when the company was founded.

“What kind of car do you drive?”
He wanted to know what kind of car I drive.


1. Requests/orders

  • “Asked me to” is used for requests.
  • “Told me to” is stronger; it is used for orders/commands.
  • The main verb stays in the infinitive:
    She asked me to make copies.
    He told me to go to the bank.

2. Yes/no questions

  • “Asked if” and “wanted to know if” are equal.
  • The main verb changes according to the rules for reported statements:
    Did you turn off the TV?” (past simple)
    She asked if I had turned off the TV (past perfect)
  • We don’t use the auxiliary verbs “do/does/did” in the reported question.

3. Other questions

  • “Asked” and “wanted to know” are equal.
  • We don’t use the auxiliary verb “do” or “does” in the reported question:
    “Where does he work?”
    She wanted to know where he works.
  • In questions with the verb “to be,” the word order changes in the reported question:
    “Where were you born?” (Question word + [to be] + subject)
    He asked where I was born (Question word + subject + [to be])
    He asked where was I born


Reported Speech (Part 2) Quiz

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Your answers are highlighted below.
Question 1
"Where does your family usually go on vacation?"
A
.He asked if my family usually goes on vacation.
B
He asked where does my family usually go on vacation.
C
He asked where my family usually goes on vacation
Question 2
"Have you met my sister?"
A
She wanted to know if I'd met her sister.
B
She wanted to know if I will meet her sister.
C
She told me to meet her sister.
Question 3
"Look up these words in the dictionary."
A
The teacher asked us if we'd looked up the words in the dictionary.
B
The teacher told us to look up the words in the dictionary.
C
The teacher wanted to know how to look up the words in the dictionary.
Question 4
"How much does it cost to rent a car?"
A
He told me he wanted to rent a car.
B
He wanted to know how much it costs to rent a car.
C
He asked if it costs money to rent a car.
Question 5
"Will you help me?"
A
She asked if I would help her.
B
She asked if she would help me.
C
She asked if you would help her.
Question 6
"Please don't walk on the grass."
A
He asked us not to walk on the grass.
B
He asked us if we'd walked on the grass.
C
He asked if he could walk on the grass.
Question 7
"What time is it?"
A
My friend told me what time it was.
B
My friend wanted to know what time is it.
C
My friend asked me what time it was.
Question 8
"Can you swim?"
A
He asked me if I'd swim.
B
He asked me to swim.
C
He asked if I could swim.
Question 9
"Finish the report by tomorrow, or else you're fired."
A
My boss told me he'd finished the report for the next day, or else I was fired.
B
My boss told me to finish the report by the next day, or else I'd be fired.
C
My boss told me to finish the report by the next day, or else you are fired.
Question 10
"What's her last name?"
A
He asked what her last name was.
B
He asked what was her last name.
C
He asked if she had a last name.
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There are 10 questions to complete.

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