Direct and indirect speech: Interrogative sentences

 

 

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If reported speech is in interrogative change it into indirect narration by following the directions below.

Change in reported speech

While converting any interrogative sentence into passive voice all the following changes are made quite similarly as defined in the previous chapter of narrations of simple sentences. It means the changes mentioned in the previous chapter are observed thoroughly with few exceptions that shall be explained here and in coming chapters.

Same changes

Changes in the tense of reported speech
Changes in the modal operators
Changes in time and place

Some other changes

Since interrogative sentences are different in function than the simple sentences we have read in last chapter, accordingly there will be some additional changes that are particular to interrogative narrations, and they are as follows;

The verb of Reporting speech is converted in following manner.

say to into ask
said to into asked

Say or said are the only verbs followed by preposition (to) whereas in case of ask there shall be no preposition, like,

He said to me, “What is your name?”
He asked me what my name was.

Question mark

There shall be no question mark after indirect interrogative. Question mark is always used in direct interrogative where spoken to is required to answer whereas it is not the case in indirect interrogatives. That’s why there is no question mark. Above example may be considered.

When commas are removes in indirect speech

If or whether is used when reported speech starts with auxiliary.
No conjunction is used when reported speech starts with wh– question (what, why, how, when, where and who).

Examples of wh- question

(what, why, how, when, where and who)

He said to me, “What is your name?”
He asked me what my name was.

She said, “Who will give the answer of this question?”
She asked who would give the answer of that question.

Maria says, “Where are they going?”
Maria asks where they were going.

He said, “How can you manage this thing?”
He asked how he could manage that thing.

He says, “When are you coming?”
He asks when he is coming.

She said to me, “Why are you sad?”
She asked me why I was sad.

Examples of questions with auxiliary verbs

She said, “Is he coming back?”
She asked if he was coming back.
She asked whether he was coming back.

He said to me, “Can you climb on this tree?”
He asked if I could climb on that tree.
He asked whether I could climb on that tree.

John said, “Was he going for a walk?”
John asked if he had been going for a walk.
John asked whether he had been going for a walk.

He said, “Is he going for picnic?”
He asked if he was going for picnic.
He asked whether he was going for picnic.

 

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