English Grammar

Reported Speech 2

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We also use reported speech when we are saying what other people asked or wanted to know. We do not use do or question marks in indirect questions.

  • “What time is it?” = He asked me what time it was.
  • “Why hasn’t he come? = She wondered why he hadn’t come.
  • “When will you be arriving?” = He wanted to know when we would be arriving.
  • “What were you doing?” = They questioned him about what he had been doing.

We use the same structure when we report answers. 

  • “147 Oak Street.” = I told him what my address was.
  • “I didn’t have time to do it.” = She explained why she hadn’t done it.
  • “Look at this dress and bag.” = She showed me what she had bought.
  • “Put the paper here and press this button.” = He demonstrated how the scanner worked.

Yes/no questions are reported with if or whether.

  • Do you want a ride? = Mike asked me if I wanted a ride.
  • Are you coming? = They wanted to know if I was coming. 
  • Will you be here later? = She asked me whether I would be here later.