Reporting Questions

Working with reported speech in English can seem a little difficult at first. It is a topic that many students need to review several times until they feel very comfortable using it.

When we say exactly what someone else said, this is direct speech.

For example:
  • "I am very happy here," said Jared.
  • "What are you doing?" he asked.
When we don't want to say exactly what the other person said, we use reported speech.

For example:
  • Jared said he was happy here.
  • He asked what I was doing.
As you saw in the examples above, the verbs change in reported speech. The grammar changes in a special way when we report questions.

A reported question is written like a regular positive sentence.

Here are some examples:
  • "Where is the museum?" --> She asked where the museum was.
  • "What is your name?" --> He asked what my name was.
  • "When do the children arrive?" --> He asked when the children arrived.
  • "Do they understand?" --> She asked if they understood.
It is important to study all the different changes in reported speech. Be sure to read lots of examples, do some exercises or worksheets, and write examples of your own to help you remember.

You will need to practice with different types of sentences and verb tenses until you can report sentences comfortably. 

Soon you will use reported speech like a pro!