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Reported speech in interrogative sentences

Reported speech in interrogative sentences

Interrogative sentences are in two types, that is,

1 Question word beginning interrogative sentences

Pattern– QW. + Aux + S + V + O ?

Eg: When did he give you the book ?

2 Auxiliary beginning interrogative sentences or  ‘Yes’  or ‘No’ questions

Pattern – Aux + S + V + O ?

Eg: Do you know Grammar ?

Here,  when we report interrogative sentences,  we have to change the reporting verb  as  ‘ask/asks’   or   ‘ asked’  or   ‘will/shall ask’   according to the tense form of the reporting statement.  

( reporting object should be written after that)

 

That is, if the  ‘reporting verb’  is ‘simple present’,    ‘ask /asks’  should be written after the subject

If the ‘reporting verb’  is  ‘simple past’,   ‘asked’ should be written after the subject

If the  ‘reporting verb’  is  ‘simple future’,   ‘will/shall ask’  should be written after the subject of the reporting statement.

After writing as mentioned above,  we have to change the interrogative sentence into statement form and then report it by applying all the required changes.

But,  there is a slight difference between  reporting  ‘question word’  beginning and  ‘auxiliary beginning’ interrogative sentences.

Question word beginning interrogative sentences are reported by changing  the rest of the sentence   into statement form  ( S + V + O ) after writing  the  question word , as shown below.

Martin said, “ How  has he arrived here?” ( present perfect tense)

As  explained above,   first of all,   we have to change the reporting verb  ‘said’  into ‘asked’,   as the reporting verb  is in simple past form.

 Then   after writing the question word ‘ How’,  we have to change the rest of the sentence   “ has he arrived here’’  into statement form as  “he has arrived here”  and  then report it as  ‘he had arrived there’.

So we get the answer as,

Martin asked how he had arrived there.

Here,  as the reporting verb is simple past,   ‘ asked’ is written and also the ‘present perfect’ form of the verb in the direct speech is changed into  ‘past perfect’ in the reported speech.

Another example,

Thomas says, “ How do we get rain ?”

( here the reporting verb ‘says’  and  also the ‘direct speech’ are in simple present form)

Thomas asks how they  get rain.

(Here, as the reporting verb  ‘says’ is ‘simple present’,   ‘asks’  is written as  reporting verb and  also the  reported speech is written in simple present form.)

 

The difference in reporting  ‘auxiliary beginning interrogative sentences’ is

 To  add  ‘whether’ or  ‘if’  before the sentence and,  change the whole sentence into  statement form.  After doing so,  the sentence can be reported.

Eg:  John said, “ Will Peter come tomorrow?”

( Reporting verb ‘said’ is simple past  and  the Auxiliary beginning interrogative sentence is in simple future)

John asked ‘whether’ Peter would come the next day.

Here ‘asked’ is written,   as the reporting verb ‘said’ is simple past. 

Then ‘whether’ is added before changing the whole sentence into statement form

Then  the direct speech in auxiliary beginning sentence is reported by changing the modal ‘will’ into ‘would’

and  the word  ‘tomorrow’ into ‘the next day’ ,   as we have studied in the earlier topics,  Changes in tenses, modals and be-forms   and   Change of words in Reported speech.

Another example,

Mary says to Mathew, “Have you seen operas ?”  

( Reporting verb ‘says’ is  ‘simple present’  and  the direct speech is in present perfect form)

Mary asks mathew if he has seen operas.

Here,  the reporting verb ‘says’ is changed into  ‘asks’ and then the direct speech is reported  by adding ‘if’  before the sentence  and changing the whole sentence into statement form.

But there is no  change in  the tense , as the reporting verb is in simple present form.

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