How to Change Interrogative Sentences to Indirect Speech

Learn Change of Interrogative Sentences to Indirect Speech with definitions, examples, formulas, rules, tricks, and solved exercises. Read how to Change Interrogative Sentences to Indirect Speechcompletely to learn perfectly.

How to Change Interrogative Sentences to Indirect Speech

There are two types of interrogative Sentence. We will learn one by one.

Single Interrogative Sentences

These are sentences those can be answered in ‘yes’ or ‘no’, called single interrogative sentences. These sentences start from helping verbs such as is, are, am, was, were, will, shall, has, have, had, can, could, may, might.

Examples of Single Interrogative Sentences 

He said to me, “Are you going?”

I said, “Can you write fast?”

Ali said to Hamza, “Will you meet me tomorrow?”

The teacher said to us,” May we come in, Sir?”

These sentences start from helping verbs like is, are, was, were, will, shall, has, have, had, can, could, may, might.

We answer these types of questions in yes/no.

Changes and Rules

‘Said to’ will be asked or inquired.

The ‘commas’ will be replaced with if or whether.

The question mark will not be put after conversion.

Examples

He said to me, “Are you busy?”(Dir)

Firstly, make the above sentence ‘simple’ as given below.

He said to me, ” You are busy?”(Dir)

Now change it,


He said to me, ” You are busy?”(Dir)
said to  ⇒  asked/inquired
commas  ⇒ if/whether (single ?)
You      ⇒ he
also change tense (Reporting Speech is in Past)
is,are, am⇒ was, were

He asked me if he was busy. (Ind)

I said to him, “Have you done your duty.”(Dir)

Making the sentence ‘simple’.

I said to him, “You have done your duty.”

Now change it,
I said to him, ” You have done your duty.”(Dir)
said to  ⇒  asked/inquired
commas  ⇒ if/whether (single ?)
You      ⇒ I
your    ⇒ his
also change tense (Reporting Speech is in Past)
have⇒ had

I inquired him whether he had done his duty. (Ind)

Double Interrogative Sentences

The sentences which cannot be answered in yes or no. They start with ‘wh’ words like what, when, where, who, which, why, how, whom etc. 

Examples

He said to me, “Where are you going?”

I said, “What are you writing?”

Ali said to Hamza, “Which person you met?”

The teacher said to us, ” Why are you doing this?”

Changes and Rules

‘Said to’ to asked/ inquired.

The commas will not be replaced with that. Just remove the commas.

Examples

He said to me, “What are you reading?”(Dir)

Making the sentence simple,

He said to me, ” What you are reading?”(Dir)

Now change it,

He said to me, ” What you are reading?”(Dir)

said to  ⇒ asked/inquired

commas  ⇒ just removed (Double ?)

You      ⇒ he

also change tense (Reporting Speech is in Past)

is,are, am⇒ was, were

He asked me what he was reading.(Ind)

Examples

The teacher said to us, ” Why are you doing this?”(Dir)

Making the sentence simple,

The teacher said to us, ” Why you are doing this?”(Dir)

Now change it,

The teacher said to us, ” Why you are doing this?”(Dir)

said to  ⇒ asked/inquired

commas  ⇒ just removed (Double ?)

You      ⇒ we

this⇒ that

also change tense (Reporting Speech is in Past)

are ⇒  were

The teacher asked us why we were doing that. (Ind)

Note: If ‘do/does’ comes at the start of the sentence (Interrogative Sentences), use first form of the verb. The according to rule, change first form of the verb to second form.

For Example

She said to them, “When do you go out for a walk?”(Dir)

Step 1

She said to them, “When you go out for a walk?”(Dir)

Simplifying the sentence,

She said to them, “When you go out for a walk?”(Dir)

said to ⇒ asked/inquired
commas  ⇒ just removed (Double ?)
You      ⇒ they
also change tense (Reporting Speech is in Past)
go ⇒  went
She asked them When they went out for a walk. (Ind)

Note: If ‘did’ comes in a sentence as Interrogative sentence, ‘did’ will be used and then will be converted to ‘had + 3rd form of the verb’.

For Example

He said to us, “When did you reach the stadium?”(Dir)

Step 1

He said to us, “When you reached the stadium?”(Dir)

Now change it,
He said to us, “When you reached the stadium?”(Dir)

said to  ⇒ asked/inquired
commas  ⇒ just removed (Double ?)
You  ⇒ we
also change tense (Reporting Speech is in Past)
reached ⇒  had reached
He asked us When we had reached the stadium.(Ind)

For Example

She said to them,”Did we tell lies?”(Dir)

Simplify the sentence,

She said to them,”We told lies?”(Dir)

Now change it,
She said to them,”We told lies?”(Dir)
said to  ⇒ asked/inquired
commas  ⇒ if/whether (single ?)
We⇒ they (plural)
also change tense (Reporting Speech is in Past)
tell ⇒  told
She asked them whether they had told lies.(Ind)

For Example

She said to me, “Did you take tea?”(Dir)

She said to me, “You took tea?”(Dir)

Now change it,
She said to me, “You took tea?”(Dir)
said to  ⇒asked/inquired
commas  ⇒if/whether (single ?)

You ⇒ I
also change tense (Reporting Speech is in Past)
took ⇒  had+taken
She asked me whether I had+taken tea. (Ind)

You may also learn the remaining parts of Direct and Indirect Speech:

Subjective Pronoun Changes in Direct and Indirect Speech

Possessive Pronouns Changes in Direct and Indirect Speech

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