GRAMMAR SECTION: REPORTED QUESTIONS, ORDERS AND REQUESTS
When we report what someone says to another person, questions, orders and requests we do not normally use the word said. Apart from not using said, these are very similar to the simple reported speech.
When we report what one person says to another we often use the verb told instead of said. These sentences follow the same rules as the simple reported speech.
a) Tomorrow is her birthday.
Gavin told Colin that tomorrow is my birthday.
Whenever we report questions, we normally use asked instead of said or told. When we report questions with auxiliaries, we put the word if between the main clauses. In reported speech these are not active questions so we put the subject before the verb, as we did in the indirect questions in Lesson 24.
Subj + ASKED + (Indirect Object +) IF + Second Clause
b) Are you hungry?
June asked us if we were hungry.
c) Can you help me tomorrow?
Regina asked me if we could help her tomorrow.
When there is a question word at the beginning of the sentence that we are reporting we use this order:
Subj + ASKED + (Indirect Object +) Question Word + Second Clause
d) Which house do you live in?
My dad asked me which house I was living in.
e) What do you want for Christmas?
We asked our children what they wanted for Christmas this year.
When we report something in the imperative we use the word told just like when we report except that the second clause is infinitive and not in a past tense.
f) Eat your vegetables!
My grandmother told me to eat my vegetables.
g) Push the green button.
The instructions told me to push the green button.
When we report requests we use asked, like in the questions, but the second clause is in the infinitive, like when we report imperatives.
h) Please give me a hand in my garden tomorrow.
Bill asked me to give him a hand in his garden tomorrow.
i) Will you come with me to the shops?
George asked Briana to go to the shops with him.
j) Can you hold my seat for a minute?
He asked me to hold his seat for a minute.