Reported Questions

Learn how you can talk about what people ask you or what you hear people asking by using reported question forms.

There are two types of questions that you can report, questions with question words (eg. who, how, what, etc.) or Yes/ No questions.


Learn how to report questions with question words

Learn how to report Yes/No questions

Practice making reported questions


Download this explanation as a PDF


Questions with question words (eg. where, what, how etc.)


  • change the question into a sentence,

  • remove do or did,

  • and move the tense back one step


Look at this example:



Direct

“Where is the store?”


Reported

He asked where the store was.

He wanted to know where the store was.


More Examples:


Direct Reported

“When does the class start?” He asked me when the class started.

“When are you going to London?” She asked when I was going to London.

“How long is the movie?” My mom asked how long the movie was.


*See this exercise to practice the word order of reported questions.


Yes/ No Questions

When a yes / no question is reported, ask, or ‘want to know’ are often used with ‘if’ or ‘whether (ask + if/whether + clause)

  • remove do or did

  • change question to sentence (word order)

  • move tense back




Look at this example:


Direct

“Do you know where the store is?”


Reported

He asked if I knew where the store was. or

He wanted to know if I knew where the store was.

Compare



More Examples:


Direct Reported

“Do you have a lot of experience?” He asked me if I had a lot of experience.

“Will you be here tomorrow?” She asked whether I would be here tomorrow.

“Can I have a pencil, please”? She asked if she could have a pencil.


How to use 'Ask'

‘Ask’ is the most common reporting verb used to report questions.

It can be followed by an object pronoun (eg. me, her, you, him, us, them) or not.


  • My mom asked what time the movie started.

  • My mom asked me what time the movie started.


  • She asked me if I knew how to get to the school by bus.

  • She asked if I knew how to get to the school by bus.



Practice making reported questions



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