Discover how to convert direct and indirect speech of interrogative sentences into statements, maintaining proper punctuation. Explore how to use reporting verbs, change word order, and use appropriate tone to convey the meaning of the original question for the direct and indirect speech of interrogative sentences. Get clear and concise examples to help you master this essential aspect of English grammar and this will take your English language skills to the next level.
What interrogative sentence is
An interrogative sentence is a type of sentence that asks a question and requires an answer. We form interrogative sentences by using an auxiliary verb and subject-verb inversion. For example:
- “Do you like pizza?”
- “What is your name?”
- “Where do you live?” etc.
These sentences can be used to gather information, express curiosity, or initiate a conversation.
How to Identify an interrogative sentence for Direct and Indirect Speech.
Interrogative sentences can be identified by their question structure and the use of question words such as “what,” “when,” “where,” “why,” “who,” “whose,” “which,” “how,” etc. Interrogative sentences can also be recognized by the use of question marks (?) at the end of the sentence.
(a) Basically, the reported speech in direct narration will be introduced with an auxiliary verb or wh-word. Such as,
- He said to me, “Are you ill?”
- You said to me, “Why have you failed?”
(b) The sentence is normally ended with a note of interrogation or (?). Such as,
- The teacher said to me, “Why are you late?”
- He said to me, “Have you done it?”
More Direct & Indirect Speech Resources:
Rules to change Direct and Indirect Speech of interrogative Sentences
Study the following rules on how to change direct speech to indirect speech of Interrogative sentences with proper reporting verbs, change word order, and punctuation marks.
The first thing to remember, find out which kind of sentence it is in the quotation mark or inverted commas under direct narration.
In Indirect Narration, interrogative Verbs such as “ask”, “enquire”, “demand”, “want to know” etc are used as reporting Verbs before the reported Speech in place of simple verbs “say” or “tell”.
If the reported speech in Direct Narration is introduced by Verbs like “ be”, “have”, “and do”, or any other auxiliary Verbs like “can”, “shall”, or “will”, the connective “ if ”, “whether” is used after the reporting verb or object of the reporting verb in the Indirect Narration.
If the Reported Speech in Direct Narration is introduced by interrogative pronouns (who, which ) interrogative adjectives (what, how much ), or interrogative adverbs (why, when, where, how ), we can not use the conjunction if ( or whether) . That ( used at the beginning of Reported Speech of Direct Narration) interrogative pronouns (who, which ) interrogative adjectives (what, how much ), or interrogative adverbs (why, when, where, how ) are used in place of if ( or whether).
We have to change The Interrogative Form of the Reported Speech in Direct Narration into a Statement or Assertive Sentence in Indirect Narration. At the end of the sentence of Indirect Narration, we must write full stop ( . ) instead of a question mark ( ? ). So, in Indirect Narration, the Reported Speech will start with the Subject, then Verb, and then others.
An Interrogative Sentence beginning with “ Shall ” in the Direct Narration, takes the form “would ” in the Past Tense in the Indirect Narration. We use “ should ” only when the statement is a Polite question or involves or implies a matter of propriety or duty.
Sentence with Question Tags: Sometimes an Interrogative sentence is formed in the Direct Narration by adding some Interrogative Tags to an Assertive sentence. In Indirect Narration, the tag is omitted after the meaning of the sentence(Affirmation or Negation) has been guessed from it. Sometimes different verbs such as “ think ”, “ hope ”, “ believe ”, and “ ask ” may be used to express that idea in an Indirect Form.
Get the rules on how to make Changes in Persons in indirect narration on the previous page under the General Rules section.
Study the rules to change the Reporting Verb in Indirect Narration and the Verb of the reported speech in indirect narration by going to the above link which is the General Rules section on the previous page.
Interrogative Sentences of Direct Speech to Indirect Speech Examples
Note carefully the Changes in Interrogative Sentences from Direct Speech to Indirect Speech.
Direct: I said to the boy, “Did you go to school?”
Indirect: I asked (enquired of) the boy if he had gone to school.
Direct: “Is not poverty a curse?” my father said to me.
Indirect: My father asked me if poverty was (is) not a curse.
Direct: “Are you weeping?” he asked her.
Indirect: He asked her if she was weeping.
Direct: “Have you brought a pen for me?” the girl said to her father.
Indirect: The girl asked her father if he had brought a pen for her.
Direct: “Can you see a woman seated at a table?” he asked her.
Indirect: He asked her if she could see a woman seated at a table.
Direct: Persome said, “Marie, isn’t the soup boiling yet?”
Indirect: Persome asked Marie if the soup was not boiling by that time.
Direct: “Would you sing for our visitors?” my mother said to my sister.
Indirect: My mother asked my sister if she would sing for our visitors.
Direct: He said to me, “What are you doing ?”
Indirect: He asked me what I was doing.
Direct: He said to me, “When will you go home ?”
Indirect: He enquired of me when I would go home.
Direct: You said to me, “Why have you failed ?”
Indirect: You asked me why I had failed.
Direct: He said to me, “Who has gone to the sea ?”
Indirect: He asked me who had gone to the sea.
More Examples of Interrogative Sentences of Direct Speech to Indirect Speech
Direct: Reba said, “Which book is mine ?”
Indirect: Reba asked which book was hers.
Direct: He said to me, “When will the down train arrive ?”
Indirect: He inquired of me when the down train would arrive.
Direct: Mina said, “Why must I stay ?”
Indirect: Mina asked why she must stay.
Direct: He said, “Where is the post office?”
Indirect: He wanted to know where the post office was.
Direct: He said, “How will the Sherpa climb the peak ?”
Indirect: He wondered how the Sherpa would climb the peak.
Direct: She said to me, “Maya can’t speak Hindi, can she”?
Indirect: She told me that she didn’t think Maya could speak Hindi.
Direct: Amal said, “They will not go, will they”?
Indirect: Amal hoped they would not go.
Direct: He said to me, “You are going to the playground, aren’t you?”
Indirect: He asked me whether it was true that I was going to the playground.
Exercise Direct to Indirect Speech Interrogative sentence
Change the following sentences from Direct to Indirect Speech:
1. Ram said to his friends, “Do you want to go to Kolkata with me ?”
2.”Shall we send it to your flat ?” he said.
3. Rina said to Samir, “Are you going today ?”
4. Pradeep said to me, “When will you go home ?”
5. “Whom do you want ?” he said to her.
6. He said to Rita “How is your father ?”
7. “Who told you about my success ?” she said to her friend.
8. The lady said to the man, “May I park my car here ?”
9. “Who has dared to wound you ?” cried the Giant.
10. The workers said to the manager, “When do you like to talk to us ?”
11. The poor woman said, “Will none of you help me today ?”
12. “Can you find your way home ? said I to the little boy.
13. “Which way did you see the thief go ?” asked the policeman.
14. He said to the girl, “Don’t you know my sister ?”
Report the following into Indirect Speech:
Turn the following sentences from Direct to Indirect Speech
1. “Have you anything to say on behalf of the prisoner ?”. said the judge to the lawyers.
2. The traveller said, “Are you really telling me the truth ?”
3. He said to the strangers, “Who are you ?”
4. Sanat said to Debu, “Where have you kept my pen ?”
5. She said to the boy, “What are you doing here ?”
6. He said, “What do you want ?”
7. He said to John, “Why are you shouting ?”
8. “Who is our master ?” asked William Tell.
9. Babu said to the stranger, “Who are you?”
10. Pompi said, “Which of the pens do you need ?”
11. “Where do you live”, he asked