Reported Questions: Direct and Indirect Questions

Last Updated on March 1, 2021

Reported Speech Questions! Learn how to form Reported Questions in English with useful grammar rules and example sentences.

Reported Questions

When you are changing a question from direct speech into indirect speech, you follow the same kinds of rules as for statements. The only differences are that you need to use a different word to introduce the reported speech, and the word order of the question becomes like that of a statement. You end the sentence with a full stop, not a question mark.

To report a question, we use verbs such as: inquire, wonder, want to know, ask

Only ask can take an indirect object.

Reported Speech Questions Examples:

Direct speech:Have you got a computer?

Reported speech: He wanted to know whether I had a computer.

Reported Questions: Direct and Indirect Questions

Reported Questions | Direct vs. Indirect Questions Pin

How to Report Wh and Yes/No Questions

Reported Speech Questions: Yes/No Questions

– We use “if” or “whether” to introduce a “yes‑no question”.


Direct speech:Did you receive my e-mail?

Reported speech: The teacher asked me if I had received his e-mail. OR The teacher asked me whether I had received his e-mail.

– You introduce questions where there is a choice in the same way ‑ more usually by using whether” than by using “if“.


Direct speech: I asked, “Is it John’s phone or Richard’s?”

Reported speech: I asked whether it was John’s phone or Richard’s.

Reported Speech Questions: Questions Words (Wh- Questions)

– You introduce questions that begin with who, why, what, how, when, where by using the word which begins the question in direct speech.


Direct speech: She asked, “Where did he stay?”

Reported speech: She asked me where he had stayed.


Direct speech: She asked, “When will you go back to London?

Indirect speech: She asked when he would go back to London.

– You often mention the person who is being asked the question, by using a pronoun (him, her, them, etc.) or by mentioning their name.


I asked him if he ate meat.

She asked Michael when he would go back to Japan.

Notes for Reported Questions

In reporting questions:

– The tense of the verb changes as it does in reported speech but there is no auxiliary verb and the word order is like an affirmative sentence.

– We don’t use question marks in reporting questions except beginning with Could you tell me…?,

Do you know…?, May I ask…?, … (when we ask for information.)

Reported Speech: Useful Rules & Examples

Reported Speech in English


(Reported Questions: Direct and Indirect Questions)

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