- Word order in reported questions
When we report a question, we change the word order of the question – it becomes the same word order as a statement.
Note: We do not use auxiliary do, does or did in reported questions:
Wrong: He asked what time did the flight leave Paris.
Right: He asked what time the flight left Paris.
We make the same changes in tense, pronouns and time and place words as for reported statements:
The reporter asked, ‘Did you tell us the truth yesterday, Minister?’
- The reporter asked the Minister if he had told them the truth the day before.
We don’t use question marks in reported questions:
Wrong: They asked if I was satisfied with the room?
Right: They asked if I was satisfied with the room.
- Reported yes / no questions
We introduce reported yes /no questions with ask / want to know + if or whether:
‘Has your union agreed the new pay deal?’
- Reporter asked the leader if his union agreed the new pay deal.
‘Did the Minister answer your questions?’
- She asked me whether the Minister had answered my questions.
‘Have you ever lived in this city? Why do you like it?’
- They wanted to know if I have always lived in the city and why I liked it.
With if and whether, we can add or not at the end of the question:
She asked if / whether the Minister had answered my question or not.
- 3. Reported wh – questions
We introduce reported wh – question with ask / want to know + wh-word:
‘When will the article appear in the newspaper?’
- They asked us when the article would appear in the newspaper.
‘Where is the cash desk?’
- She wanted to know where the cash desk was.
We don’t use an object after want to know:
Wrong: They wanted to know me why I liked it.