We need to convert the following to reported speech:

Why have you taken a room on the tenth floor?

I am confused about the word order.

Should it be

He asked her why she had taken a room on the tenth floor.


He asked her why had she taken a room on the tenth floor.

or neither? Why?

I suppose since we convert an interrogative sentence into a declarative one (on conversion to reported speech), the correct one would be the first. However, the it doesn't 'sound' right. And English is not lacking in exceptions.

  • @tchrist, there was a related question about this word order a short time ago (which I answered). "the word order" moves to the end by a rule akin to Ross's Heavy NP Shift. The problem lies in your grammar, not in his.
    – Greg Lee
    Mar 15, 2015 at 17:25
  • @GregLee You’re right. I don’t know what I was thinking.
    – tchrist
    Mar 15, 2015 at 17:27


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