Today I heard someone saying "...people ask me how can I ...", I know it's wrong, but then again, what if she was quoting?

So the question is: Can you change an embedded interrogative clause to a quote when you speak?

E.g. "He asked me how he can get there?" "He asked me "how can I get there?""

I personally don't do that cause it might get confusing, (it's okay when you are writing, right?) but if you have to, can you?

Thank you very much!


1 Answer 1


Direct speech:

Question: "How can I get there?"

Reported speech: He asked me how he could get there.

Question: "What is your name?"

Reported speech: She asked me what my name was.

With the verb to be, take care to put the verb at the end.

Question: "When can you come?"

Reported Speech: She asked me when I could come.

Question: "**When **did they leave****?"

Reported Speech: He asked me when they left.

All direct speech can be converted to indirect speech. It can become slightly complicated but I have given a few more examples.

The problem is that you hear a lot of people just transposing the speech and not actually reporting it:

Question: "When are you expecting an answer"? [question form]

Incorrect: "They asked me when are you expecting an answer".

Correct: "They asked me when you are expecting an answer".

The verb must be put in some past tense.

Basically reported speech calls for questions to return to a statement form, which means you have to make sure the verbs are not inverted.

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