19 July Friday

Mastering Reported Speech

Dr.P.K.JayarajUpdated: Monday Mar 26, 2018

Reported speech provides a challenge for most learners of English. The shifting of tenses and changes in pronouns take time to learn.  How would you change questions from direct speech to reported speech?

 

    There are mainly two types of questions – Yes/No questions and Wh -questions.  When we report a Yes/No question, we use whether or if. Examples: “Have you read Othello?” The Professor asked the students whether they had read Othello. Geetha asked Rohan; “Have you sat in a trolley bus before?” Geetha asked Rohan if he had sat in a trolley bus earlier.

 

  When we report a Wh -question, we use a reporting verb like asked or enquired. Examples: He said to me, ‘Where do you live? He asked me where I lived. He said; “Why didn’t you send your application to me?” He enquired why I had not sent my application to him.    

 

   If the direct speech indicates a ‘general truth’ or ‘universal truth’ and also a ‘continuing habitual action’, the tense form of the direct speech will not change.  You can never say; earth was round, light was made of seven colours etc. Examples: Children studied; “The Sun sets in the West”. Children studied that the Sun sets in the West. Keats wrote; “A thing of beauty is a joy forever”. Keats wrote that a thing of beauty is a joy forever.

 

    When we report commands and requests, we use reporting verbs like order, advise, request, implore etc. Examples: The teacher said to the boys, ‘Work hard’. The teacher advised the boys to work hard. “Call the witness”, said the judge. The judge ordered them to call the witness.

 

Complete the following sentences by choosing the appropriate option.

 

 1.”Are the doors open”? he said. He asked whether……

 

a) the doors are open b) the door was open c) the doors were open  d) the doors would be opened

 

2. Mr.George asked her why she….for the previous day’s presentation?

 

a)did not prepare well b)had not prepared well  c)have not prepared well d)do not prepare well

 

3) Keats wrote, “A thing of beauty is a joy forever”. Keats wrote that……

 

a) a thing of beauty is a joy forever  b)a thing of beauty was a joy forever  c)a thing of beauty would be a joy forever  d)a thing of beauty could be a joy forever.

 

 4) The doctor asked the patient, “Did you eat anything this morning”? The doctor asked the patient….

 

a)whether he ate anything this morning  b)whether he has eaten anything this morning  c)whether he ate anything that morning   d) whether he had eaten anything that morning

 

5) “Call the witness”, said the judge. The judge ordered……..

 

a) them to call the witness b)them to called the witness c) to present the witness  d)that the witness might be presented

 

6) “Have you read Macbeth?”, the teacher asked the students. The teacher asked the students…….

 

a)had they read Macbeth  b) have they read Macbeth   c)whether they had read Macbeth  d)whether they have read Macbeth

 

7)She asked me why I …….her brother the previous day

 

a)insulted  b)had insulted    c)have insulted   d)did insult

 

8)He said, “Happy New Year”. He wished me……………..

 

a) and pointed out that it was a Happy New Year  b) and said that it was a Happy New Year  c)and exclaimed it was a Happy New Year   d)a happy New Year

 

9) Seetha said to me; “Can you give me your pen?” Seetha asked me……

 

a)if I could give her my pen   b)can I give her my pen   c)if I can give me your pen   d)if I would give her my pen

 

10) Geetha asked Rohan; “Have you sat in a trolley bus before?” Geetha asked Rohan…..

 

a)if he sat on a trolley bus before  b)had he sat in a trolley bus before.  c)if he had sat in a trolley bus earlier   d)if he had never sat in a trolley bus.

 

11) He said; “Why didn’t you send your application to me?” He enquired why……

 

a)I did not send my application to him  b)I had not sent my application to him   c)had I not send my application to him  d)why did I not send my application to him.

 

12) Dinesh asked; “Are you going to the party tomorrow, Rani?” Dinesh asked Rani whether …

 

a)Rani was going to the party the next day  b)you are going to the party the next day  c)went to the party the next day  d)she was going to the party the next day.

 

  Answers: 1) c, 2)b, 3)a, 4) d, 5)a, 6)c, 7)b, 8) d, 9) a, 10)c, 11)b, 12)d.

 

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