Direct And Indirect Speech Questions: Comprehensive Guide with Examples

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Direct and indirect speech, commonly known as reported speech, is pivotal in facilitating effective communication. Mastery of direct and indirect speech concepts is crucial, particularly when forming questions, to ensure clarity and precision in communication. In this blog, you will learn more about rules for forming question sentences using direct and indirect speech followed by illustrative examples. Let’s dive in to learn!

MUST READ! Reported Speech: Definition, Rules, Usage with Examples, Tips, Exercises for Students

Understanding Direct And Indirect Speech Questions

Let’s understand direct and indirect speech questions in detail below:

Direct Speech Questions

In direct speech, the actual words spoken by the speaker are enclosed in quotation marks. Whenever you form questions using direct speech, it is important to make note of actual words spoken and punctuation.

For example

Example 1 She asked, “Where are you going”?

Example 2  He asked,” Did you finish your homework”?

Indirect Speech Questions

In Indirect speech, the questions are not quoted in quotation marks as they are not the actual words of the speaker whereas the speaker tries to quote the meaning of someone’s else words. Transformation of sentences from direct speech to indirect speech involves several changes such as a change in the verb form, the removal of quotation marks, alteration in pronouns and a change in word order.

For example:

Example 1  She asked where I was going.

Example 2  He asked if I had finished my homework.

Also Read: Tenses Rules: Charts, Examples, Types [PDF Available]

Rules For Changing Questions Sentences into Indirect Speech

One must follow these rules while changing direct speech question sentences to indirect speech: 

Rule 1: Reporting Verb is changed to ask, inquire, or wonder according to the sentence.

Rule 2: The question mark is removed thus changing the interrogative form of the sentence to an affirmative sentence. This is done by placing the subject before the verb and if a sentence starts with a helping verb such as do or did they are removed in indirect speech.

Rule 3: If the sentence begins with the who words such as where, how etc. then we will not use any conjunction in the indirect speech for conversion.

Rule 4: If the sentence begins with the helping verbs such as do, did, have, etc. then conjunctions “if “ or “whether” are used to transform it into indirect speech.

Must Read: Subject-Verb Agreement: Definition, 12 Rules & Examples

Examples of Change from Direct to Indirect Speech

Read the following examples thoroughly to know the changes made while converting direct to indirect speech:

Direct Speech  Indirect Speech
He said to him,” Do you live in Chandigarh?” He asked him if he lived in Chandigarh.
She said to her mother “Are you going to school tomorrow?” She asked her mother if she was going to school the next day.
The professor said to me “ Did you come late today?” The professor asked me if I came late the same day.
My mother said to me,” What do you want?” My mother asked me what I wanted.
The teacher said to Ram,” Where are you going?” The teacher asked Ram where he was going.
She said to my sister,” Will you take tea?” She asked my sister if she would take tea.

Exercises of Direct and Indirect Speech Question Sentences 

Let’s check your understanding with a few practical sentences:

  1. The girl said to the boy  “Is the mango sweet?”
  2. The teacher said to Rahul, “Are you ill?”
  3. I said to her, “Do you know the man?”
  4. I said to her,” May I take your pen?”
  5. Nita said to Mohan “Will you help me?”
  6. I said to Manisha “Did you see our cow?”
  7. The professor said to his students, “Can you answer this question?”
  8. I said to Rohan, “Do you know my brother?”
  9. Father said to my brother, “Do you have any problem?”
  10. I said to her, “Have you had your tea?”

Answers to Direct and Indirect Speech Question Sentences 

Match your answers with the solved sentences and analyze the understanding of the concept.

1. The girl asked the boy if the mango was sweet.

2. The teacher asked Rahul if he was ill.

3.  I asked her if she knew the man.

4.  I asked her if I might take her pen.

5.  Nita asked Mohan if he would help her.

6.  I asked Manisha if she had seen our cow.

7.  The professor asked his students if they could answer that question.

8.  I asked Rohan if he knew my brother.

9.  Father asked my brother if he had any problems.

10. I asked her if she had had her tea.

Must Read: Figures of Speech: Types, Usage & Examples [Download PDF]

Exercise on Direct and Indirect Speech

Convert the following sentences from direct speech to indirect speech.

  1. “I’m going to the library,” she said.
  2. “Please don’t forget to lock the door,” he reminded me.
  3. “I wish I had studied harder,” she sighed.
  4. “I’ll be here tomorrow,” she promised.
  5. “Give me the book,” he ordered.

FAQs

1. What is reported speech?

Reported speech often known as indirect speech means conveying someone else’s words or thoughts without quoting them directly.

2. How do we report interrogative sentences in reported speech?

In reported speech, interrogative sentences are changed by changing the question word order, omitting the question mark, and using appropriate conjunctions.

3. What are Direct and Indirect Questions?

Direct questions are something which we ask every day regularly. While Indirect questions are framed with a particular phrase.

LEARN MORE ABOUT REPORTED SPEECH 
Direct and Indirect Speech Guide with Exercises How to Change Sentences into Indirect Speech
Examples of Direct and Indirect Speech Exercises Examples of Direct and Indirect Speech Interrogative Sentences
Direct and Indirect Speech Rules & Examples Types of Reported Speech
Reported Speech Exercises For Class 9 Reported Speech Interrogative: Rules, Examples & Exercise
Direct And Indirect Speech Questions Direct and Indirect Speech Exercises With Answers for Class 12

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