Reported questions in English

She asked me what i was reading.
I wondered if she liked English literature.

In the previous section, we got acquainted with an indirect speech and with the rules / subtleties of its formation. What happens when we want to report someone else’s question? In reported questions, we generally follow the rules of creating the indirect speech (namely, we transfer the tense of the verb in the subordinate sentence “one step back”). However, here's another thing to remember:

1. Usually indirect questions begin with words such as ask, inquire, wonder, or the whole expression want to know. 

2. The relative clause (namely, the question that we, in fact, report to another person) will have an affirmative form. That is, no auxiliary verbs, question marks and words such as please, oh, well, etc. are necessary. Let's see an example:

‘What language are you learning?’ John asked me.
John asked me (wanted to know/wondered) what language I was learning.

3. When a direct question begins with a question word (who, what, when, how long, where, why, etc.), an indirect question begins with the same word.

Why don’t you want to answer?’ they asked me.
The asked me why I did not want to answer.

4. If the direct question begins with an auxiliary (is, do, have, did, etc) or modal (can, should, must, etc) verb, the indirect question is created using if or whether.

Did you see him last night?’ Sam asked.
Sam wanted to know if I had seen him the night before.
Can you play the guitar?’ Dave asked Anna.
Dave asked whether Anna could play the guitar. 

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