Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 2 – Episode 51 – Grammar – Reported Speech – Questions

I’ve already gone over reported speech statements, but now it’s time to dive into the questions to see if you understand both sides.

Reported Speech Questions

Look at these questions and statements.  Which are direction questions and which are reported questions.

  1. He asked her was she was reading at the moment.
  2. He wanted to know if she had seen The Avengers.
  3. How often do you go to the cinema?
  4. He asked her how often she went to the cinema.
  5. Do you prefer reading personal development or horror books?
  6. What are you reading right now?
  7. He asked her whether she prefered reading personal development or horror books.
  8. Have you seen the Avengers?

Rules: We don’t use question marks in reported questions; we don’t use the auxiliary verb do in reported questions; we don’t put the verb before the subject in reported questions; we use if or whether in reported questions when there is no question word (who, what, why, etc.) in the original question.


Complete the sentences with a question word or if/whether.

  1. They asked the man ______________ his favorite writer was. He said Napoleon Hill.

Example: you cannot use whether because there aren’t two choices.  Also, you cannot use if unless the DO is in the sentence.  They asked the man if his favorite writer was Napoleon Hill.

2. Kate asked Jenny _____________ she wanted to do.

3. Paul wanted to know ____________________ I had come by bus or by car.

4. Hannah asked me ______________ I wanted a coffee and I said yes.

5. They asked me _______________ I had brothers or sisters and I said no.

6. My teacher asked me ___________________I hadn’t been at school the day before.

7. Karen’s mother asked her _________________ she had a good time.



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