General English Level 5 V 3
UNIT 04 Crime and punishment TOPIC 03 She's sorry now
LANGUAGE FOCUS 03 Reported questions, reported functions
In this activity you will revise how to use reported speech and find out how to use reported questions and functions.

Revise reported speech.

Chris Reynolds says:
You asked me if I thought the sentence was fair.
… The judge asked her if she realised the seriousness of her crime.
  The judge asked my client how she had actually done it.

 

Reported questions

Chris Reynolds is reporting questions he has heard. When we report questions, we

  • make the same changes to verb tenses, time and place references, pronouns and determiners as we do in reported speech
  • invert the subject/verb order to make it more like a statement.
  • omit do, does, did if used in the question.

If it is a yes/no question (Do you ... ? Have you ... ? Is he ... ? etc.), we use if or whether to begin the reported question.



Direct question
Reported question
"How did you actually do it?" The judge asked my client how she had actually done it.
"What were you doing?"
He asked me what I had been doing.
"Do you realise the seriousness of your crime?"
The judge asked her if she realised the seriousness of her crime.
"Do you think the sentence is  fair?"
She asked him if he thought the question was fair.
"Do you understand what you have done?"
She asked me whether I understood what I had done.

Examples

1 Read the examples.
2 Listen to the examples.
3 Practise saying each example. Use the Pause button.
"Do you want to come to the movies with us tomorrow night?"
Dave asked if I wanted to go to the movies with them the following night.

"What were you doing between 3 and 5pm yesterday afternoon?"
The Police asked him what he had been doing between 3 and 5pm the previous day.

"Did anybody see you?"
The judge asked her whether anyone had seen her.

"Can you describe the mugger?"
She asked me if I could describe the mugger.

"How long have you been smoking?"
Paul asked me how long I had been smoking.

 

Reporting using other "speaking" verbs

The second reporter asks:
Mr Reynolds, earlier we spoke to a representative for the company and the banks and they complained that the sentence was too lenient.

 

We can report what people say using verbs such as complain, advise, tell, warn, threaten, offer, promise.

We sometimes use the same reporting structure that we use with "say".

subject + verb + "that" + clause
They complained that the sentence was too lenient.

But with some verbs we usually use the reporting verb with to + infinitive:

subject + verb + (object) + infinitive
He offered   to come with me.
I promised   to leave.
She advised me to stop.

Examples

1 Read the examples.
2 Listen to the examples.
3 Practise saying each example. Use the Pause button.
"Be careful."
She warned me to be careful.

"I think you should call the police."
He advised me to call the police.

"I promise to tell the truth."
He promised to tell the truth.

"I think the price of the tickets was too expensive."
He complained that the price of the tickets was too expensive.

 

Now go to 04 WRITING Reported questions, other reporting verbs.

 

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