Reporting requests and orders | Direct and indirect speech
To report orders, requests and suggestions, we normally use a reporting verb like tell with (object) + to infinitive.
- "Be careful," I told him.
- I told him to be careful.
- "Go away," he said.
- He told me to go away.
- "Call the first witness," said the judge.
- The judge ordered them to call the first witness.
- She told him, "Please wait here till I return."
- She requested him to wait there till she returned.
- "Stop smoking," the doctor said.
- The doctor told me to stop smoking.
- The stranger said to me, "Please help me."
- The stranger requested me to help him.
- The clerk said to the officer, "Kindly grant me leave for two days."
- The clerk requested the officer to grant him leave for two days.
- The teacher said to the students, "Work hard."
- The teacher advised the students to work hard.
- I said to the child, "Do not look down into the well."
- I warned the child not to look down into the well.
- The doctor said to the patient, "Please come in."
- The doctor allowed (or asked) the patient to come in.
Requests for objects are reported using the structure ask + for + object.
- She asked, "Can I have an apple?"
- She asked for an apple.
- "Sugar, please," she said.
- She asked for sugar.
Other verbs used in this way include: command, order, warn, ask, advise, invite, beg, teach and forbid.
Verbs that can be followed by object + to-infinitive include: advise, ask, beg, command, forbid, instruct, invite, teach, tell and warn.
Suggestions are normally reported with a that-clause. That and should are optional and can be left out.
- "You should consult a doctor," she said.
- She suggested that I should consult a doctor.
- She suggested I consult a doctor.
Note that suggest cannot be followed by a to-infinitive. However, it can be followed by an -ing form.
- My mother suggested seeing a dentist.
Other reporting verbs used this way are: insist, recommend, demand, request and propose.
- The dentist said, "I think you should change your toothpaste."
- The dentist recommended that I should change my toothpaste.
Sections in this article
Direct and indirect speech
Rules for the change of pronouns
Rules for the change of tenses
Rules for the change of adverbs
Reporting hopes, intentions and promises
Reporting orders, requests and advice
Reporting questions: grammar exercise
Reported speech exercise
Reporting Yes/No questions
More CBSE English Grammar worksheetsPassive voice worksheet | Simple past tense
Passive voice worksheet | Past continuous tense
Passive voice worksheet | Simple future tense
Passive voice worksheet | Future perfect tense