How to report general (Yes / No) questions

  • We report questions with the help of the verbs to ask, to wonder, to want to know.
  • In reported questions the subject comes before the verb, as in affirmative sentences.
  • The tenses change in reported questions according to the general rules.
  • We don’t use the auxiliary verbs do, does, did in reported questions. We don’t put a question mark at the end of reported questions.
  • Yes / No questions and alternative Or-questions are reported with the help of the words if, whether.

Direct Yes / No Questions – Reported Yes / No Questions

Study the examples  of reported yes / no questions given below.

  1. “Are you the captain of the school football team?” the new pupil asked Victor. – The new pupil asked Victor if he was the captain of the school football team.
  2. “Can you drive?” Oliver asked Alec. – Oliver asked Alec if he could drive.
  3. “Do you live far from the school?” the teacher asked Yvonne. – The teacher asked Yvonne if she lived far from the school.
  4. “Have you finished reading my book?” Brian asked Helen. – Brian asked Helen whether she had finished reading his book.
  5. “Did you have a good journey?” we asked our guests. – We asked our guests if they had had a good journey.
  6. “Will you be sixteen next July?” the girl asked Greg. – The girl asked Greg if he would be sixteen next July.
  7. “Has the book been translated into Ukrainian?” I asked the teacher. – I asked the teacher whether the book had been translated into Ukrainian.
  8. “Would you like to go to a movie?” Jim asked Sally. – Jim asked Sally if she would like to go to a movie.
  9. Would you mind changing your seat?” I asked the girl next to me. – I asked the girl next to me if she would mind changing her seat.
  10. “Should I do this exercise again?” Larry asked the teacher. – Larry asked the teacher if he should do the exercise again.
  11. “Would you go to the movie if John invited you?” I asked Helen. – I asked Helen if she would go to the movie if John invited her.
  12. “Would your brother have become an artist if he had graduated from the art school?” Ian asked Nancy. – Ian asked Nancy if her brother would have become an artist if he had graduated from the art school.

Reported Alternative Questions

Study the examples.

  1. “Did you pass your exam or did you fail it?” Ruth asked me. – Ruth asked me whether I had passed my exam or failed it.
  2. When are you coming to see me, on Saturday or on Sunday?” I asked Marina. – I asked Marina when she was coming to see me, on Saturday or on Sunday.
  3. “Which teacher is more competent: the new or the former one?” mother asked. – Mother asked me which teacher was more competent the new or the former one.

And now have practice.

Exercise 1. Report the questions. Don’t forget to use if or whether.

  1. Have they sold the picture? – I didn’t know …
  2. Do they know anything about it? – I wondered …
  3. Has Jack given you his telephone number? – She asked me …
  4. Is he coming back today? – I was not sure …
  5. Have you found the book? – She asked me …
  6. Are there any more books here? – The man asked …
  7. Did she go shopping yesterday? – I wanted to know …
  8. Has she bought the dictionary? – He didn’t ask her …
  9. Does she know the name of the man? – I doubted …
  10. Did Bill see the man this morning? – I asked …

Exercise 2. Report yes / no questions. Write reported Yes / No questions

  1. I said to Mike: “Have you packed your suitcase?”
  2. I said to Kate: “Did anybody meet you at the station?”
  3. I said to her: “Can you give me their address?”
  4. I asked Tom: “Have you had breakfast?”
  5. I asked my sister: “Will you stay at home or go for a walk after dinner?”
  6. I said to my mother: “Did anybody come to see me?”
  7. I asked my sister: “Will Nick call for you on the way to school?”
  8. She said to the young man: “Can you call a taxi for me?”
  9. Mary said to Peter: “Have you shown your photo to Dick?”
  10. Oliver said to me: “Will you come here tomorrow?”
  11. He said to us: “Did you go to the museum this morning?”
  12. I said to Henry: “Does your friend live in London?”
  13. I said to the man: “Are you staying in a hotel?”
  14. Nick said to his friend: “Will you stay at the “Hilton”?”
  15. He said to me: “Do you often go to see your friends?”
  16. He said to me: “Will you see your friends before you leave Kyiv?”
  17. Mike said to Jane: “Will you come to the station to see me off?
  18. She said to me: “Have you sent them an email?”
  19. She said to me: “Did you send them a parcel?”
  20. Kate said: “Mike, do you like my new dress?”
  21. My sister said to me: “Will you take me to the theatre with you tomorrow?”
  22. “Why don’t you play with your friends, Kate?” said her mother.
  23. “Do you like chocolates?” said my little sister to me.
  24. “Did you see your granny yesterday, Kathie?” asked Mr. Brown.
  25. Father said to Nick: “Have you done your homework?”

Exercise 3. Here there are reported yes / no questions. Restore direct speech.

  1. I asked him if the doctor had given him some medicine.
  2. I asked him if he was feeling better now.
  3. I asked the man how long he had been in Oxford.
  4. I asked him if he was going to a health resort.
  5. We asked the girl if her father was still in New York City.
  6. I asked if they had taken the sick man to hospital.
  7. I asked my friend if he had a headache.
  8. I wondered if he had taken his temperature.

I hope it’s not difficult for you now to use reported Yes / No questions.