Reported speech: orders, requests, advice

Jim’s mum: Wash your hands! Dinner’s ready!She told him khổng lồ wash his hands.

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Jim’s mum: Don’t touch that pan – it’s hot!She told him not lớn touch the pan.

The structure here is:

tell + someone + (not) lớn do something

The most common verb for reporting an order is ‘tell‘, but we can also use other verbs such as: order, command, instruct:

The sergeant commanded his men to stand straight.The manager instructed his team lớn follow the guidelines.

cảnh báo that the structure here is the same as with the verb ‘tell’.


A request is when somebody toàn thân asks you to lớn vì chưng something – usually politely. We can use ‘ask’ with infinitives khổng lồ report requests:

Jim’s mum: Can you wash your hands? Dinner’s ready!She asked hlặng khổng lồ wash his hands. Jim’s mum: Don’t touch that pan – it’s hot! She asked hyên ổn not to touch the pan.

The structure here is:

ask + someone + (not) lớn vày something

Requests for objects

When we want that somebody toàn thân gives us something, we can ‘ask for‘ it:

Jim: Mum, can I have some bread?Jlặng asked her for some bread.Jim’s sister: Could I have a glass of water?Jim’s sister asked for a glass of water.

The structure here is:

ask (someone) for + object

Let’s summarize these structures:


Other reporting verbs

We can also use a lot of other verbs in reported speech. We can use the verbs ‘suggest’, ‘insist’, ‘recommend’, ‘demand’, ‘request‘, & ‘propose‘ to lớn report advice & suggestions. Some of them follow the same pattern:

She ordered hyên khổng lồ wash his hands.She advised hyên lớn wash his hands.She ordered hlặng not to touch the pan.She advised hyên ổn not khổng lồ touch the pan.

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For example, we can transsize the following direct speech sentences into reported speech:

Come on. Eat your vegetables. They’re good for you!She persuaded hyên ổn khổng lồ eat his vegetables.Remember to lớn wash the dishes.She reminded hyên ổn to lớn wash the dishes.Don’t forget!She warned hlặng not khổng lồ forget.

Sometimes the pattern is different:

OK, Mum. I’ll wash the dishes.He promised lớn wash the dishes.NOT: He promised her lớn wash the dishes. Why don’t you watch TV?He suggested (that) she should watch TV.He suggested (that) she watch TV.

‘That’ and ‘should’ are optional in these clauses.

chú ý that ‘suggest‘, ‘recommend‘, & ‘propose‘ may also be followed by a gerund.

You can also say:

He suggested watching TV.NOT: He suggested her lớn watch TV.NOT: He suggested to lớn watch TV.

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Because we use the infinitive sầu, there is no need to lớn worry about tense. But as with reported statements và reported questions, we may need to lớn change pronouns as well as time and place in reported requests.

Consider the example:

They said to the architect: “We’d like you to lớn meet us here tomorrow.”They asked the architect to lớn meet them there the next day.

Watch this small Clip explaining how reported speech is used for orders and requests: