Direct-indirect speech: General narration rules of English grammar

Conversion of Imperative Sentences

While changing the imperative sentences into Indirect Speech, the following rules should be observed:

Rules (1):
The Reporting Verb is changed into a verb signifying a command, request, advice.
Command can be expressed by the words command, order, tell, charge etc.
Request can be expressed by the words request, beg, ask, implore, entreat, desire, beseech, solicited, etc.
Besides these words, forbid, persuade, incite, etc. May also be used according to the context.

Rules (2):
The verb of the Reported Speech is changed into an Infinitive.

Rules (3):
If the Reported Speech is negative, the word “not” is placed before the infinitive.

Rules (4):
Tenses, pronouns and words denoting nearness are changed according to the rules.

Examples are:

(i)He said to me, “Help him in setting the accounts”.
He requested me to help him in setting the accounts.
(ii) My friend said to me, “Please accept this invitation”.
My friend entreated me to accept that invitation.
(iii) The Doctor said to the patient, “ Give up smoking”.
The Doctor advised the patient to give up smoking.
(iv) The Commander said to his men, “ March further”.
The Commander urged his men to march further.
(v) The young man said to his father, “Pardon me sir”.
The young man begged his father to pardon him.
(vi) He said to me, “Wait here till I come back”.
He ordered me to wait here till I come back.
(vii) The father said, “Sons, do not quarrel over trifles”.
The father forbade his sons to quarrel over trifles.
(viii) I said to him, “Don’t worry about me”.
I told him not to worry about me.
(ix) The magician said to the boy, “Make haste and give me the lamp”.
The magician commanded the boy to make haste and to give him the lamp.
(x) The mother said, “Run away children, do not disturb me”.
The mother ordered the children to run away and forbade them to disturb her.


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