Imperatives in Reported Speech

Reported Speech - Lesson #4

Imperatives in reported speech are a little different than sentences. Imperatives can be used when we give orders and we can also use them to make requests.

For imperatives, we use "ask/tell somebody to do something".

Compare these two sentences and how they are used in reported speech.

Statement: "It is good."

Reported Speech: He said that it is good.

Imperative: "Come here."

Reported Speech: She told me to come here.

So, we use "ask/tell + to + verb" to report a command or imperative.
  • "Be quiet."
    The teacher told the students to be quiet.

  • "Sit down."
    My boss told me to sit down.

  • "Wake up early."
    She told me to wake up early.

  • "Please stop it."
    He asked her to please stop it.

  • "Bring it, please."
    He asked her to bring it, please.
Note: Use "tell" for orders and use "ask" for polite requests.

For negative imperatives, we use "not to + verb". However, you will often hear native speakers say "to + not + verb".
  • "Don't do that."
    She told me not to do that.

  • "Do not talk."
    She told us not to talk.

  • "Please do not be late."
    She asked me not to be late.

  • "Don't be noisy."
    I told her not to be noisy.
Note: Did you see the difference with negative imperatives with adjectives? Look at the last two examples. We leave out the verb "do".

Make sure that you understand this English grammar well. It is important to know if you want to speak English fluently.