Direct and Indirect Speech – Reporting a Question | Sentence Synthesis

With the examinations approaching, I am hoping to churn out a few more tips to aid in the children’s revision. In the previous post, I had looked at Direct and Indirect Speech questions which are in statement form (“I am very hungry,” said Jeff.). Today, we will wrap up sentence synthesis questions in this area by dwelling into the reporting of direct questions. (e.g. “Where did the boy go?” asked Maria)

The Basics: Changing a question to a statement

When we report a statement, we mentioned that we need to take note of the TPTP (Tenses, Pronouns, Time and Place). The same goes for reporting a question. However, the main difference in reporting a question is the need to change the structure of the question into a statement.

The first thing you need to do is to understand the difference between a statement (ends with a full stop or an exclamation mark) and a question.

The structure of a statement is usually: Subject + Verb

E.g. She (S) is (V) coming.

The structure of a question is usually: Verb + Subject

E.g. Is (V) she (S) coming?

Hence, when you report a question into a statement, a switch needs to be made from a question to a statement:

V + S (“Is she…”)  —>  S + V (“She is/was…” depending on the Tenses of the question.)

Reporting a Question

Exception – Missing Subject

If a subject is missing, there is no V + S to switch to S + V.

The reported speech will still sound like a question.

Reporting a Question

5W1H type of questions

For 5W1H type of questions, the “Who…”, “What…”, “Where…”, “Why…”, “When…”, “How…” etc. needs to be kept in the answer. Instead of adding “if” or “whether”, we begin our transformation with the W word.

Where is (V) she (S)? —> Where she (S) was (V)…

Reporting a Question

Do/ Does/ Did type of questions

For questions that contain “do”, “does” or “did”, we usually will omit them during the transformation. They are responsible for telling us the tenses but not necessary in the answers.

Reporting a Question

The above are the main types of questions and what to take note of when reporting a question. As mentioned earlier, the rules to change TPTP remains the same every time we change direct speech to indirect speech. However, as the structure of questions is essentially different from that of a statement, some children do find it harder to make changes for the tenses as it just seemed less obvious to them in a question form.

Below is a table on the change in tenses when applied to the reporting of questions. Hopefully, it will give you some clarity on how the changes take place!

Direct and Indirect Speech

As always, having practice to accompany what is learnt is vital to reinforcing the knowledge! Thus, make sure that you practise some questions to apply what you have learnt (:

I will be putting up a new post next week, possibly a vocabulary list on words that every pupil should know in order to have a good chance in understanding and answering the questions in Visual Text Comprehension. Look out for it! (:

Are you a Wooden, Bronze, Silver or Golden Skill-wer?

Try the Synthesis and Transformation Quiz consisting of 5 questions and determine your skill level.

Become a Golden Skill-wer today!



Synthesis Skill-wers

1. 30 over bite-sized video lessons! (On Golden Rules for synthesis and focused question types)

2. Unique strategies to tackle a wide range of synthesis question types e.g. Active/Passive voice, Direct/Indirect Speech, No sooner had… than…, Not only… but also etc.

3. Topical worksheets accompanying each video consisting of at least 5 questions + A bonus 20-question quiz upon completion of course! (over 150 practice questions in total)

Synthesis and Transformation

Mrs Chew

With her passion to create relevant and easy-to-understand materials for the lil’ ones, Mrs Lily Chew works alongside her team of teachers to design the Lil’ but Mighty curriculum. Constantly looking at best educational practices and thinking of ways to improve the curriculum, Mrs Chew finds pure joy in unlocking creative and different ways of helping each child achieve his or her personal best.

Have something to share? Drop us a comment below!

Leave a Reply

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest

Other related posts

Let’s Go On A Learning Journey | Two Awesome Places To Visit During the December Holidays!
The First Write Recipe Workshop at Greenridge Primary School!
Understanding IF Conditionals!
Fans of Fiction: 3 Websites to Check Out This Holiday
NYT Copy-Edit This: Free Editing Resource
3 Writing Skills to Start Nurturing from Primary 2
5 Ways to Start a Primary School Composition
2 Common Errors to Avoid When Sharing Oral Stories
4 Lively Literary Devices to Use in Your Compositions
Comprehending Comprehension: 3 Pitfalls to Avoid When Understanding Questions
3 Composition Techniques You Can Reap From Reading
Conquering Correlative Conjunctions in Sentence Synthesis: 3 Commandments to Comply with
Drawing From Your Own Experiences To Write Well In Primary School Compositions
Proud of Singlish But 4 Mistakes You Should Avoid in Formal Assessments
3 Fun Ways to Foreshadow in a Primary School Composition
I Love Reading | 3 Tips for Reluctant Readers
Steps to Score Well in Situational Writing for PSLE English
5 Commonly Confused Pairs (or is it Pears?)
Activities for the Holidays!
Between Two Commas: How to Deal with Extra Information
Continuous Writing: 3 Specific Things to Check For!
PSLE English Specialist Teacher Wanted!
Paper 2: Don’t Lose the Marks Everyone is Getting!
5 Graphic Novels To Check Out This Holiday
Authentic Learning Activity | Editor on the Move!
Free News Sources for Kids
Holiday + Learning = Fun!
Primary 4 Marching Onto Primary 5: Changes You Need to Know for English
Continuous Writing | 4 Tips to Address the Topic
Reading | Video: A Totto-ly Delightful Read!
4 Fun & Interactive Classroom Display Tools!
Teachers Who Love English, We Want You!
Comprehension Cloze: Let’s Collect Common Collocations
3 Tips to Stop Run-On Sentences in Creative Writing
Killing 2 Birds with 1 Stone: Revise Synthesis and Grammar With These 4 Question Types!
Primary School Vocabulary: Confuse, Confused, Confusing? Which is Which?
Introducing: Mighty Monsterella!
Study Smart! | 3 Revision Tips for Primary School Students!
Announcing the Winner of our ‘Queen of Your Heart’ Mother’s Day Contest!
Accuracy in Situational Writing: Check for These 3 Things!
Comprehension | 6 Steps to Tackle “Support With Evidence” 2-Part Questions
Last Comprehension Question (3 Types) in your Primary School Examination Paper
3 Ways to Express Appreciation Using English (Father’s Day Special)
3 Good Study Habits for Primary School Students
Announcing the Winner of our ‘A Poem for Dad’ Father’s Day contest!

Like what you are reading?

Subscribe now to receive news and tips hot off the press!

Primary School English Tuition| Lil' but Mighty English