I said, ''Are there any biscuits? "

If I change this sentence into reported speech,

I asked if there are any/some biscuits.

I wanted to know whether or not I need to change words used only in question such as ''any'' for embeded question.


1 Answer 1


You likely need a change from 'are' to 'were' in the transformation below:

[Quotation]: I asked, ''Are there any biscuits?"

[Report]: I asked if there were any biscuits.

It makes sense with some consideration: you ask 'are there?' right now in the present (call this time X); the quotation reflects exactly what you say. But when reporting it at a future time, X has already passed, so the past tense is needed.

One exception: if you're emphasizing that you just gave an unanswered question. Consider this exchange:

Alex: "Are there any biscuits left?"

Sam: "What? I didn't catch that..."

Alex: "I asked you if there are any biscuits left."

Note that in this case, we're discussing the present state of the biscuits, not the past state, even in the reported speech on the last line.

  • Can I need to change ''any'' to ''some''?
    – Aung Thu
    Oct 5, 2017 at 14:59
  • No, you don't need to change any to some. That part can stay exactly the same.
    – stangdon
    Oct 5, 2017 at 15:15

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .