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Reported speech of imperative sentences requires use of either "infinitive" or "object+infinitive".Which one to choose if both the options are available in an MCQ. Consider the following direct speech

"Call the first witness", said the Judge.

Which one of the following options we should go with for the reported speech of the above sentence?

1. The Judge commanded to call the first witness.

2. The Judge commanded them to call the first witness.

Please explain any change in meaning in the two cases, if any. I am going with option 1 but the book is with option 2.

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If you don't specify "object+infinitive", it can sound like "everyone/anyone present" is meant. Context can override this.

John asked who had the ball. (Sounds like John asked everyone who was around who had the ball. But if previous sentences were saying that John was talking to someone specific, that specific person might be assumed.)

The Judge commanded to call the first witness. (Since this is a context where a procedure is being followed, and also a legal context, reader/listener is going to assume the judge commanded "someone" to call the first witness.)

In the second sentence, someone not paying attention might still wonder "which side's lawyer is calling the first witness?" unless you specified that in earlier sentences.

So, it's most clear and least ambiguous if you include the object pronoun.

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