I would like to know what is the correct answer when changing the sentence below into reported speech.

Did the doctor see Sarah yesterday?’ Lucy asked her dad

To my understanding, backshifting to past perfect is the correct option, as I think the main verb in the question is in the past simple. How would you express it?

My proposed solution: (Apparently it is not right)

Abigail asked her dad if the doctor had seen Sam the day before.

  • 2
    How do you know it’s not right? You also changed the names of the people discussed- could that be related to it not being right?
    – Mixolydian
    Jun 4, 2019 at 22:38
  • 2
    I don't see anything wrong with it. Some people would prefer whether to if, but I don't think anybody would count if as wrong.
    – Colin Fine
    Jun 4, 2019 at 22:40

1 Answer 1


Your proposed solution

Abigail asked her dad if the doctor had seen Sam the day before.

seems quite acceptable to me, leaving aside the name changes (Lucy -> Abigail ; Sarah -> Sam) which do not affect the grammatical form at all.

"whether" could be used in place of "if", and "the previous day" could be used in place of 'the day before". The second change might appeal to the same sorts of people who do not like sentences to end with a preposition. But i do not see either change as being required, nor do I notice any other error.

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