May I please check how to convert the following direct speech to indirect?

Mary asked me "can you do it"?

2 Answers 2


Mary asked me if I could do it if the conversation was in the past.

If it was a recent conversation and 'it' still hasn't been done, Mary asked me if I can do it might be more appropriate.

Note that, in direct speech, the quoted words should begin with a capital letter - "Can you do it?"


A few different ways you can do this.

I heard mary ask "can you do it?"

Mary said "can you do it?" to him.

She said "can you do it?".

There are definitely other ways, but it just comes down to you playing around with the words. I'd be happy to help further if you provided more text.

  • 2
    These are not indirect speech because they still quote the speaker's words. Commented Apr 24, 2022 at 13:55
  • I heard Mary ask "Can you do it?" uses standard punctuation (the offsetting introductory comma being surely considered optional nowadays), but is still in 'direct speech' format, as Kate says. Using the quotative verb say before a direct question is non-standard unless one is stressing a person's actual wording ('No, Mary didn't use the verb perform, she said "Can you do it?" ') Commented Apr 24, 2022 at 14:15

You must log in to answer this question.

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