1 Direct speech: He said to me,"will you please help me?

Answer 1: He requested me to help him.

Answer 2: He asked me if I would help him.

Which one is correct? I am confused if we consider first one correct than if we reconvert indirect into direct than it can be : He said to me,"please help me."

if we consider 2 answer is correct than its direct speech can be:He said to me,"will you help me?

2 The boy said to me, “Will you lend me your books?” (Sense of request)

Answer 1: The boy asked/requested me to lend him my book.

Answer 2: The boy asked me if I would lend him my book.

I have same problem in this too. In these sentences they are both interrogative and imperative. So when we convert them into indirect speech which rule should we follow one that is for interrogative or one that is for imperative direct speech?

1 Answer 1


The problem you see here is caused by your having outgrown the “rules” you were taught.

Teachers commonly treat “indirect” speech as a representation of the original speaker's actual words, because that makes it much easier to explain how the “backshift” of verbforms works.

In some cases sentences of the form X says/said Y stick as closely as possible to the original speaker's actual words, but there is no requirement to do so. What the subordinate clause Y in such a sentence expresses is the content of the original speech, not necessarily its form. For instance, I may quite legitimately write:

Hamlet asks himself whether it is more honorable to endure ill-treatment or to resist it.

In fact, Hamlet asks nothing at all like this: he asks

Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
And by opposing end them.

So you cannot recreate the original speech from the indirect or reported version. Likewise, there is no “rule” governing how you report a speech like “Will you please help me?”or “Will you lend me your books?”—you have many choices open to you. And there is no conflict within your sentence pairs—they report the same content in different ways.

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