Reported Requests

A request is when somebody asks you to do something – usually politely. Reported requests are one form of reported speech.

direct request reported request
She said: "Could you open the window, please?" She asked me to open the window.
He said: "Please don't smoke." He asked them not to smoke.

We usually introduce reported requests with the verb "ask". The structure is very simple:

ask + noun + to infinitive
  • We asked the man to help us.
  • They asked us to wait.

Because we use the infinitive there is no need to worry about tense. But as with reported statements and reported questions, we may need to change pronouns as well as time and place in reported requests.

Here are some examples:

direct request reported request
I said politely, "Please make less noise." I asked them politely to make less noise.
She has often said to me, "Could you stay the night?" She has often asked me to stay the night.
They said to the architect: "We'd like you to meet us here tomorrow." They asked the architect to meet them there the next day.
She will certainly say to John, "Please stay for lunch." She will certainly ask John to stay for lunch.
She always says, "Please don't forget me." She always asks me not to forget her.
Notice above that we report a negative request by using not.

Contributor: Josef Essberger