Reported speech in the present tense

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Reported speech in the present tense

When using reported speech, or restating something said by someone else (style indirect), we use que (that).
Il dit : « Il fait beau aujourd’hui. »
He says: ‘The weather is nice today’.
Il dit qu’il fait beau aujourd’hui.
He says that the weather is nice today.
Je te répète : « Je ne suis pas fâché. »
I’m telling you again: I’m not angry.
Je te répète que je ne suis pas fâché.
I’m telling you again that I’m not angry.
Je sors et je rentrerai après dîner.
I’m going out and I’ll be back after dinner.
Je dis que je sors et que je rentrerai après dîner.
I’m saying that I’m going out and that I’ll be back after dinner. (Note that we must repeat que before each verb.)

When repeating or reporting questions that begin with a personal pronoun or est-ce que, we use si (if, whether). Note that these are generally ‘yes/no’ questions.
Tu vas venir ?
Are you going to come?
Je demande si tu vas venir.
I’m asking if you’re going to come.
Est-ce que tu seras là demain ?
Will you be there tomorrow?
Il vous demande si vous serez là demain.
He’s asking you if you will be there tomorrow.
Il va déménager ou il va rester ?
Is he going to move or stay where he is?
Je (me) demande s’il va déménager ou s’il va rester.
I wonder whether he is going to move or stay where he is.

When repeating or reporting questions that begin with qu’est-ce que or qu’est-ce qui, we use ce que or ce qui (what).
Qu’est-ce que tu dis ?
What are you saying?
Je demande ce que tu dis.
I’m asking what you are saying.
Qu’est-ce qui lui prend ?
What’s gotten into him?
Je demande ce qui lui prend.
I’m asking what’s gotten into him.

When repeating or reporting questions that begin with adverbs, we use the same adverb again.
Quel âge a Victor ?
How old is Victor ?
Je te demande quel âge Victor a (ou quel âge a Victor).
I’m asking you how old Victor is.
Comment s’appelle-t-il ?
What’s his name?
Je me demande comment il s’appelle.
I wonder what his name is.
D’où viennent tes amis ?
Where are your friends from?
Je te demande d’où sont tes amis.
I’m asking you where your friends come from.

Important: In the examples above, we don’t invert the subject and verb in a reported question when the subject is a pronoun (je, tu, il, etc). We can, however, invert the subject and verb when the subject is a noun (Victor, le chien, le travail, etc.). (Note that this inversion is not possible with pourquoi and ce qui.)
Quel âge as-tu ?
How old are you?
Je te demande quel âge tu as. (and not: Je te demande quel âge as-tu.)
I’m asking you how old you are.
Quel âge a Victor?
How old is Victor?
Je te demande quel âge a Victor. (more common) or
Je te demande quel âge Victor a.
I’m asking you how old Victor is.


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