Direct to Indirect Speech of Imperative Sentence

It is easy to change the narration of an imperative sentence if you follow the rules described below.

What is an Imperative sentence?

An imperative sentence is a command, request, order, proposal, suggestion, or advice. It begins with a verb and ends with a full stop. 
Rules of Changing Direct Speech to Indirect of Imperative Sentences
It is easy to change an imperative sentence from direct to indirect speech. Let us see how we can do that.

General Rules

1. Inverted commas are omitted in the Indirect Speech.

2. Words that express nearness are often changed into the words expressing remoteness. 

3. Persons of pronouns of the reported speech may be changed.

Changing Reporting Verb

Reporting verb is changed into tellcommand or orderrequest or beg or entreat or askforbid according to the sense of the speech.

Joining Reporting & Reported Speech

Reporting verb and Reported speech are joined by Infinitive 'to'.


When the reporting verb has an object:

Direct: He said to me, "Do it now".
Indirect: He told me to do it then.
Direct: Father said to me, "Never go there".
Indirect: Father ordered me never to go there.
Direct: The teacher said to us “Do not tell a lie".
Indirect: The teacher forbade us to tell a lie.
or, The teacher advised us not to tell a lie.
Direct: The man said to me, "Please help me”.
Indirect: The man requested me to help him.

When the reporting verb is without object:

Direct: They said, "Come again.”
Indirect: They told (asked) me (someone) to go again.

When there are vocatives:

Direct: The captain said, "Soldiers, march on".
Indirect: The captain commanded the soldiers to march on.
Direct: The leader said, "Friends, listen to me".
Indirect: Addressing them as friends, the leader requested them to listen to him.
Direct: The student said to the headmaster, "Excuse me, Sir".
Indirect: The student begged the headmaster to excuse him.

When there is ‘let us’ in the direct speech, it indicates proposal or suggestion:

Direct: He said, "Let us do it".
Indirect: He proposed or suggested that they should do it.
Direct: He said to me, “Let us go there".
Indirect: He proposed to me that we should go there.

Note: Reporting verb is changed into propose or suggest. Should is used for 'let'

When there is 'let me/him/her’ etc. it does not indicate proposal:

Direct: He said, "Let him do it".
Indirect: He said that he might (or might be allowed to) do it.
Direct: The boy said to me, "Let me read now".
Indirect: The boy told me that he might read then (or might be allowed to read then).

Note: Reporting verb is changed according to sense, 'let' is changed into might / might be allowed to

When ‘let' indicates request or order:

Direct: He said to me, "Please let me go there".
Indirect: He requested me that he might be allowed to go there.
or, He requested me to let him go there.
Direct: The teacher said to the boy, "Let your friend do it".
Indirect: The teacher ordered the boy to let his friend do it.
Direct: He said, "Let me have some milk".
Indirect: He wished that he might have some milk.

Reporting Verb
Linking Word
Verb + Object
Let us
Let me/ him/ her/ them