Reporting speech that used the imperative in French

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Reporting speech that used the imperative

Reminder: when reporting words or thoughts, we generally keep the same conjugated verb.
Est-ce que vous irez à l’anniversaire de Victor ?
Will you go to Victor’s birthday?
Je vous demande si vous irez à l’anniversaire de Victor.
I’m asking whether you will go to Victor’s birthday.
J’ai perdu mes clés.
I’ve lost my keys.
Gérard dit qu’il a perdu ses clés.
Gérard says he’s lost his keys.
However, when the words or thoughts are originally in the imperative (used to give instructions or commands), we use ‘de’ followed by the infinitive.
Laissez-moi tranquille !
Leave me alone!
Il nous demande de le laisser tranquille.
He is asking us to leave him alone.
Ne reviens jamais !
Never come back!
Il m’a prié de ne jamais revenir.
He asked me never to come back.
Asseyez-vous !
Sit down!
Il vous dit de vous asseoir.
He is telling you to sit down.
Note: We can also use the infinitive to avoid repeating the subject of the verb.
Je suis malade.
I’m sick.
Il affirme être malade / qu’il est malade.
He maintains that he is sick.
J’ai attendu trois heures.
I waited for three hours.
Elle dit avoir attendu / qu’elle a attendu trois heures.
She says she waited for three hours.

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