Direct to reported speech

The customer said to the tailor, “Will you have the suit ready by tomorrow evening?”
How should the sentence be recast in reported speech?

The customer asked the tailor if…

Thanks!

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… if he will have the suit ready by the end of the next day.

I would not use any form of reported speech here.

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Thanks, Torsten.

The customer asked the tailor if he will have the suit ready by the end of the next day.

Can “asked” be used with “will” and “the next day”?

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Sure, I don’t see why it can’t be used.

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’The customer asked the tailor if he would have the suit ready by evening the next day.’ could be the normal reported speech.

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Torsten, the usual practice in reporting a direct speech requires the changes suggested by Kohyoongliat.

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Sure, this is probably still formally correct but in everyday English you will hear the version I suggested at least as frequently.

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…if he will have the suit ready by the end of the next day.

I think, in spoken English, “… by evening of the next day.” is more usual, as written by Anglophile.

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Yes, Torsten, surely among journalists.

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Hi Torsten,

I partly agree with you, however, Anglophile’s version makes much more sense to me, since the time indication “by tomorrow evening” requires a past tense. Yet, I would rephrase Koohyoongliat’s sentences as follows:

  1. The customer said to the tailor, “Could/ Can you have the suit ready by tomorrow evening?”
  2. The customer asked the taylor if he could have the suit ready by tomorrow evening.
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  1. The customer said to the tailor, “Could/ Can you have the suit ready by tomorrow evening?”

  2. The customer asked the tailor if he could have the suit ready by the next evening.

In reported speech, using asked “tomorrow evening” should be changed to “the next evening”, just as “tomorrow” would be changed to “the next day”.

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That’s true, Koohyoongliat. I’m sorry, my mistake.

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Also, I used could/ can, because those two modals are used when asking someone to do or to provide something. Would is used to refer to an intention from a point of view of the past.

e.g.: I asked him to stop smoking in my presence, but he wouldn’t. (= he refused)

Now, as far as my two sentences are concerned, I would use could rather than can, because could is a more polite form of can.

I hope my information is useful.

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