GRAMMAR 10: INDIRECT QUESTIONS

GRAMMAR 10: INDIRECT QUESTIONS

Happy Wednesday everybody! It´s time for grammar and today we´re going to talk about indirect questions. When do you have to use them? What´s the difference between a ‘normal’ question and an indirect one? What´s its structure? This grammar issue is a piece of cake, isn´t it? If you don´t agree, you must read this post. Are you ready? Go on!

DEFINITION

First of all, what´s an indirect question? An indirect question is a more formal and polite question.

Secondly, when/why do you use an indirect question? You use it when you want to be more polite, especially when talking to a person you don´t know very well. For example, in professional situations or asking for help in the street.

Thirdly, what´s the structure of an indirect question?

WH-QUESTIONS

To make a question more polite you often begin: Could you tell me…? /  Do you know…? / Would you be so kind as to tell me…? The word order changes to subject + verb, e.g. Do you know where the bank is? NOT Do you know where is the bank?

YES/ NO QUESTIONS

If the question begins with an auxiliary verb, add if (or whether) after Could you tell me…? / Do you know…? You also use this structure after Can you remember…? e.g. Can you remember where Sarah lives? / Can you remember when Kate´s birthday is?

 

 

EXAMPLES

DIRECT QUESTION: Where´s the hospital? INDIRECT QUESTION: Could you tell me where the hospital is?

DIRECT QUESTION: Is there a police station near here? INDIRECT QUESTION: Do you know if there´s a police station near here?

DIRECT QUESTION: Does this bus go to London? INDIRECT QUESTION: Could you tell me if this bus goes to London?

DIRECT QUESTION: What time does the bakery close? INDIRECT QUESTION: Do you know what time the bakery closes?

 

 

REMEMBER THAT YOU CAN USE INDIRECT QUESTIONS IN ALL VERBAL TENSES

e.g.

Present continuous

DIRECT QUESTION: Is the bookshop closing now? INDIRECT QUESTION: Can you tell me if the bookshop is closing now?

Past continuous

DIRECT QUESTION: Were you having a shower at 2 pm? INDIRECT QUESTION: Can you tell me if you were having a shower at 2 pm?

Present perfect

DIRECT QUESTION: Has Marc been to Scotland? INDIRECT QUESTION: Can you tell me if Marc has been to Scotland?

Future perfect

DIRECT QUESTION: When will the painter have finished the painting? INDIRECT QUESTION: Can you tell me when the painter will have finished the painting?

 

 

NOW, YOU!

EXERCISE

Make indirect questions:

1.What time is it? ___________________________________________________________________

2.Is Jack at work today? ______________________________________________________________

3.Where are the toilets?______________________________________________________________

4.Does this train go to Rome?__________________________________________________________

5.Is there a bakery near here? __________________________________________________________

6.Where can I buy something to eat? _____________________________________________________

7.What time does the museum open? _____________________________________________________

 

 

And that is all for today. Do you have any doubts? If so, leave us a comment. Once more, thank you for visiting our blog!

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teacher