Indirect questions

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The indirect question is really not a question at all. In a direct question, we put the auxiliary verb before the subject. If there is no auxiliary verb, we put do before the subject.

Read the following sentences.

In an indirect question, the auxiliary verb does not come before the subject; nor does it use the auxiliary do.

Read the following sentences.

We do not use question marks after an indirect question. Indirect questions cannot stand alone. They are always used as part of a bigger sentence.

Exercise

Turn the following direct questions into indirect using the introductory clauses given.

1. (I would like to know) 'What are your plans?'

2. (He wants to know) 'Why do the French eat frogs'

3. (I wonder) 'Why don't you listen to me?'

4. (I still can't figure out) 'What does she want?'

5. (Can you tell me whether) 'Is that '

Answers

1. I would like to know what your plans are.

2. He wants to know why the French eat frogs.

3. I wonder why you don't listen to me.

4. I still can't figure out what she wants.

5. Can you tell me whether that is true? (This sentence is itself a question. So we use a question mark after it.)

Note: You can use your own introductory clauses. But be sure that the sentence makes sense.

Sections in this article

Causative use of Have New!
Absolute adjectives New!
Shall and Will: What to use? New!
Parallel construction New!
Two-word verbs
Negative questions
Double Negatives
Correct use of the present perfect tense
Correct use of the present perfect continuous tense