Grammar

Included Questions/Indirect Questions

Included Questions/Indirect Questions
Included Questions/Indirect Questions

Mostly we ask directly our questions to get information, but to be polite and soften our question, we include our question inside another question.

Included Questions/Indirect Questions

Indirect questions are used to ask someone in a more polite way as well as to give them an option whether or not they know, want, or remember to answer your question.

  1. We use indirect questions when we don’t know the person very well or when we are trying to be polite.
  2. We use if/whether, when the answer is yes/no.

Phrases to form included questions/indirect questions

The following interrogative phrases below could be used to form included/indirect questions.

Do you know?

Can you tell me?

Could you tell me?

Do you remember?

Do you have any idea?

Included Questions in Yes/No questions

Some rules to be followed:

1. Omit the auxiliary verbs (do, does, and did,) while changing a direct question to included question.

2. Use the word (if/whether) instead of the auxiliary verb in included question.

3. Change the verb form to affirmative according to its tense.

4. Use one of the above interrogative phrases according to the condition and logic.

5. Use the word (if/whether) directly after the interrogative phrase.

6. Change the interrogative verb form to affirmative and bring it after the word (if/weather).

Look at the examples:

  • Does she go to school every day? (Direct question)

Let`s change it to the indirect question

Does she go to school every day?

Do you know if she goes to school? (Indirect question)

  • Did Bismo teach us the indirect questions yesterday? (Direct question)

Let`s change it to indirect question.

Did Bismo teach us the indirect questions yesterday?

Do you remember if Bismo taught us the indirect questions yesterday?

Negative auxiliary verbs in included questions/indirect questions

Do not omit the negative auxiliary verbs (don`t, doesn`t, didn`t) while changing a negative sentence.

Interrogative sentence to indirect question

1. Do the inversion (exchange the positions of subject and negative auxiliary verb).

2. Use the word (if/whether) after the interrogative phrase that you want to use for the indirect question.

Look at the examples:

  • Don`t you want to stay here? (Direct question)

Don`t you want to stay here?

Could you tell me if you don`t want to stay here? (Indirect question)

  • Doesn’t she like Pakistani food? (Direct question)
  • Do you have any idea if she doesn`t like Pakistani food? (Indirect question)
  • Didn`t he come to the class yesterday? (Direct question)
  • Do you remember if he didn`t come to the class yesterday? (Indirect question)

3. Do not omit the auxiliary verbs (is, am, are, have, has and modal auxiliaries)

4. Change the positions of subject and auxiliary verb.

5. Use the word (if) after the interrogative phrase that you want to use for the indirect question.

Look at the examples:

  • Are they coming tomorrow? (Direct question)
  • Do you have any idea if they are coming tomorrow? (Indirect question)
  • Have you ever eaten the taco? (Direct question)
  • Do you remember if you have ever eaten the taco? (Indirect question)
  • Has she passed the test? (Direct question)
  • Do you know if she has passed the test? (Indirect question)
  • Can Kristy speak Dari? (Direct question)
  • Do you know if Kristy can speak Dari? (Indirect question)
  • Will your brother come here? (Direct question)
  • Can you tell me if your brother will come here? (Indirect question)
  • Should I wait for you? (Direct question)
  • Could you tell me if I should wait for you? (Indirect question)

Included questions in Information/WH questions

Remember that direct questions are often considered rude while speaking to strangers. To sound more polite we often use indirect questions. Indirect questions serve the same purpose as direct ones but are considered more formal. Below are the rules.

1. If we do not begin a question directly but begin it with something like: Can you tell me…………..? Do you know……….? I wonder if………..?

The word order is the same as in an affirmative statement.

  • Direct question: What is he doing?
  • Indirect question: Do you know what he is doing?
  • Direct question: Where have they been?
  • Indirect question: I wonder where they have been.

2. If the direct question contains do, does or did, we omit it in the indirect question.

  • Direct question: What do you want?
  • Indirect question: Can you tell me what you want?
  • Direct question: When did she leave?
  • Indirect question: Do you know when she left?

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