INDIRECT AND DIRECT QUESTIONS




In more formal situations we often use indirect questions because they sound more polite.

For example: Could you tell me whether he’ll back soon?

Sound more polite than: Will he be back soon?


Compare the following direct and indirect questions:

Direct: What did she want? - Indirect: Do you know what she wanted?
Direct: Where was it? - Indirect: Do you remember where it was?
Direct: Will they come? - Indirect: I wonder if they will come.

-          We use if or whether in indirect questions when there isn’t a question word.

-          In indirect questions, if and whether are the same: Do you know if/ whether we asked Alex Ross to come?

-          We don’t use if and whether with: Do you think…? Do you think he’s changed his password?

-          In indirect questions, the main verb is in the positive form. We say: Do you know if we asked Alex Ross to come. NOT: do you know if did we ask Alex Ross to come?

More examples:

Can you tell me
Could you tell me
I'd be interested to hear
I'd like to know
Would you mind telling me

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