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Indirect Questions 01 - Sentences for your Grammar! - Useful Language
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Back Indirect Questions (Oral Drill 01)

Listen! Listen external link to this episode at the Talking People Podcast

A direct question involves the use of a question mark and a S + V word order. An indirect question involves no question mark whatsover and then the same word order we would use in affirmative or negative statements (as opposed to questions). Indirect questions are introduced by a reporting sentence like “I can’t remember”, “I don’t know”, “We don’t understand”, “I can’t imagine”...

Where is that street?
Where does he live?

I don’t know where that street is.
I don’t know where he lives.


Sentence 1:
Reporting sentence

Sentence 2: Reported Sentence

Link: Interrogative pronoun/adverb (+?)

Subject

Predicate

I don’t know

who

it / she

is

 

“who” here is also the subject

is coming

 

what

you

mean

 

 

they

said

 

“what” here is also the subject

happened

 

how

they

did it

 

 

I

got here

 

where

I

left my keys

 

 

that street

is

 

when

it

starts

 

 

the meeting

is

 

why

you

are so upset

 

 

they

didn’t call me

 

how many

people

are coming

 

how many beers

we

need to get

 

how much

it

is

 

how much time

we

have left (we’ve got)

 

how long

he

is planning to stay

 

 

we

will be away

I can’t remember

who

came

 

who

we

met

 

what

was going on

 

what

we

did that day

 

where

we

went that day

 

when

we

met

 

why

we

argued

 

how far

the place

was

 

how much

it

was

 

how many presents

we

bought

 

how often

we

visited that museum

 

what

it

was like

 

what

my grandpa

was like

 

what

Paris

felt like

 

what

living there

felt like