Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Episode 76 – Grammar – Indirect Questions

Indirect questions can be confusing, so I decided to go over them with you guys.

We use question marks when the first part of the sentence is a question. Have you any idea what time he’s coming?

When there is no question word (who, what, where, etc), we use if/whether. I’d like to know whether you agree.

Use

We use indirect questions in more formal situations and to be more polite. We can also use indirect questions to ask a big favor from someone we know well.

Dad, I was wondering if I could take the car tonight.

Form

I’d like to know why you came.

I wonder what you prefer.

Do you know whether they won?

Could/can you tell me what the problem is?

In the second part of these sentences, we do not put the verb before the subject.

I wonder if you could tell us what you thought of the show.

Complete the second sentence so that it has a similar meaning to the first sentence, using the word given. Use between two and five words.

  1. How long did it take to figure out where your hotel was? TOOK

Can you tell me how __________________ to figure out where your hotel was?

2. Why did you decide to give the picture away? WHY

Can I ask _________________ the picture away?

3. Was she talking to her parents? WHETHER

I’d like to _______________________ to a friend.

Podcast

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