Key words such as nouns and main verbs are usually stressed in English. In direct question with a question word, this question word is stressed, along with other key words. Yes / no questions tend to use rising intonation at the end to show it as a question.
What did you buy? Did it cost a lot?
Polite indirect questions tend to be longer and have reduced stressed on the question heads. Weak forms of the words link together and sounds are left out.
Could you tell me how you decided?
Listen for the key words within the reduced forms of these longer questions.
- Listen and read the questions. Identify the key stressed words.
- Can you tell me if you bought anything unplanned?
- I wonder if I could ask you a few questions?
- Can you tell me why you decided to come shopping today?
- Can you tell us how these biases can be avoided?
- To follow up on that, would you mind telling me how much money you spent on this trip?
- So on the basis of what you just said, if i understood correctly, you don’t have a specific budget when you go out shopping….is that right?
- Could you please explain what choices you made in terms of actual stores, and what were the determining factors in those choices….