Read about using indirect questions. Then, when you are ready, try these indirect question practice exercises.

Using indirect questions

Indirect questions are a way to make questions more polite. For example:

What time is it? (normal question)
Do you know what time it is? (polite, indirect question)

 If a question doesn't begin with a word like who or what or how often, we use if instead. For example:

Are you married? (normal question)
Would you mind telling me if you are married? (polite, indirect question)

How to make indirect questions

Question phrase + question word + subject + verb (in the correct tense)

Can you tell me when you finished?

Could you tell me who Maria is?

Do you know if Tom is coming to the party?

Would you mind telling me where you have been?

Now look at these examples:

Do you like him?

Can you tell me if you do like him?

We use do to make an object question in the present simple, but we don't use it in an indirect question - just use the normal positive (or negative) verb form.

We use a similar structure with other expressions to talk about questions when we don't actually want an answer. For example:

I don't know how she did that!
I can't remember where the station is.
I understand why you said that.


Now try these indirect question practice exercises.