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Learn about Indirect Questions

indirect questions 'do you know what time it is?'

Indirect Questions ...

... are a polite way of asking a question. For example:

What time is it? (normal)

Do you know what time it is? (polite)

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?

Would you mind telling me if you are married?

This table shows how to make indirect questions.

Question phrase Q Word Subject + Verb
Can you tell me
Could you tell me
Do you know
Would you mind telling me
you love?
he was late?
we are going?
you can swim?

Now look at these examples:

Do you like him?

Can you tell me if you do like him? x

Can you tell me if you like him?

We use 'do' to make a normal question in the present simple, but we don't use it in an indirect question because we only need Subject + Verb.

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

I don't know
I can't remember
I understand
he left.
I did it.
you said.

Indirect Question practice Next Lesson: Question Tags