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What are “Indirect Questions”? Grammar Review Audio


What are Indirect Questions?

Indirect questions are a part of everyday English. Sometimes,  we hear statements that seem to be a little confusing.

Direct questions are rather simple to create. Indirect questions are a little more complicated, but easy to use with a little practice.

Direct and Indirect questions are used when we don’t know the answer and need information. Indirect questions are more polite.

It is common to start an indirect question with “Can” or “Do.” Remember that “Can” is often used with more urgency while “Could” is more polite.

We often use “If” in our sentence as well. There are simple rules to follow.

Here are “Direct and Indirect” Question Examples.

Where is the bus station? A direct question.

Do you know where the bus station is? An indirect question.

Do you know if there is a bus station near here? An indirect question with do + if.

Can you tell me where the bus station is? An indirect question with can.

Can you tell me if there is a bus station near here? An indirect question with can + do.

Could you tell me where the bus station is? An indirect question more polite using could.

Could you tell me if there is a bus station near here? A more indirect polite question with could + if.

Excuse me? Could you tell me where the bus station is? Very polite with excuse me.

Excuse me? Could you tell me if there is a bus station near here? Very polite with could + if.

Question words like “What, when, where, who, why and how” are used to ask questions at the earliest stages of study.

As you study English at the higher levels, you will see how common indirect questions really are.

Listen to native English speakers closely. Using indirect speech is considered more polite. However, this is not always true!

In everyday spoken English, intonation is very important. We can infer feelings, directness, attitude, urgency, and more with intonation. Ask your teacher to help you with this interesting subject!

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Indirect Questions Everyday Dialog.

At the earliest stages of English,
we use positive statements.
My name is Bill.
When we start asking questions.
What is your name?
That’s a little more challenging.
And the negative as well. So.
Positive is the easiest.
Negative is the second.
And questions would be the third
most challenging in the English language.
Might be one reason to study those
question words and maybe
some of this grammar.
This particular grammar here is
all about a pre-intermediate.
Possibly a B-1 level and
intermediate and above.
Where is the bus station?
Very direct. Right?
You walk up to somebody.
You’ve got to get to
the bus station.
You’re not sure.
You’re in another city.
And you say;
Hey! Where is the bus station?
Very direct.
Now look at this one.
Excuse me! Do you know
where the bus station is? So.
“Do you know?”
I’m actually asking for your
knowledge but this is truly
an indirect question.
Instead of just walking up and say;
Hey! Where is the bus station?
I might say;
“Do you know where the bus station is?
You see how much more
polite that sounds.
Do you know if there is
a bus station near here?
Now this might be because I
don’t know where the bus station is.
I have no idea whatsoever.
The last question was all about
possibly, I know that there is
a bus station in
this area somewhere.
And could you help
me with that maybe. So.
This is an indirect question
with “do and if.”
Hey! Do you know if there’s
a bus station near here?
Can you tell me where
the bus station is?
In this case, “can” is
a little more direct.
This is an indirect question
with can and probably, I might
have an idea that there is a
bus station in this area.
Can you tell me if there
is a bus station near here?
Because I don’t know. You see? So.
“Can you tell me if.”
Another great way to ask
an indirect question
with “can and do.”
Could you tell me where
the bus station is?
This is an indirect question
and it is definitely more polite.
Remember! We talked about the words
“Can and could.”
Could is more polite and less direct.
Could you tell me if there
is a bus station near here?
This is “could with if.” So.
Could you tell me “if” there is
one because I don’t know.
This is not my city.
Excuse me! Could you tell me where?
Now here I used “excuse me.” Right?
This is very polite.
A very nice way of asking someone.
And that might be the best way to
ask somebody instead of
being very direct.
Excuse me, could you tell me if
there is a bus station near here?
Could you tell me if there is a
food store near here?
And this is very polite
with “could and if.”
“Question words” like;
“what, when, where,
who, why and how”
are used to ask questions
at the earliest stages of study.
These are all about
asking questions when
we first learn English.
As you study English at the higher
levels, you’ll see how common
indirect questions really are. So.
And this is. This might be a
little bit about bridging grammar,
grammar bridge, etc.
Listen to native
English speakers closely.
Using indirect speech is
definitely considered more polite.