Embedded & Indirect Questions

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Embedded & Indirect Questions


Embedded questions are a polite way of asking a question, in a way that is not so abrupt:

Who are you?

Can I ask you who you are?


Where do you live?

Could you tell me where you live?


The embedded and indirect question does not have the structure of a question (no auxiliary, subject before verb).


Indirect questions are used when you mention a question somebody has asked you- it is not a question:

Who are you?

She asked who I was.


Where do you live?

I asked where she lived.


This is the same, with only one difference: Put the sentence one tense back:


will – would

goes – went

was – had been



1. How is her father?

Could I ask you….

I asked her….


2. Will it rain tomorrow?

Would you mind telling me if….

I was asked if….


3. Has John seen Sarah?

Do you know if….

We asked them if….


4. Does Simon like carrots?

I’d like to know if……

They asked us if….


5. What time did the meeting finish?

Could you tell me what time….

We asked our boss….


(1….how her father is?/…how her father was. 2…it will rain tomorrow?/…it would rain tomorrow. 3….John has seen Sarah?/…John had seen Sarah. 4…Simon likes carrots?/…Simon liked carrots. 5…the meeting finished?/…the meeting had finished.)



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