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I wonder if the following is an example of an indirect question where the order of the subject and predicate doesn't get reversed like a direct question.
Ex. "He told me about what the most useful books were."
Thank you for your help in advance.
I can't see the absurdity. Is it also absurd to claim that "Is your name Jack?" is a question and "Your name is Jack" is not?
Are you claiming that both "I asked her if she'd marry me" and "She said she would marry me" are both indirect questions, and that it's absurd to differentiate between them? My view is that the first is a question, and second is a reply (and furthermore, not a question).
There are plenty of good websites that explain what indirect questions are and why "He told me what the matter was" is not a question of any sort.
Raymott, you consider the whole complex sentence as an indirect question: He asked what the matter was. In my opinion it's only the reported clause 'what that matter was' that should be labelled as an indirect question.
I think you understand indirect questions in a rather straightforward way: What's the matter? (direct) - He asked me what the matter was. (indirect).
The original question (What's the matter?) can have various realizations in reported speech:
I didn't know what the matter was.
I couldn't see what the matter was.
He told me what the matter was.
All these sentences give different reports on 'what the matter was'. They all contain this question as a topic in their semantic structure.