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Thread: English Teacher

  1. Mark Bol

    English Teacher

    Could you please explain to me the meaning of indirect questions and some examoles? I also would like to know if there's a place to find it on the internet.

    Sincerely Mark.

  2. Editor,
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 59,811

    Re: English Teacher

    An indirect question is something that requires an answer like a question, but is not phrased as one:
    I was wondering whether you would like to come with us tonight.
    The actual qeustion is 'Would you like to come with us tonight?', but it has been rephrased in such a way that it doesn't require a question mark at the end, though the listener would be expected to answer yes or no in the same way.

    • Join Date: Feb 2007
    • Posts: 52

    Re: English Teacher

    Hmmm. A minor controversy to begin:

    Direct questions are such as:
    1. Who ate my apple?
    2. What is your favourite movie?
    3. When will the bus arrive?
    4. Where is my book?
    5. Why is he here?

    Note that these sentences are constructed with your 'wh-words.'

    Indirect questions are such as:

    1. Can you tell me who ate my apple?
    2. Will you tell me what your favourite movie is?
    3. Do you know when the bus will arrive?
    4. Why won't he tell me where my book is?
    5. Can't anyone tell me why he is here?

    What drives students nuts is the way the verb 'jumps around' when you 'convert' a direct question into an indirect question:

    'Where is the train station?' becomes 'Can you tell me where the train station is?' not 'Can you tell me where is the train station?'

    The controversy is as follows: some teachers and some grammars would class as an indirect question the following:'He asked me what I did yesterday.' I don't class this as a question. I would teach you that a structure such as 'what I did yesterday' is (a) nounal (so it can be slotted in anywhere that a noun may grammatically go, and (b) that this type of structure is built around a wh-word.

    Mark in Perth

    What drives ESL students nuts i

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