An indirect question can be more formal and polite than a direct question.
This form uses an introductory question or phrase with the question you want to ask in sentence format after it. The difference is that the verb goes after the sentence as it would in a positive sentence.
Direct question: Where IS the bank?
Indirect question: Could you tell me where the bank IS?
Introductory Questions: Introductory Phrases:
Could you tell me…? I wonder if you could tell me…
Could you let me know…? I wonder if you know…
Do you know…? I would like to know…
- Could you tell mewhere the bank is?
- Could you let me knowwhen you are available for an appointment?
- Do you knowhow much a ticket is?
Notice that after the introductory question, we use a phrase/sentence.
- I wonder if you knowwhere the bank IS.
- I wonder if you could tell mewhen you ARE available for an appointment.
- I would like to knowhow much a ticket IS.
Note that there is no question mark at the end of the question phrase.
If your indirect question gets a yes/no answer in the direct form, then we use If/whether after the introductory question or phrase. If it doesn’t get a YES/NO answer, then you use the question word that you would use in the direct form.
- Could you tell me if/whether the train leaves from this platform? (Does the train leave from this platform?)
Could you tell me what time the train leaves?
Exercise 1.- Grammar
Change these direct questions into Indirect questions.
a) Where is the post office?
b) Is there a library near here?
c) Does your city have a swimming pool?
d) When is the next train?
e) Is there a cinema in the shopping centre?
f) Why is the plane delayed?
g) How old are you?
h) When is your birthday