Questions: Direct/indirect

1st Part
Yes or No

2nd Part
Wh questions

3rd Part
Direct / Indirect

4th Part
Tag questions

Grammar in use

  • Topic : Direct and indirect question
  • Skills : Grammar


What is a a direct question?

A direct question is a type of question that directly asks for information, clarification, or confirmation from someone. It is usually structured as a sentence that ends with a question mark and often starts with a question word like “who,” “what,” “where,” “when,” “why,” “which,” or “how.” Direct questions are often used in conversations, interviews, surveys, and polls to obtain specific information from the person being questioned.

Here are some examples of direct questions:

Who is coming to the party tonight?
What time does the movie start?
Where did you go on vacation last year?
When is your birthday?
Why did you quit your job?
How do you make your famous lasagna?

In each of these examples, the question is asked directly, and the answer is expected to provide specific information in response.

What is an indirect question?

An indirect question is a question that is embedded within a larger sentence, rather than being asked directly. Unlike a direct question, an indirect question does not use a question word order (such as “who,” “what,” “when,” “where,” “why,” or “how”) at the beginning of the sentence.

Instead, an indirect question often uses a declarative statement order, with the question expressed as a clause within the sentence.

For example:
Direct question: What time is it?
Indirect question: Can you tell me what time it is?

In this example, the indirect question is embedded within the larger sentence “Can you tell me.”
The direct question “What time is it?” is still being asked, but it is done so indirectly.

Here’s another example:
Direct question: Where is the nearest gas station?
Indirect question: Do you know where the nearest gas station is?

Again, the direct question “Where is the nearest gas station?” is embedded within the larger sentence “Do you know.”
The sentence is still a question, but it is asked indirectly.

 A special word order (Verb Subject Object) is used to form choice questions.

Examples of choice questions:
Do you want to go to the movies or stay home tonight?
Are you going to wear the blue shirt or the green one?
Will you have a salad or soup as a starter?
Should we take the train or drive to the conference?
Would you like pizza or pasta for dinner?

How to make Wh questions?

If you ask about the subject of the sentence, just add the question word at the beginning:The concert starts at 7 pm. → What time does the concert start?
If you ask about the predicate of the sentence (the part of a sentence which contains the verb and gives information about the subject), there are three options:You are going to the store. → Are you going to the store?
The movie starts at 7 pm. → Does the movie start at 7 pm?
They have already left. → Have they already left?
She should call her mother. → Should she call her mother?

The three main types of direct questions are:

1. Yes/No questions: These are questions that can be answered with a simple “yes” or “no” response. For example, “Did you eat breakfast this morning?”
2. Wh-questions: These questions typically start with one of the question words like who, what, when, where, why, or how. For example, “What did you eat for breakfast this morning?”
3. Tag questions: These are questions that are added to the end of a statement to confirm or clarify something. For example, “You ate breakfast this morning, didn’t you?”

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