I know that when we are reporting a question in our sentence in reported speech, the question mark shall be removed, like this :

Question asked from me : Did you know that girl?
Reported : He asked me If I had known the girl?

So far is everything clear, but what about when my purpose is to ask a question with a wh-clause as a dependent clause ?

like this : Do you know where ....?

Do you know where I can get a handmade knife ?

If the above question sounds to be right, why doesn't the one below?

Do you know where can I get a handmade knife?

To be more exact I want to find a complete explanation and am looking for the grammatical term referred to in my question.

  • 1
    You should not put a space before the colon in English. – tchrist Sep 21 '18 at 17:24
  • 1
    But in your reported version, you haven't removed the question mark. (So, things are not clear at that point.) – Jason Bassford Sep 21 '18 at 17:32

The rule is simple: if the main clause is question then the sentence counts as a question and you put a question mark, So

Do you.. ?

He asked.. .

But I'm not sure what you are looking for a grammatical term to describe. (Note no question mark in that sentence!)

  • I am looking for the form of the sentence after the relative pronoun in an interrogative form, shall it be declarative or again interrogative despite the question form of what has been behind the pronoun– – third 3rd Sep 22 '18 at 20:54

In regards to your last question... You are essentially asking:

Do you know X?

In this case, X is the bit of information about where I can get a handmade knife. That part is not a question but rather a description of a piece of information you're seeking.

If you drop the Do you know part, then, yes, your question would need to be:

Where can I get a handmade knife?

In the first example, the part beginning with where is not a question; in the second one, it is.

  • Firstly thanks, then let me make it clear to myself. When my intention is to ask a question,in case of"Do you know..." the rest after the relative pronoun must be in declarative form , and NOT in interrogative form, am I right? – third 3rd Sep 22 '18 at 20:55
  • Yes, when you ask Do you know..., it needs to be followed by the a statement of the information about which you're asking, not another question. – Roger Sinasohn Sep 23 '18 at 6:54

Do you know [where I can get a handmade knife]?

The bracketed constituent is a subordinate interrogative clause (embedded question). Note that there is no subject-auxiliary inversion.

While main clause interrogatives typically ask questions, subordinate interrogatives express questions but do themselves ask them. Usually, the construction can be glossed with the formula "the answer to the question":

"Do you know the answer to the question 'Where can I get a handmade knife?'"

  • Will the person who marked my answer down step forward and say why. – BillJ Sep 22 '18 at 6:21
  • So you basically say the following is correct but the one coming after it is not, am I right? Do you know the answer to the question where can I get a HM knife? - Do you know where I can get a HM knife? Should the subordinative clause be in the interrogative form or not ? – third 3rd Sep 22 '18 at 20:11
  • @third3rd No, subordinate interrogatives do not have subject-auxiliary inversion, so "Do you know [where I can get a handmade knife]? is correct. We use the gloss to explain the meaning. – BillJ Sep 23 '18 at 13:05

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