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

Question asked of me: "Did you know that girl?"
Reported: He asked me if I had known the girl.

But what about the case where the question has a with a wh-clause?

As in:

"Do you know where...?"

"Do you know where I can get a handmade knife?"

If the above question sounds correct, why doesn't the one below?

Do you know where can I get a handmade knife?

I'd like the name for the grammar involved here, and an explanation of why the word order is switched.


2 Answers 2


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
    Commented Sep 22, 2018 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
    Commented Sep 22, 2018 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. Commented Sep 23, 2018 at 6:54

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