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Are such words unacceptable? We can't say:

Tell me, what time is it now?
or
I forgot, how long will your trip last?

can we?

Or are the following affimative sentences with indirect questions the only possibility?

Tell me what time it is now.
I forgot how long your trip will last.

As I learnt from the answer and comments, such questions are pretty acceptable in AmE. So the question is if they are also suitable for British English.

  • 1
    "Tell me" is an idiom (merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tell%20me). "I forgot" is used in a similar way; compare to "you know" (merriam-webster.com/dictionary/you%20know). – KannE Apr 19 at 18:54
  • @KannE: thank you for the examples! They are very useful, but is that used in British English (a question to all who know as well)? – Artyom Lugovoy Apr 19 at 19:20
  • I'm sorry; I'm not familiar with BrE. If you specify BrE in your title and/or question, that might attract someone who knows though. Good luck; good evening. – KannE Apr 19 at 23:21
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    Expressions such as "tell me" or "I forgot" used to initiate a discussion or introduce a question are extremely common in BrE. They are a type of discourse marker such as "well", or "you know": thoughtco.com/discourse-marker-or-dm-1690463 . – Shoe Apr 20 at 8:35
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    In the UK, far from their being the only possibilities "Tell me what time it is now" sounds quite rude in isolation and "I forgot how long your trip will last" is a statement rather than a question. I would expect the second one to be followed by a direct question such as "How long is it going to be?". Your examples with the introduction separated from the question by a comma is much more common and acceptable. – BoldBen Apr 20 at 10:22
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I don't believe their use is unacceptable. It looks as if you are writing down what someone said. I cannot imagine how they could be considered wrong.

  • Thank you, Elliot! So does it mean that in speech it's used without doubt? – Artyom Lugovoy Apr 19 at 17:32
  • The only way to find out is to use it and see the reaction. I would not stop to ask what was meant if you were to use these in speech. – Elliot Apr 19 at 17:35
  • Well, but you can also not stop me if I make some mistake, at least out of politeness. But that doesn't mean that everything is all right. :) – Artyom Lugovoy Apr 19 at 17:38
  • Language like everything else is a social process. We look inward to what we know and are comfortable while exploring outward to what is unknown and has yet to be mastered. Polite interaction is the means to achieve this. – Elliot Apr 19 at 17:43

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