Questions tagged [indirect-question]

A sentence that reports a question and ends with a period rather than a question mark

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27
votes
7answers
94k views

“I can't seem to” vs “I can't”

I am wondering why would someone say "I can't seem to" instead of simply saying "I can't". Is there any specific difference between the two? Is the former usage informal? Is it correct to say that the ...
7
votes
5answers
4k views

Is the inversion in “Let’s see ʜᴏᴡ ᴄᴀɴ ᴡᴇ do this” an error for “Let’s see ʜᴏᴡ ᴡᴇ ᴄᴀɴ do this”?

I’m reading about the C++ Boost library, and the following sentence from Boost.ORG drew my attention: Once the two steps have been successfully completed, the process can start writing to and ...
6
votes
5answers
66k views

What is the correct punctuation for an indirect question?

I'm wondering how it is correct to structure sentence and what punctuation should be used. In particular, is the next sentence correct: I was wondering if there's any progress on the issue. Or ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Indirect “be” question; word order

Caveat: There are a great number of similar questions I have found, but none has explained this specific thing. If the answer does exist and I have overlooked it, please let me know. So, I was under ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Where does the verb go on this question? Is it even a reported question?

I understand that when I report a question, I put the subject back in front of the verb, as in: "He asked if she was going to be late." But I always get puzzled when it comes to reporting a question ...
4
votes
5answers
2k views

“What's” in indirect questions

Lets consider the following: The book doesn't explain, "What's the wisdom behind education?" Changing this to an indirect question becomes the following: The book doesn't explain what the ...
4
votes
5answers
2k views

Long subjects in indirect questions

I know that to indirectly ask: What is your name? I should say something like: I don't know what your name is. But what if the subject of question is longer than "your name"? Something like: ...
4
votes
1answer
85 views

Is there a name for this type of double speak?

My colleague will indirectly ask me to do something by using a statement Eg. John needs a form = can you print me a form to fill out on behalf of John. Her tone of voice does not indicate it's a ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Word order for subordinate questions

I know subordinate questions have no inversion. Should this sentence: "Do you know what are the good things to do around here?" be "Do you know what the good things are to do around here?" ...
3
votes
3answers
144 views

Do two clauses have to be separated by a comma in a question?

Here is an example: He wondered who stole his television and why a calling card was left behind. Do I need to separate the two clauses (e.g. with a comma between 'television' and 'and')? Any ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

“Tell me why I should marry you” or “Tell me why should I marry you?”. Which is correct? [duplicate]

I have always followed the former rule, i.e, "Tell me why I should marry you" (without a question mark). But my cousin insists the latter is correct. He seems equally confident that he is correct. So ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

Alternative to Indirect Questions

The syntax for indirect questions is that the verb goes after the subject such as, I am wondering what the time is. If not asked as an indirect or embedded question, what punctuation would you use ...
2
votes
2answers
613 views

Inversion/non-inversion in wh-questions with long phrases after the wh-words

Can a sentence like this: "I don't know who the first man that made such and such thing in such and such place was," be grammatically correct if we don't put "was" at the end of the long phrase, ...
2
votes
1answer
122 views

“Which embodiments the embodiments refer to IS / ARE unclear”

I'm working on a translation with a few variations of this sentence: Which part the underlined "drawings" refer to is unclear. However, this has tripped me up: Which embodiments the underlined "...
2
votes
2answers
589 views

Question mark after “I don’t know what you want from me.”?

I’m getting mixed messages on which of the following punctuations is correct: I don’t know what you want from me. I don’t know what you want from me? It seems to be both an indirect question, ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Should an embedded question be set in quotation marks?

For example, given the following sentence, is it proper to set the enclosed question in quotation marks? The first question to ask is, “should quotation marks be used?” Any additional comments ...
1
vote
2answers
307 views

“What is it exactly you do do?” [duplicate]

In a Twin Peaks episode you can hear the following question: "So, Mr. Wheeler, what is it exactly you do do?". It seems to me quite weird. Is it correct? I suppose that the purpose of the second do ...
1
vote
1answer
715 views

When do “direct” and “indirect” questions become the same? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “I'm not sure what the right way is” Direct and indirect questions are not usually the same: What is your name? I don't know what your name is. But ...
1
vote
0answers
21 views

Indirect/Direct speech, Is/was: Another thing I wanted to ask is to whom I should submit

I am completely at a loss here. I know it's the basics, but do I say: Another thing I wanted to ask is to whom I should submit the paper or Another thing I wanted to ask is to whom should I ...
1
vote
1answer
57 views

Using punctuation within a question to create a pause

Is it possible to create a long pause (confusion) in the following question. 'You're maybe wondering how could that be. That she is considering running away?' Between 'be and that', I was ...
1
vote
1answer
124 views

Who do you think is he? [closed]

What is the question (do you think) inside the main question? Is there any name given to this sentence (do you think)? Is it correct to say "Whom do you think is he?"? If not, then, why?
1
vote
1answer
112 views

(in)direct question after the copula

I'm wondering which of the following options is correct in writing: The question is how do we improve our French. The question is, how do we improve our French? The question is: How do we improve our ...
1
vote
0answers
222 views

Indirect question vs objective clause

Which is right: Do you think it's a good idea to visit in mid August? Or Do you think if it's a good idea to visit in mid August? On one hand, if viewed as indirect question, if should not be ...
1
vote
2answers
5k views

Indirect questions using “do you think”

When we ask an indirect, closed question we usually use if: Will he be home soon? Can you tell me if he'll be home soon? Do you know if he'll be home soon? Why do we not use if with do ...
0
votes
1answer
85 views

Have I transformed this reported speech correctly? [closed]

She asked the teacher what should she do. Should it read as - She asked the teacher, What has to be done? Please explain why the sentence might be incorrect.
0
votes
1answer
35 views

Reported questions [closed]

In reported questions, there is a simple rule of changing the order of the sentence into a non question order. like "what's the dinner" changes to "she asked me what the dinner was". However, ...
0
votes
1answer
34 views

Indirect Questions [closed]

How do you transform this question into indirect form? Who will be the new replacement teacher? Then the transformation is: Can you please tell me who the replacement teacher will be? Or ...
0
votes
1answer
222 views

wish to know what the correct order is

Here is a quote out of the novel "The Heiress": "...and it would have been difficult to decide who was the most gratified of the three; certainly Helen was not the least so." Shouldn't the correct ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

Should I use the question sign in a phrase started with “I'm wondering…”?

Is it correct to use the question sign ? for indirect questions started with the phrase "I'm wondering"? For example, I am wondering if you know his name? Formally this is not a question, ...
0
votes
0answers
75 views

“How” as relative adverb or indirect question

Today I'd like to ask you about the "practical" interpretative way of "how". That is, do you really distinguish a use as relative adverb from the one as indirect question?; For in spite of academic, ...
0
votes
0answers
58 views

“How will history remember” vs “How history will remember”? [duplicate]

Context: there is a war going on. Actual use: A difficult winter is heading their way. But Jonas means to change all that. He finds himself wondering how will history remember this day. MS Word ...
0
votes
1answer
434 views

Indirect questions and the word order

I am bit confused by the use of Indirect questions in the sentence. Moreover, it is being very difficult for me to use backshift method for interrogatives. In the given sentence, please tell me if ...
-1
votes
2answers
18k views

Word order: “Tell me what is your opinion on this matter” or “Tell me what your opinion on this matter is” [duplicate]

Tell me what is your opinion on this matter. Tell me what your opinion on this matter is. Which one is correct? I understand the word order in the sentence like I want to know where she is. But ...
-1
votes
1answer
23k views

Punctuation following “My question is…” [duplicate]

Forgive me if this has been asked before (if it has been, I couldn't find it) What punctuation, if any, should I use after "My question is..."? For example, My question is why is ice so slippery? ...
-1
votes
0answers
21 views

parse of “I'm not sure who to turn to for advice.”

I'm not sure who to turn to for advice. 1) "To turn to for advice" is not a relative clause. 2) "Who" is not a relative pronoun for the relative clause "to turn to for advice". 3) "Who to turn to ...
-1
votes
1answer
63 views

Indirect question using the verb “amount to”

A amounts to B. Which of the following is the correct form of indirect question related to the above sentence? 1) Could you tell me to what A amounts? 2) Could you tell me what A amounts to? ...
-2
votes
1answer
705 views

What's the best way to write a reported question? [closed]

Which of the following is correct: People ask me, what Google.com is? or People ask me, what is Google.com?