How to Make Embedded Questions
An embedded question is a part of a sentence that would be a question if it were on its own, but is not a question in the context of the sentence:
There are two types of embedded or indirect questions:
- Embedded Questions within Questions
- Embedded Questions within Statements
- I don’t know where she has gone.
- Could you tell me where the bank is?
- Can you tell me where the gas station is?
- We need to know where you live
- Do you know what type of clothes they were wearing?
- Can you remember where the movie theater is?
Common Introductory Phrases
These are some common introductory phrases for embedded questions
|I wonder if…||I wonder if you could help me out|
|Could you tell me …?||Could you tell me where the station is?|
|Do you know …?||Do you know how to ride a bike?|
|Can you remember…?||Can you remember where you left it?|
|We need to know…||We need to know where you are|
|I am not sure||I am not sure where you were last night|
|Can you tell me…?||Can you tell me where he lives?|
Direct Questions vs Indirect Questions
Here we can see several examples of direct questions and indirect questions.
|Direct Questions||Indirect Questions|
|What time is it?||Can you tell me what time it is?|
|Where is she?||Could you tell me where she is?|
|What’s her name?||Do you know what her name is?|
|Who is a doctor?||I wonder who is a doctor|
|What is she doing?||I wonder what she is doing|
|Can she win?||Can you tell me whether or not she can swim?|
These are examples of how direct questions change into indirect questions.
|Tense||Direct Question||Indirect Question|
|Verb to be||Where is she?||Do you know where she is?|
|Simple Present||Where does he work?||Can you tell me where he works?|
|Verb to be||Was he sick?||Do you know if he was sick?|
|Simple past||What did he win?||Could you tell me what he won?|
|Present Perfect||Where have you been?||Can you tell me where you have been?|
|Future Continuous||Are you going to play||Can you tell me if you are going to play|
|Future with will||Will she be there?||Could you tell me if she will be there?|
|Modal Should||Should we start now?||Do you know if we should start now?|
Indirect Questions and Contractions
Do not use a verbal contraction at the end of the sentence when you make embedded or indirect questions.
|Where is she?||Do you know where she is?|
|who are they?||Can you tell me who they are?|
|What’s her name?||Could you tell me where her name is?|
|How tall are they?||Could you tell me how tall they are?|
Whether and If in Indirect Questions
These are some examples that show how whether and If are used in indirect questions
|Direct Question||Indirect Question|
|Are you tired?||They asked me whether I was tired|
|Do the rooms have showers?||They asked whether the rooms have howers or not|
|Are you sick?||They asked if I was sick|
|Do the rooms have cable TV?||They asked if the rooms have cable TV.|
|is the Doctor available?||Could you tell me if the doctor is available?|
Embedded Questions Exercises
These are some embedded questions exercise that can help you achieve your goals
- Embedded Questions Quiz
- Embedded Questions Quiz
- Embedded Questions Exercises PDF
- Indirect Question Exercises PDF
- Indirect Questions – Grammar Challenge PDF
- Embedded Questions Exercises and Test