Embedded Questions Examples

Published on July 29, 2021 | Updated on March 31, 2024

An embedded question is a question that is reported to other people in speech or writing, rather than the exact words of the original question.

There are embedded questions and embedded sentences.

These are some examples of embedded questions:

  1. Could you tell me where the bank is?
  2. Can you tell me where the gas station is?
  3. Can you remember where the movie theater is?
  4. Do you know what type of clothes they were wearing?
  5. Do you remember what tool she took?

These are some examples of embedded sentences:

  1. I don’t know where she has gone.
  2. We need to know where you live
  3. I can’t tell you where she is
  4. I am not sure where she went
  5. We don’t remember where the house is?

Let’s explore in more detail all types of embedded sentences and questions you can make.

Embedded Questions: Introductory Phrases 

These are some common introductory phrases for embedded questions.

Introductory PhrasesEmbedded Questions Examples
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 sureI am not sure where you were last night
Can you tell me…?Can you tell me where he lives?

Embedded Questions: Examples

Here we can see several examples of Embedded Questions

Direct QuestionsIndirect 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?

Embedded Questions: Tenses

These are examples of how direct questions change into indirect questions.

TenseDirect QuestionIndirect Question
Verb to beWhere is she?Do you know where she is?
Simple PresentWhere does he work?Can you tell me where he works?
Verb to be Was he sick?Do you know if he was sick?
Simple pastWhat did he win?Could you tell me what he won?
Present PerfectWhere have you been?Can you tell me where you have been?
Future ContinuousAre you going to play Can you tell me if you are going to play
Future with willWill she be there?Could you tell me if she will be there?
Modal ShouldShould we start now?Do you know if we should start now?

Embedded Questions and Contractions

Do not use a verbal contraction at the end of the sentence when you make embedded or indirect questions.

For example:

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?

Embedded Questions: Whether and If

These are some examples that show how whether and If are used in indirect questions

Direct QuestionIndirect Question
Are you tired?They asked me whether I was tired
Do the rooms have showers?They asked whether the rooms have showers 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: Subject Questions

These are some examples of embedded questions based on subject questions

  • Who took the money?
  • I don’t know who took the money
  • What happened?
  • Can you tell me what happened?
  • Who called me?
  • Do you know who called me?
  • Who was first person in the scene?
  • Can you tell me who the first person in the scene was?

Embedded Questions

This is a good video to understand more about embedded questions

Embedded Questions Exercises

These are some embedded questions exercise that can help you achieve your goals

  1. Embedded Questions Quiz
  2. Embedded Questions Quiz 
  3. Indirect Question Exercises PDF
  4. Indirect Questions  – Grammar Challenge PDF
  5. Embedded Questions Exercises and Test

Manuel Campos

Manuel Campos

I am Jose Manuel, English professor and creator of EnglishPost.org, a blog whose mission is to share lessons for those who want to learn and improve their English