Indirect questions

دوره: گرامر انگلیسی در شش دقیقه / اپیزود 21

گرامر انگلیسی در شش دقیقه

60 اپیزود

Indirect questions

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Could you tell us what you have learnt from Unit 21 so far? Have you any idea how you can ask indirect questions ? It might be a bit of a challenge, but dont worry. Here are Rob, Catherine and Mike to help you out.

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Catherine Hello and welcome to 6 Minute Grammar with me, Catherine.

Rob And me, Rob. Hello.

Catherine Today we’re talking about indirect questions.

Rob That’s right: Indirect questions. We’ll tell you what they are, how to make them and when to use them

Catherine There’ll a quiz at the end of the show, so listen carefully.

Rob Let’s start with a simple question. Catherine: What time is it?

Catherine It is 18 minutes past 11, Rob.

Rob And that question uses normal question word order. What - time - is - it? But there’s another way to ask that question. Let’s listen to Mike:

Mike Could you tell me what the time is?

Rob Yes, it’s still 18 minutes past 11! Thanks Mike. This is a much more polite way of asking a question. It’s called an indirect question and it has two parts. The first part is the phrase Could you tell me …

Catherine … and the second part is the question word what with the information we want to know. Here it is again:

Mike Could you tell me what time it is?

Catherine And there are lots of phrases that we can use in the first part of an indirect question. Here are some of them:

Rob Do you know….?

Mike Do you know when the film finishes?

Rob Have you any idea?

Mike Have you any idea where I left my phone?

Rob Would you mind telling me …?

Mike Would you mind telling me how this machine works?

Rob Now, let’s get a closer look at the second part of indirect questions. And it’s important to note that we don’t use question word order.

Catherine That’s right, the subject and verb are in the same order as they are in statements. So, we don’t say Can you tell me what time is it? We say Can you tell me what time it is? It’s subject - it - plus verb - is . Listen out for the statement word order in these indirect questions:

Mike Do you know when the film finishes?

Have you any idea where I left my phone?

Would you mind telling me how this machine works?

Catherine One more time please?

Mike Do you know when the film finishes?

Have you any idea where I left my phone?

Would you mind telling me how this machine works?

Rob Thanks Mike now, let’s talk about yes - no questions. Here are some direct questions.

Mike Is this coffee for everyone?

Does the canteen open for breakfast?

Can I use this computer?

Catherine Now, listen to the indirect questions. They use statement word order again, so listen out for that, and also listen out for the two words that come after the part one phrases.

Mike Do you know if this coffee is for everyone?

Do you know if the canteen opens for breakfast?

Do you know whether I can use this computer?

Catherine One more time please?

Mike Do you know if this coffee is for everyone?

Do you know if the canteen opens for breakfast?

Do you know whether I can use this computer?

Rob So, use if or whether in yes - no questions. The meaning is the same, but whether is a bit more formal than if .

IDENT 6 Minute Grammar from BBC Learning English dot com.

Rob And we’re talking about indirect questions.

Catherine That’s right, and we use indirect questions a lot in English, especially when we are talking to people we don’t know.

Rob Let’s recap: there are two types of indirect questions: those that use question words like what, where, when, why and how …

Catherine … and those that use if or whether .

Rob But all indirect questions have the same word order as statements.

Catherine They do. Now, a quick word about tenses. Listen to these direct questions.

Mike Does this programme finish soon?

Did a package arrive for me this morning?

Catherine The first question was in the present simple tense. We had the auxiliary does with the verb finish .

Rob And the second question was in the simple past, with the auxiliary did and the verb arrive . Let’s hear the indirect questions now.

Mike Can you tell me if this programme finishes soon?

Could you tell me if a package arrived for me this morning?

Catherine So, no does or did in the indirect questions. In the first question, it’s finishes in the present simple.

Rob …and in the second question, it’s arrived , in the past simple.

Catherine Simple!

Catherine And now: it’s quiz time. Number one. Which is correct? Is it a) Can you tell me where the coffee machine is? Or b) Can you tell me where is the coffee machine?

Rob It’s a) Can you tell me where the coffee machine is?

Catherine Good. Number two. a) Do you know if this machine does give change? Or b) Do you know if this machine gives change?

Rob It’s b) Do you know if this machine gives change?

Catherine And number three. Have you any idea what the time is? Or b) Have you any idea what is the time is?

Rob It’s a) Have you any idea what the time is?

Catherine Well actually, it’s time for the end of the show. Well done if you got those right.

Rob There’s lots more about this on our website at bbclearningenglish.com. Join us again for more 6 Minute Grammar soon.

Both Bye.

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