Indirect Questions

  • Incorrect: She asked was I interested.
  • Correct: She asked if I was interested. / She asked whether I was interested.
  • Incorrect: He asked that where are you going.
  • Correct: He asked where I was going.

Explanation: Indirect yes / no questions are introduced by if or whether. Note the word order: in indirect questions the subject comes before the verb. In direct questions the verb comes before the subject.

  • Direct question: She asked, ‘Where are you going?’
  • Indirect question: She asked where I was going. (NOT She asked where was I going?)
  • Incorrect: James said if he should I wait.
  • Correct: James asked if he should wait.

Verbs like say and tell cannot be used to introduce indirect questions. Instead, we use a verb like ask.

  • Incorrect: Alice asked to James why he was angry.
  • Correct: Alice asked James why he was angry.

We do not use a preposition between ask and its object.


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