Exercise 3

Turn these direct questions into indirect questions.

EXAMPLE: Where is the shop?Can you tell me where the shop is?

1 Where is he from?

Do you know ?

2 How many countries has he travelled to?

I wonder .

3 Where did you go?

Can you tell me ?

4 Have you finished the report yet?

I'd like to know .

5 Does he go out very often?

I've no idea whether .

6 Who was she talking to?

I wonder who .

7 Where is the nearest station?

Could you tell me where ?

8 Why can't you help your new colleague?

Would you mind telling me why ?

9 What is our new boss like?

I'd like to find out what .

10 How could you do that?

I don't know how .



Indirect questions

We normally use indirect questions, when we want to be more polite. We begin the question with expressions such as Can you tell me …? Could you tell me …? Do you know …? Would you mind telling me … ? 

  • What time is it? (direct question)
  • Could you tell me what time it is? (indirect question)

In indirect questions the order is subject + verb.

  • Do you know where I can find a bank? (NOT … where can I find)
  • Can you tell me what time the shops close? (NOT … what time do the shops close)

There are other expressions that follow the same rule:

  • I don’t know what he is doing here. 
  • I wonder when he will find the truth.
  • I’m not sure when I can come. 
  • I’d like to know where you left the documents. 

For yes-no questions (when there is NO question word), we can use both if or whether:

  • Do you know if/whether he’ll be here soon?