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Indirect questions

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Indirect questions
Direct questions are the regular questions that we can ask.
For example:
  • Where's the bank branch?

Indirect questions are a little more formal and polite.
We use them when talking to a person we don't know very well, or in professional situations.
For example:
  • Could you tell me where the bank branch is?

Phrases For Indirect Questions

Could you tell me…
Do you know…
I was wondering…
Do you have any idea…
I'd like to know…
Would it be possible…
Is there any chance…

More Examples
  • Direct: What is the interest rate?
  • Indirect: Could you tell me what is the interest rate is?

In indirect questions with is/are, the verb (is) comes after the subject
  • Direct What time does the bank open?
  • Indirect: Do you know what time the bank opens?

In indirect questions, we don't use the verbs do/ did /does/.
Also, you can see that the verb is "open" in the direct question, and "opens" in the indirect question.
  • Direct: Why did you refuse cash payments?
  • Indirect: I was wondering why you refused cash payments.

Again, there is no verb did in the indirect question.
In fact, this indirect question isn't even a question – it's more of a statement that invites the other person to give more information.
  • Direct: Can you get a debit card by tomorrow?
  • Indirect: Would it be possible for you to get a debit card by tomorrow?

For direct questions with can, we can use the phrase "would it be possible…" to make it indirect.
  • Direct: Can we give up on cash completely?
  • Indirect: Is there any chance we could give up on cash completely?

"Is there any chance…" is another option for forming indirect questions with can.
"yes/no" in direct questions turn to "if" in indirect questions

For example:
  • Direct: Does Tom like using the new online payment application?Indirect: Do you know if Tom likes using the new online payment application?
  • Direct: Did your check the latest currency exchange rate?Indirect: Could you tell me if you checked the latest currency exchange rate?
  • Direct: Do they speak English?Indirect: I was wondering if they speak English.
  • Direct: Are you planning to split the bill?Indirect: I'd like to know if you are planning to split the bill.
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