Indirect or Embedded Questions:


Indirect or embedded questions are another type of interrogative construction.

Unlike direct questions that are explicitly stated, indirect questions are embedded within a sentence or statement.

These questions are often more polite or formal than direct questions.

Here’s how to create and structure indirect questions with examples:






Begin with a declarative statement or another sentence type.

Introduce the embedded question with an introductory phrase such as

I wonder, Could you tell me, Do you know,  or similar expressions.

Form the embedded question using a standard word order for questions.

End the sentence with a period or appropriate punctuation.




I wonder where he went.

In this example, the declarative statement I wonder is followed by the embedded question where he went.

This is a more polite way of asking about someone’s whereabouts.



She asked if I could lend her a pen.

Here, the introductory phrase She asked is followed by the embedded question if I could lend her a pen.

This structure is used to make a request indirectly.



Could you tell me what time it is?

The sentence starts with the polite request Could you tell me, followed by the embedded question what time it is.

This is a more indirect way of asking for the time.



Do you know whether they have arrived?

In this case, the sentence begins with the question Do you know, followed by the embedded question whether they have arrived.

This structure is often used to seek information indirectly.








Embedded questions are commonly employed in formal or polite contexts where a more indirect approach is preferred.

The use of introductory phrases signals to the listener that a question is being asked, even though the sentence may not follow a traditional question format.

This form of questioning is useful in situations where directness may be considered impolite or overly assertive.







Indirect / Embedded Questions

Tag Questions (Interrogative Sentence)

Alternative Questions (Interrogative sentence)

Yes/No Questions (Interrogative Sentence)

Wh-questions (Interrogative Sentence)

Types of Interrogative Sentences

Subject Pronoun/ “One” and “They” as subject meaning