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Grammar Challenge


- Practice quiz 1


- Practice quiz 2


- Use the grammar
Grammar challenger Masa from Japan

Indirect questions
There's more than one way to ask a question. Indirect questions are more polite and don't need a change in word order in the main question.

Our challenger is Masa from Japan who plays the role of a Tour Rep passing on questions from a rude tourist in a more polite form to a hotel receptionist.


Listen to the programme!

Find out more
We use indirect questions to make our requests or questions softer or more polite. After the question word (where, when, who, how, etc) indirect questions have the same word order as positive statements.

Direct question
Where's the nearest bank please?

When is the last train on a Saturday night?

How much do two tickets cost?

Why can't you come in to work?

Indirect questions

Could you tell me

Do you know

Have you any idea

Would you mind telling me

where the nearest bank is please?

when the last train is on a Saturday night?

how much two tickets cost?

why you can't come in to work?


Download Nuala's grammar explanation and table (pdf - 32 K)

Download this programme (mp3 - 1.8 MB)
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Take the challenge
Now it's your turn to practise indirect questions. Go to our quiz page on this subject here.

Meet us Useful links Next episode

Nuala and Callum

Flatmates - Indirect questions
Malvern House *

*The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites

Catherine and William return and explain the use of 'to', 'for' and 'so that' when talking about the reasons for doing something.

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