Skills

Levels

Embedded Questions

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Embedded questions are questions within another statement or question. They function as noun clauses and as such should generally follow statement, not question, order.

What time is it?

I know what time is it.

I know what time it is.

Where did she go?

I don't know where did she go.

I don't know where she went.

What does he do for a living?

I wonder what does he do.

I wonder what he does.

Who is she?

Can you tell me who is she?

Can you tell me who she is?


(question order)

(Incorrect)

(Statement order: S+ V)

(Question)

(Incorrect)

(Correct)

(Question)

(Incorrect)

(Correct)

(Question)

(Incorrect)

(Correct)

When using adjectives as complements, it is okay to use question order for embedded questions:

Who's hungry?

I wonder who is hungry.


(Question)

(Okay)

In some cases, depending on the focus of the sentence, question order may be used:

Who is the doctor?

I know who the doctor is.

Who is a doctor?

I know who is a doctor (and who is not).

See also :

Grammar : Complex Question Formation, Noun Clauses

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Last updated: 15 February, 2010 02:43:16