embedded questions

Embedded questions are questions that exist within full sentences, or inside other questions.

They are used to answer questions, or to ask questions in a less direct manner.

Examples of Embedded Questions

What is the time? (basic question)
Do you know what the time is? (embedded question)

Where did she go? (basic question)
I don’t know where she went. (embedded question)

Making Embedded Question Statements

To put an embedded question in a statement, the pattern is:

main statement + question word + subject + verb (+ object/preposition/compliment if necessary)

– Some common main statements:

I don’t remember…
I wonder…
Please tell me…
I’m not sure…

– examples:

1.
I don’t remember what the house looks like.

main statement = I don’t remember
question word = what
subject = the house
verb = look like

2.
I wonder if we have enough money.

main statement = I wonder
question word = if
subject = we
verb = have
object = money

3.
Please tell me how I get there.

main statement = please tell me
question word = how
subejct = I
verb = get
there = preposition

Making Embedded Question Questions

Questions containing embedded questions follow the same pattern as statements with enbedded questions, except the main statement becomes a main question.

– Some common main questions:

Do you know…?
Do you remember…?
Could you tell me…?

– examples:

1.
Do you know how I get to the train station?

main question = do you know…?
question word = how
subject = I
verb = get
compliment/object = to the train station

2.
Do you remember where we parked the car?

main question = do you remember…?
question word = where
subject = we
verb = parked
object = the car

3.
Could you tell me whether the bus has already gone?

main question = could you tell me…?
question word = whether
subject = the bus
verb = gone

Exercises

1. What are the simple questions being asked by these embedded questions?

– I don’t remember what time we got home.
– He isn’t sure whether they got the money.
– They are wondering whether you would like to come to the party.

– Do you remember how much the jacket cost?
– Could you tell me which bag is yours?
– Do you know which person hit you?

2. Make embedded statements or questions for these simple questions:

– Where is the exit?
– How many do you have?
– Is this yours?
– Why are you doing that?
– Who are you?