Emedded Questions

Miscellaneous - Lesson #6

Some sentences act like questions. They are sentences, but they are actually asking a question.

Here are the most common sentence patterns.
  • I don't know…
  • I can't remember…
  • I have no idea…
  • I don't know why…
  • Tell me…
  • I am not sure…
  • I was wondering…
  • I am curious…
We use noun clauses to express the questions after these expressions. Because embedded questions are actually sentences, we should use sentence word order.

Remember to use "if" or "whether" with yes/no questions. Look at some examples.
  • "Did she leave?"
    I have no idea if she left.

  • "Has she been to Europe?"
    I can't remember if she has been to Europe.

  • "Will it rain?"
    I am not sure if it will rain.

  • "Is she coming?"
    I am not sure whether she is coming or not.
Use question words for regular questions.
  • "Where is the bank?"
    I don't know where the bank is.

  • "Why do people like it?"
    I don't know why people like it.

  • "What do you do?"
    Tell me what you do.
"I was wondering…" is an important sentence to learn. We use "I was wondering…" to ask for help or a favor. It is very polite and you can use it in almost any situation to ask for help or a favor in an indirect and polite way.

It is often used when asking for help, a favor, or permission with yes/no questions as "I was wondering if…" or "I was wondering if I could…" or "I was wondering if you could…"
  • I was wondering if I could move to a different room.
  • She was wondering if she could turn in her homework one day late.
  • I was wondering if you could lend me $20.
  • We were wondering if you could help us.
Note: We use the past tense "was/were", but we are not talking about the past. Think of it like this; I was wondering, but now I am asking.

Make sure that you understand this English grammar well. It is important to know if you want to speak English fluently.