Indirect Questions for Politeness

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Indirect Questions for Politeness

  1. 1. INDIRECT QUESTIONS Maria Luisa Ochoa Huelva University
  2. 2. Indirect Questions <ul><li>* Direct questions are often considered rude when speaking to strangers. </li></ul><ul><li>* To be more polite we often use INDIRECT QUESTION FORMS . Indirect questions serve the same purpose as direct questions, but are considered more formal. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Indirect Questions using wh-words <ul><li>FORMULA : </li></ul><ul><li> Introductory phrase +  question word ( what, when, where, why, which … ) +  subordinate clause (positive sentence structure) </li></ul><ul><li>Direct question : Where can I find El Prado Museum? </li></ul><ul><li>Could you tell me where I can find El Prado Museum ? </li></ul><ul><li>Introductory question subordinate </li></ul><ul><li>phrase word clause </li></ul><ul><li>When using an indirect question, use an introductory phrase followed by the question itself in positive sentence structure . </li></ul>
  4. 4. Indirect Questions with yes/no questions <ul><li>FORMULA : </li></ul><ul><li> Introductory phrase +  if/whether ( what, when, where, why, which … ) +  subordinate clause (positive sentence). </li></ul><ul><li>Direct question : Are you travelling on business ? </li></ul><ul><li>Could you tell me if/whether you are travelling ? </li></ul><ul><li>Introductory if/whether subordinate </li></ul><ul><li>phrase clause </li></ul><ul><li>When using an indirect question, use an introductory phrase followed by the question itself in positive sentence structure . </li></ul>
  5. 5. Indirect Questions <ul><li>Here are some of the most common phrases used for asking indirect questions. </li></ul><ul><li>Do you know … ? </li></ul><ul><li>Can/Could you tell me … ? </li></ul><ul><li>Do you happen to know ...? </li></ul><ul><li>I wonder / was wondering … </li></ul><ul><li>I wonder if you´d mind telling me. . . </li></ul><ul><li>Would you mind telling me . . .? </li></ul><ul><li>Can I ask . . .? </li></ul><ul><li>May I ask you . . .? </li></ul><ul><li>I'd like to know ... </li></ul>
  6. 6. Examples <ul><li>Direct question: </li></ul><ul><li>Where's the tourist information office? </li></ul><ul><li>Indirect question: </li></ul><ul><li>Could you tell me where the tourist information office is? </li></ul><ul><li>-------------------------ooooo-------------------------- </li></ul><ul><li>Direct question: </li></ul><ul><li>Do you like flying? </li></ul><ul><li>Indirect question: </li></ul><ul><li>Could you tell me if you like flying? </li></ul>
  7. 7. Can I ask you when you are going to invite me to go to the USA? When are you going to invite me to go to the USA?
  8. 8. Would you mind telling me what the purpose of your visit is? What is the purpose of your visit?
  9. 9. Can you tell me how you got to the airport? How did you get to the airport?
  10. 10. Answers to Exercise practice.page 19 <ul><li>…… .what the time is? </li></ul><ul><li>…… .when the next flight to Amsterdam is? </li></ul><ul><li>…… if this is your suitcase? </li></ul><ul><li>… .. When the flight from Istambul arriveS? </li></ul><ul><li>… .how many times a year you fly. </li></ul><ul><li>… . if you have got any seats on the ten ….? </li></ul><ul><li>… . if there is a phone near here. </li></ul><ul><li>… . why there are no trains on Sundays? </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>Adapted by M. Luisa Ochoa from </li></ul><ul><li>http://katechao.files.wordpress.com/2007/06/lesson-6.ppt#4 </li></ul>

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