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Embedded Questions: Definition and Examples

Embedded Questions

You will learn this embedded questions lesson to be more polite, to give more information, to express reported speech. The lesson will give you additional practice using embedded questions.

What are the embedded questions?


The embedded questions are a type of question which is included within another question or sentence. Sometimes this grammatical point is explained on its own or in a lesson on nominal sentences or reported speech.

Embedded Questions are like embedding a question, for example if I asked you: Is English easy? Your response will be "I don't know English, easy or not", or you can say: "I just don't know", but you confirmed the question.

Embedded Questions are different from other types of questions, as there must not be any auxiliary verb between the question word and the subject. 

And if the embedded question is not part of another question then there’s no question mark (?) at the end of the sentence if the embedded question is part of a statement. Examples:

Direct QuestionEmbedded Question
what does an avocado taste like? I don't know what is avocado tastes like.

If they are actual questions, then question sentences containing embedded questions will end with a question mark (?) . Examples:

 Direct QuestionEmbedded Question
Where does he live?Do you know where he lives?

The embedded question usually common after introductory phrases, such as:

  • Can you remember …..
  • Could you tell me …..
  • Do you know …..
  • I asked .....
  • I don’t know .....
  • I want to know .....
  • I wonder …..
  • I'd like to know …..
  • I'm not sure …..
  • Let's ask …..
  • The question is .....
  • We need to find out …..
  • Would you mind explaining …..

These phrases above are followed by the following question words:

  • Who
  • What
  • When
  • Where
  • Why
  • How
  • If whether (or not)

Embedded questions examples


 Direct QuestionsEmbedded Questions
what does an avocado taste like? I don't know what is avocado tastes like.
What time did he leave?I wonder what time he left.
What did he say?Could you tell me what he said?
Is he a doctor?Do you know if he is a doctor?
Where is she?Do you know where he is?
Is he sick today?I wonder if he is sick today.
Could she have a ride?She asked if she could have a ride.
How much did you pay for your car?My friend wants to know how much you paid for your car.
Why did he lie to me? I’m not sure why he lied to me.
Should be change our plans?The question is whether (or not) we should change our plans.
Do they like hot dogs?Let’s ask if they like hot dogs.
When is he leaving?I wonder when he is leaving.
What does he want?She doesn’t know what he wants.
What did he say?I want to know what he said.
Where does he live?Do you know where he lives?
What time is it?Who knows what time it is?
Will the Rockies win?Does he think the Rockies will win?
When is the appointment?Do they remember when the appointment is?
Who is the boss?Could you tell me who the boss is?
How do you put this together?Would you mind telling me how to put this together?
Can we smoke here?Does he know if we can smoke here?
Will she be late?Do you know whether (or not) she will be late?



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