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Direct or Indirect Clauses
I. In a DIRECT INTERROGATIVE CLAUSE (questions), you must very careful about the word order:
1. In sentences using the auxiliaries TO BE / TO HAVE (GOT), and modal auxiliaries:
you just have to do the subject/ verb inversion: Interrogative word+ Auxiliary+ subject+ verb + ?
- Were you strong enough to carry this box? (Auxiliary TO BE + subject + V ?)
- Can he lift this heavy box? (Modal auxiliary + subject + verbal root ?)
2. Sentences using the auxiliaries DO/DOES/DID : they must follow this pattern:
- Auxiliary + subject + verbal base +...?
- Does he know this woman?
- Did you finally meet my friend yesterday ?
II) INDIRECT NTERROGATIVE CLAUSES report a speech.
1. They are introduced by some varied expressions:
- he asked me if/whether...; she wondered...; I'd like to know if/ whether...; I don't know...; I'm not sure... .
Those expressions are followed by an interrogative clause introduced by WHAT, WHO, WHICH, WHEN, WHERE, HOW, WHETHER...
2. BEWARE: the word order must change. This is fundamental. There is NO subject-verb inversion:
- She wanted to know who these people were.(= Interrogative word + subject + verb). She had never seen them.
- Could you tell me what time it is, please? (= Modal auxiliary + subject + verbal base)
BEWARE: there is NO question mark at the end of an indirect interrogative clause. (In the example above, the sentence has a question mark because of the direct interrogative question "Could you...?")
3. In indirect interrogative clauses, the condition can be expressed by "if" or rather by "whether" if it is followed by "OR".
- I wonder whether he'll show up at the party, or not.
Here you are... If you pay attention to the test, you'll have an excellent score! Go for it!
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