In Grammar By Alexandra

Do you know what Embedded questions are? Built issues in English

In the English language, as well as in Russian, there are proposals that are composed of two parts. The first part of the sentence can be:


  • Affirmation
    • I know.
    • I’m sure.
  • Negation
    • I do not know.
    • I have no idea.
    • I did not hear.
  • The issue
    • Can you tell me?
    • Do you by any chance know?
    • Do you have any idea?

For example:

You do not know where she is now?

I do not know where he lives.

I know exactly why they were yesterday was not at work.

The second part of these proposals — the question is a built-in (Embedded question). Unlike conventional constructions issue in this case is the direct word order is preserved, that is, first, the «who» and then «making». Let’s compare:

  1. Where is the bank? — Where is the bank?

    Can you tell where the bank is? — Could you tell me where the bank?

  2. Why was she late? — Why is it too late?

    I do not know why she was late. — I do not know why she was late.

  3. Why are you laughing? — Why are you laughing?

    I know why you are laughing. — I know why you’re laughing.

  4. When will you arrive? — When do you come?

    Tell me when you will arrive. — Tell me when you come.

  5. Where have they gone? — Where have they gone?

    I have no idea where they have gone. — I have no idea where they went.

Why are these questions are different from our usual questions and have not the reverse word order, and direct? Let’s look at the features of these indirect questions on the following proposition:

I do not know why she was late.

Please note that the main proposal I do not know — this is not the interrogative sentence, and the affirmative. Hence, the second part of the proposal can be considered only conditionally issue. Here, in fact, there is no question, we do not ask and do not try to learn something, but stating a fact — a fact that I do not know why she was late.

And now let’s look at this example:

Can you tell where the bank is?

As you can see, this proposal is, as it were out of the question in the question. That is, the question is how the first part of the question, and second, but, as is already the first question and, therefore, reverse the order of the words, in the second part will be the direct word order.

Built issues in English. Video

Let’s now look at how to explain this topic Rebecca — one of teachers engvid.com:

If the «built-in» in this question is a simple time (Present Simple) or in the past tense (Past Simple), we need to remove from the proposal auxiliaries do, does, did, which we normally use in the construction issues. For example:

  1. Where do you usually have lunch? — Where do you usually dine?

    Can you tell me where you usually have lunch? — Can you tell me where you usually have dinner?

  2. When does the football match start? — When you start a football match?

    I do not know when the football match starts. — I do not know when to start a football match.

  3. How often does he fix his car? — How often does he repair your car?

    Do you know how often he fixes his car? — Do you know how often he repairs his car?

  4. Why did they argue yesterday? — Why do they quarreled yesterday?

    I’m curious why they argued yesterday. — I wonder why they quarreled yesterday.

Do not forget, when we do not use auxiliary verbs does, did in the «built-in» issues, we need to «return» the end s / — es, — ed to the verb as we do it in affirmative sentences.

And how do we build the issue into a sentence, if we do not have the interrogative words (when, where, why, how, how often), and the issue will begin with an auxiliary verb? («Is this house expensive?», «Do you like the weather?», «Did he call you yesterday?»). In the built-in common areas instead of interrogative words used words if / whether no difference in meaning. In the Russian language if / whether translated as «Do»:

  1. Is she sick? — She is ill?

    Tell me if / whether she is sick. — Tell me if she is sick.

  2. Are there any vegetables in the fridge? — Are there any vegetables in the refrigerator?

    Can you tell me if / whether there are some vegetables in the fridge. — Can you tell me whether there are vegetables in the refrigerator?

  3. Do you work here? — Do you work here?

    Tell me if / whether you work here. — Tell me, do you work here.

  4. Did your neighbor get his mail last week? — Your neighbor got the mail last week?

    I’m not sure if / whether your neighbor got his mail last week. — I’m not sure whether your neighbor got the mail last week.

  5. Will she cook spaghetti? — She will cook spaghetti?

    I do not know if / whether she will cook spaghetti. — I do not know if she will cook spaghetti.

  6. Have you ever been abroad? — Have you ever been abroad?

    I can not remember if / whether you have ever been abroad — I do not remember if you were ever abroad.

If the first part of the built-in question is in the past tense (Past Simple), then the second part of the rule will take effect the sequence of tenses (Sequence of tenses). In this case, we will use the same «shift» times as in the Sequence of tenses. In additional parts of the proposal the present times (Present) transformed in the past (Past), future time of the verb will be transformed into would, and past tenses (Past) to perfect (Perfect). At the same time all of the features built questions remain: the direct word order (first, the «who» and then «making»), adding the words, ligaments if / whether for general questions.

Table of education issues in the built-in English

For greater clarity, I bring to your attention the following table:

↓ Download the table of education issues in the built-in English (* .pdf, 183 KB)

Question The transformation of matter
Present Simple
V / Vs

Nick: «Where do you study?»
Kate: «Does she play the piano?»

Past simple
V2

Nick asked where you studied.
Kate asked if / whether she played the piano.

Present Continuous
To be (am / is / are) + Ving

Nick: «Where are you studying?»
Kate: «Is she playing the piano?»

Past Continuous
To be (was / were) + Ving

Nick asked where you were studying.
Kate asked if / whether she was playing the piano.

Present Perfect
Have / has + V3

Nick: «Where have you studied?»
Kate: «Has she played the piano?»

Past Perfect
Had + V3

Nick asked where you had studied.
Kate asked if / whether she had played the piano.

Present Perfect Continuous
Have / has been + Ving

Nick: «Where have you been studying?»
Kate: «Has she been playing the piano?»

Past Perfect Continuous
Had been + Ving

Nick asked where you had been studying.
Kate asked if / whether she had been playing the piano.

Past Simple
V2

Nick: «Where did you study?»
Kate: «Did she play the piano?»

Past Perfect
Had + V3

Nick asked where you had studied.
Kate asked if / whether she had played the piano.

Past Continuous
To be (was / were) + Ving

Nick: «Where were you studying?»
Kate: «Was she playing the piano?»

Past Perfect Continuous
Had been + Ving

Nick asked where you had been studying.
Kate asked if / whether she had been playing the piano.

Will

Nick: «Where will you study?»
Kate: «Will she play the piano?»

Would

Nick asked where you would study.
Kate asked if / whether she would play the piano.

Abbreviations used in the table:

  • V — verb.
  • V2 — the second form of the verb, or a verb ending in ed, if it is the right verb.
  • V3 — the third form of a verb or a verb ending in ed, if it is the right verb.
  • Ving — verb ending in ing.
  • Vs — the verb form of the third person singular ending in s / — es.

And now you can take a test to check whether you have learned to «embed» questions:

 

Grammar

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