Direct and Indirect Questions in English ( exercise and rules)

Questions are used to ask and get ideas about something. So there are many types of questions. Direct and indirect questions are common among them. Let’s read them in detail.

Direct and indirect questions.

There are common questions. 1) Direct question. 2) indirect question.

Direct and indirect questions

A) What is a direct question?

We have two kinds of questions purposely. ‘Direct questions and indirect questions’ Direct and indirect questions are totally different from reported questions. so do not mix up. A direct question is a formal question that we ask our known and frank members, such as friends, family, students, and lovers. That’s why it is considered a bit informal. like:


Direct QuestionsKinds of Questions
Who are you?WH Question
What is your name?WH Question
Where do you live?WH Question
Are you a student?Yes/ no question
Will you come to the party?Yes/ no question

In direct questions, two persons (pronouns) are involved. like the first-person pronoun and the second-person. In the above example, we can grab more. Like, who are you? There are only two persons (pronouns)that they asked directly. Read more about indirect questions below. >>>

B) What is an indirect question?

Indirect questions are considered more formal and polite. They are used officially mostly or we use them while talking to unknown people. Basically, its structure is totally different from the direct questions.


Direct QuestionsIndirect Questions
Who are you?Can you tell me who you are?
What is your name?Could you say what your name is?
Where do you live?May I know where you live?
Are you a student?I was wondering if you are a student.
Will you come to the party?May I know if you come to the party?

what are active and passive voices:

Some common phrases for indirect questions.

  • May I know where….
  • Do you have any idea…
  • I’d like to know…
  • Would it be possible…
  • Is there any chance…
  • Could you tell me…
  • Do you know…
  • I was wondering…

How to change a direct question to an indirect question?

There are two types of questions. 1) WH quetions 2) Yes/ NO questions.

  • WH Questions.

Phrase + WH words + positive statement+?

Direct Questions Indirect Questions.
What is your nameMay I know what your name is?
How is he playing the game?Do you have any idea how he is playing?
How did she open the door?I’d like to know how she open the door.
How have they finished the work so early?May I know how they finished the work so early?
When is the test?Can you tell me when the test is?
Can we change the name, Tom?Is there any chance we could change the name of Tom?

Note: We do not change the tense of the indirect questions. While changing direct questions into indirect questions the tense will remain the same. check out the below the yes/no in direct and indirect questions.

  • How to change a yes/no question?

Phrase + if/whether+ positive statement.

Direct QuestionsIndirect Questions
 Are you a student?May I know If you are a student?
 Does he play football?I don’t know whether he plays football.
 Did he open the door?May I know if he opens the door?
Can you plug the flowers in?Is it possible if you could plug the flowers in?
Were they jumping over the roof?Do you know if they were jumping over the roof?
Have you done your homework?Ask him if he has done his homework.
Was he writing the letter?Ask him whether he was writing the letter.
Is she calling us?Ask her if she is calling us.
Was it crawling?Do you know if it was crawling?


Direct Questions Indirect Questions
Where is the man standing?  Could you tell me where the man is standing?
What time does the class start?Do you know what time the class starts?
Why did you close the shop?I was wondering why you closed the shop
How many chairs are there?Do you have any idea how many chairs there are?
How much the fan does cast?I’d like to know how much the fan costs.
Can she bring the book on time?Would it be possible for her to bring the book on time?
Can we start the game now?Is there any chance to start the game now?
Did she want the tom?Do you know if she wants tom?
Were they coming to the party?Could you tell me if they were coming to the party?
Had she broken the glass?I was wondering if she had broken the glass.
Have they ever been abroad?Do you have any idea if they have ever been abroad?
Can they fight well?I’d like to know if they can fight well.
Will he be getting his word?Ask him if he will be getting his words.
Are they enjoying the game?Ask them if they are enjoying the game.

Related Articles:

Simple Present tense

Simple Past Tense

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