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Grammar Presentation

Rosa A

on 4 December 2012

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by Marlen Padilla and Estivaliz Anaya EMBEDDED QUESTIONS DEFINITION An embedded question is a part of a sentence that would be a question if it were on its own, but is not a question in the context of the sentence:

I don't know where she has gone.
Could you tell me where the bank is. GRAMMAR PRESENTATION MAIN CLAUSE EMBEDDED QUESTION I'm not sure if I left the right tip He wondered whether (or not) five dollars
was enough Can you remember how much our bill was? I don't know how much to tip.
Do you know where to leave the tip? WH- WORD + INFINITIVE GRAMMAR NOTES 1. Embedded questions are questions that are inside another sentence. An embedded question can be: a. Inside a statement
I don't know who our server is.
b. Inside another question
Do you remember who our server is. BE CAREFUL! If the embedded question is inside a STATEMENT, use a period at the end of the sentence.
I wonder if that's our server. NOT: I wonder if that's our server? If the embedded question is inside a QUESTION use a question mark at the end of the sentence.
Do you know if that's our server? 2. Use embedded questions to: a. express something you do not know

Why didn't he tip the mechanic?

I don't know why he didn't tip the mechanic. b. ask politely for information

Is the tip included?

Can you tell me if the tip is included? USAGE NOTE:
Embedded questions are MORE POLITE than direct questions.

Less formal:
Does our bill include a service charge?

More polite:
Can you tell me if our bill includes a service charge? 3. Begin embedded YES/NO questions with IF, WHETHER, or WHETHER OR NOT. Do you know IF they delivered the pizza?
Do you know WHETHER they delivered the pizza?
Do you know whether or not they delivered the pizza? USAGE NOTE:
Whether is more formal than if Begin embedded WH- questions with a question word.

Many tourists wonder HOW MUCH to tip their restaurant server. 4. Use statement word order (subject + verb), not question word order in: a. embedded YES/NO QUESTIONS

Do not leave out IF or WHETHER in embedded YES/NO questions.

Is it 6:00 yet?

Could you tell me if it is 6:00 yet?
NOT: Could you tell me is it 6:00 yet? b. embedded Wh- questions about the PREDICATE (usually the last part of the sentence)

Do not use the auxiliary verbs DO, DOES or DID in embedded questions.

Why did they order pizza?

I wondered why they ordered pizza.
NOT: I wondered why did they order pizza. c. embedded Wh- questions about the SUBJECT (usually the first part of the sentence)

Who ordered pizza?

I can't remember who ordered pizza. BE CAREFUL!
If a direct question about the subject has the form question word + BE + noun, then the indirect question has the form question + word + noun + BE

Who is our waiter?

Do you know who our waiter is?
NOT: Do you know who is our waiter? 5. In embedded questions,
you can also use: Let's ask where we should leave the tip.
a. question word + infinitive
Let's ask where to leave the tip
I wonder whether I should leave a tip.
b. WHETHER + infinitive
I wonder WHETHER to leave a tip. BE CAREFUL!
Do not use the infinitive
after IF or WHY.

I don't understand WHY I should tip. NOT: I don't understand why to tip. 6. Embedded questions often follow these phrases: I don't know...
I'd like to know...
Do you know...?
Can you tell me...?
I can't remember
Can you remember...?
Let's ask...
We need to find out...
I'd like to find out...
I wonder...
I'm not sure...
It doesn't say
Could you explain...?
I can't imagine... Examples: I don't know what the name of the restaurant is.
Can you remember how much the shrimp costs?
Let's ask what today's specials are.
I wonder what time the restaurant closes.
Could you explain what that sign means?
I can't imagine why this restaurant isn't more popular. REFERENCES: Fuchs, M., & Bonner, M. (2005). Focus on grammar, an integrated skills approach. Allyn Bibliography: Internet: Embedded Questions - Glossary Definition - UsingEnglish.com
http://www.usingenglish.com/glossary/embedded-question.html Thank you
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