Nível Avançado › Information Booth

  • At the end of this lesson you’ll be able to:

    • Ask and respond to polite questions
    • Understand the word order of indirect questions
    • Understand different uses of the word "pretty"


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Dialog: "
Excuse me, could you tell me where the restrooms are?"

We use indirect questions to be polite or to respectfully solicit information from people we do not know. In more formal speech this structure is quite common. An indirect question begins with an introductory phrase followed by the question itself in affirmative sentence structure.



  • Direct Question: Where are the changing rooms?
  • Indirect Question: Would you mind telling me where the changing rooms are?
  • Direct Question: What time is it?
  • Indirect Question: I was wondering if you could tell me what time it is.
  • Direct Question: What movie is this?
  • Indirect Question: Do you have any idea what movie this is?



When the question requires a "yes" or "no" response, we use if or whether in the indirect question. The word order remains the same.

  • Direct question: Do you have a dollar I can borrow?
  • Indirect question: I was wondering if you have a dollar I can borrow.
  • Direct question: Did they buy the house yesterday?
  • Indirect question: Would you please let me know whether they bought the house yesterday?
  • Direct question: Has she been skipping school?
  • Indirect question: Could you please inform me if she has been skipping school?


3) INDIRECT QUESTIONS (do, does, did)

If the direct question contains do, does, or did, you omit it in the indirect question.

  • Direct question: When does the movie start?
  • Indirect question: Could you tell me when the movie starts?
  • Direct question: What do you want?
  • Indirect question: Can you tell me what you want?
  • Direct question: When did they leave?
  • Indirect question: Would you be so kind as to tell me when they left?

Sobre esta aula

Americans are very polite. You might even say excessively so. We have very fragile sensibilities so we take great care not to step on any toes, especially when asking information from perfect strangers. Join our overworked information booth receptionist as she tries, and fails miserably, to deal with an overly "nice" shopper who has lost her way.

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