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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > INDIRECT QUESTIONS    



hello fellows!
I`m going to present a microteaching my topic is "Indirect Questions".... Do you know where she lives or do you know what time it is ??, and I don`t know how to do it. I really need help..
Maybe someone can help with some tips to introduce this topic I`ve never done it, and I want to do it in a very nice way for teenagers..
I really appreciate what you can do for me..!!
Thansk a lot.

25 Sep 2009      


Here is some theory

Here are worksheets

25 Sep 2009     

El Salvador

I ´d say it depends on the level of the group. I taught this last week with my advanced class. We played ´Jeopardy ´. To do this, you set, say, 4 categories and create 2 - 3 questions per category. For example:

1. History
        a              b

2. Movies
        a             b

3. My teacher
        a             b
4. Music
        a              b

Now, have students call a category and a letter -u have previously assigned a question per letter. Now ask them this question using ´indirect questions ´--- For example:

Student: I choose..... Uhm... Teacher! Letter B

Teacher: Ok! Now, the question is..... listen up! Do you know how old I am?

Student: You are.... 22!

Teacher: Good! A point for your team! Now, team 2! Please choose your category!

Student: Uhm... I ´ll go for.... History!

Teacher: Ok! So.... Can you tell me when the World War I finished?

You can use this during the presentation stage when students are subconciously exposed to the grammar point to be studied. Then, you can write down the questions you asked on the board.... You can draw a chart, in one part you can write "Original questions: Do you know how old AM I?" "Indirect question: How old I AM?" You can do exactly the same with the other questions you asked. Then, move on to the explanation part.

Just a thought!

25 Sep 2009     


monicap: obviously if the student says I ´m 22 they get bonus points and probably a gold star. :)

25 Sep 2009     

Czech Republic

wolfy, you made me laugh! Well done! I really needed it!!!

Direct Speech

Reported Speech - backshift

Simple Present

Simple Past

Present Continuous

Past Continuous

Simple Past

Past Perfect Simple

Present Perfect

Past Perfect

Past Continuous

Past Perfect Continuous

Present Perfect Continuous

Past Perfect Continuous

Future I (going to)

was / were going to

Future I (will)

Conditional I

Conditional I

Future II

Conditional II

25 Sep 2009     

El Salvador

hahaha well, the thing is hahaha I ´m 22! hahaha Embarrassed 

25 Sep 2009     

Czech Republic

Present Tense is often used to report a conversation that is still going on, e. g. during a phone call or while reading a letter.

Example: “I am fine.“ – Tom says / writes that he is fine.

The introductory clause can also be in another tense. In the following table you can see, for which tense of the introductory clause you have to use backshift in reported speech.

No Backshift
if introductory clause is in …
if introductory clause is in …
  • Simple Present (He says …)
  • Present Perfect (He has said …)
  • Future I will (He will say …)
  • Future I going to (He is going to say …)
  • Simple Past (He said …)
  • Past Perfect (He had said …)
  • Future II ( He will have said …)
  • Conditional I (He would say …)
  • Conditional II (He would have said …)

25 Sep 2009     

Czech Republic


Backshift of Simple Present is optional if the situation is still unchanged or if you agree with the original speaker. She said that Canberra is / was the capital of Australia.

Backshift of Simple Past and Past Progressive is optional if they cannot be mistakenly taken for backshift of Present Tense. So backshift is not necessary if there is a time expression indicating past. 

“She left Boston on Monday.“ He said that she left / had left Boston on Monday.

Simple Past and Past Progressive do not normally change in sentences with when / if.

“When I was having breakfast, the telephone suddenly rang.“
She said that when she was having breakfast, the telephone suddenly rang.

“If I had more time, I would learn French.“
He said that if he had more time, he would learn French.


25 Sep 2009