Be used to
Few and Little
Get Used To
Have and Have Got
Lend and Borrow
Past Perfect Continuous
Past Perfect Simple
Present Perfect Cont
Present Perfect Simple
Say and Tell
Small and Little
So and Such
Too and Enough
Will and Going to
I teach this with the concept of permission.
- with a direct question the person being questioned has two options: answer the question or ignore it (ignoring it would be impolite)
- with indirect questions the person being questioned is presented with two parts :
Can I ask (permission)
They have the choice of saying "no you cannot ask" or answering the question - both are polite.
I use very direct questions when expanding this idea in front of a group.
How much do you earn ?
Are you looking for a new job ?
Who are you dating at the moment ?
With these questions the student would rather not answer them in front of a group - so has to choose the "no you can't ask" variation. Works for me :-)
I present this as 'polite commands' -
Rude: Tell me what time it is!
Polite: I was wondering if you could tell me what time it is?
Rude: Give me a pen!
Polite: Could you give me a pen?
Polite: Would you be able to move, please?
So lesson is: 1) be rude, 2) what can we say to be polite (Could you..., I was wondering if...?) 3) now put them together - but DO NOT change the word order of the rude command.
Getting students to transform real questions into indirect questions is very confusing for them - and artificial since the basic underlying sentence is a command, not a question. As such, it does not change. It's best to teach this in isolation from indirect speech since syntactically they are actually completely different things.
If you have a good way of introducing or practising this grammar point, tell us about it here...
Try our grammar discussion forum for further help.
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