"I don't understand why she likes him or when she started liking him."

or should it be

"I don't understand why does she like him or when did she start liking him."


Should I used the question form for the second sentence? I want to know if you need to use the question form if you are asking a question in a much larger sentence that is not a question itself.

I want to know if I can ask "I don't understand Why he/she did/wanted something" without question form.

"Why you did this" vs "Why did you do this"?

  • It would be "I don't understand why you did this" because "I don't understand why did you do this" makes a grammatically incorrect sentence.
    – Stardust
    Commented Mar 26, 2017 at 3:10

2 Answers 2

  • The interrogative word order, which we use in normal questions, is auxiliary + subject + main verb except in questions where the question word comes as the subject.

Why does she love him?

Who loves him? (Who is the subject)

  • In spoken questions or declarative questions, the declarative or normal word order is used, if the sentence is not begun with a question word. The question form is actually created in speech by a rising intonation.

You are working late tonight?

  • In indirect questions, the declarative word order is used and the sentence ends with a full stop, not with a question mark.

I wondered what time the film was starting.

  • However, in formal writing inversion is sometimes used with verb be in indirect questions after how, especially when the subject is long.

I wondered how reliable was the information I had been given. (Note: still without the question mark).

(Based on Michael Swan's PEU)


Some sentences are statements—or demands—in the form of a question. They are called rhetorical questions because they don't require or expect an answer. Many should be written without question marks. Examples: Why don't you take a break. Would you kids knock it off. What wouldn't I do for you!

Also, avoid the common trap of using question marks with indirect questions, which are statements that contain questions. Use a period after an indirect question. Incorrect: I wonder if he would go with me? Correct: I wonder if he would go with me.

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