What is the difference between direct questions and indirect questions?

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Question

What is the difference between direct questions and indirect questions?

Answer

Languages including Japanese usually have direct questions and indirect questions. See examples below in English and Japanese.

Both questions can be used when you want to know the price of a car.

Example

Direct question

How much is the car?

その車はいくらですか。

Indirect question

I would like to know how much the car is.

その車がいくらか私は知りたいです。

Direct questions are often used amongst friends and somebody close to you such as people in your family.

On the other hand, indirect questions are used to be more polite.

Indirect Question
On this page, you can learn how to make an indirect question in Japanese.