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In English, interrogatives are occasionally used as not as interrogatives but as adverbs and relative pronouns. For example: I don't know why we moved; I don't know how that machine works; I know where she lives; I don't know what she does for a living; I don't know whom she married. Could you use 为什么,怎么,哪里,什么,谁 here, and if not, how would you structure these and similar sentences? 谢谢!

  • users would like to lodge a protest against deletion of comments, why not just hide them! In particular although it was claimed before that comments answering questions will be deleted, in the present case there were comments that simply asked for clarification. – user6065 Jan 28 at 5:54
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You'll never be able to map one to one English to Chinese, but some things are expressed in a very similar manner in both languages, simply because that is convenient and efficient, I believe.

Relative clauses in Chinese don't follow the English pattern though.

That is the dog [that bit me].
这是那条[咬我的]狗。(Just stick the relative clause content in front of the noun)

I don't know why we moved.
我不晓得我们为什么搬家。
I don't know how that machine works.
我不知道那台机器怎么运作。
I know where she lives.
我不知道她住在哪里。
I don't know what she does for a living.
我不知道她靠什么生活。
I don't know who she married.
我不知道她和谁结的婚。

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There are some non standard such use in speakings, for example

我不知道为什么他就不理我了

我想问问她能买到这么好吃的包子

你能解释一下吃了我的盒饭吗?

You may not want to write those in a formal text.

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    They're not non-standard, but they're just informal. – iBug Jan 28 at 1:32
  • @iBug You are probably right. – zyy Jan 28 at 3:33
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interrogative pronouns used for other than questions, cf。"汉语语法基础"吕冀平 著 商务印书馆 疑问代词有时候并不真正表示疑问,而是通过它表示反诘或者强调。如:(29)关汉卿:老王,人家真心实意找你帮忙,别开玩笑!王和卿:谁跟你开玩笑!这事让朱四姐出面,你就免开尊口!(田汉,关汉卿)(30)小孩子家知道什么!(31)哪里会有这种事情!这种句子句末常常不用问号而用感叹号。

有时侯,疑问代词只指不确定的人、事物等等,这样用的时候也不表示疑问。如:(32)您写得太晚了,又冷又饿,家里可又没什么吃的。(田汉,关汉卿)(33)这么冷的天,也不知道谁还把窗子打开了。这样的句子句末不能用问号。

疑问代词还能够表示概括,这样用的时候也不表示疑问。如:(34)你什么都知道,我真佩服!(35)一定不会!谁也不会说你们。(36)是啊,真是叫人高兴,以前我算白活了好些年,哪儿也没有去瞧过。(田汉,关汉卿)

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