Grammar detail: particle か

particle か - embedded / indirect questions
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When か is added to a plain form clause, the clause can be used as if it were a noun, and 'embedded' in a larger sentence as an indirect question.
Another way of looking at this is that a standard ます form question ending in か can be used as an indirect question by converting it to the plain form.
For example, here's a ます form direct question:
Where is the department store?
By putting the verb, あります, into the plain form, we now have a clause (デパートはどこにあるか) which functions grammatically as a noun. We can use that however we wish - for example, we could use it to create a slightly more polite version of our original question:

Do you know where the department store is?
This type of indirection is an extremely common way to be polite in Japanese.
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See also:
  • particle か - question marker
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