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1. The question is, are they going to pay you ?
2. The question is whether they are going to pay you .
Are both the above sentences correct and interchangeable ?
In the first sentence the question part seems to be a direct quote from the speaker , whereas in the second sentence ,indirect speech has been used.
"whether they are going to pay you" is a noun equivalent , but is it a question ?
In the sentence "Whether they are going to pay you is uncertain" the clause "Whether they are going to pay you" is not a question since a question cannot be uncertain.
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Hi,

You are taking too narrow a definition of the word 'question'.

Here is part of the definition of the word 'question', from

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/question

I have marked in red the meanings that relate to your sentence #2.

1.

a. An expression of inquiry that invites or calls for a reply.

b. An interrogative sentence, phrase, or gesture.

2. A subject or point open to controversy; an issue.

3. A difficult matter; a problem: a question of ethics.

4. A point or subject under discussion or consideration.

Best wishes, Clive
Comments  
Hi,

"Whether they are going to pay you" is not a question.
"Are they going to pay you" is a question.
Dan
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 Clive's reply was promoted to an answer.
Thanks Clive ,
But ,are you saying that the sense of the word "question" is different in the two sentences given below and the two sentences are not interchangeable ?
1. The question is, are they going to pay you ?
2. The question is whether they are going to pay you .
Hi,

But ,are you saying that the sense of the word "question" is different in the two sentences given below and the two sentences are not interchangeable ?

1. The question is, are they going to pay you ?

2. The question is whether they are going to pay you .

Basically, the word 'question' in both sentences means 'the issue', 'the matter to be decided'.

Compare this context, where the narrower grammatical meaning is used.

Here are two sentences. One is a question. Which one?

A. Mary cooked dinner.

B. Are they going to pay you?

Answer - The question is "Are they going to pay you?"

Finally, note that the wording of your example #1 is casual English, because it mixes indirect speech with a form of direct speech, without using quotation marks.

It's like saying Mary's decision was no.

Best wishes, Clive
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