How could we expect a right response from
a confused question?
1- A subject question:
It is a question that asks for information about the subject.
Short response: - She.
Short response: - She.
In subject questions Donít use any auxiliary.
Donít change the verb.
2- A yes/No question
It is a question that may be answered by yes or no.
Does she study English ?
Does = auxiliary verb
She = subject
Study = main verb
She studies English.
Does she study English ?
Short responses: - Yes, she does.
- No she doesnít.
She studied English.
Did she study English ?
Short responses: - Yes, she did.
- No she didnít.
She is studying English.
Is she studying English ?
Short responses: - Yes, she is.
- No she isnít.
She has studied English.
Has she studied English ?
Short responses: - Yes, she has.
- No she hasnít.
She can study English.
Can she study English ?
Short responses: - Yes, she can.
- No she canít.
She will be studying English.
Will she be studying English ?
- Yes, she will. ( Not sheíll )
- No she wonít. ( Or will not)
She is/was a student.
Is/was she a student?
Short responses: - Yes, she is/was.
- No she isnít/wasnít.
He has the proof . He met her.
Do you have a proof ? Have you a proof?
Have you met her ?
- Yes I have.
- No I havenít.
For the simple present :
Does for : it, he, or she.
Do for : I, we, you or they
For the simple past : Did
- The main verb is in its simple form.
Does he drive?
- If the verb has a helping verb ( auxiliary), Use this
auxiliary in this question.
Has he driven?
- There is no change in the form of the main verb.
- If the verb has more than one auxiliary Conjugate
only the first auxiliary that comes before the subject.
- In the yes/no questions, the same auxiliary is used in the
question and in the short response.
You are ready
Are you ready?
Yes I am.
- The short response is as follow :
Yes/No + Subject + Auxiliary + Not ( Contracted in
No, I will not.
- Two possible contractions with is and are
Sheís not = she isnít
Theyíre not = The arenít
Iím not. I amnít is the exact street language.
- In a negative response, not is contracted with the auxiliary.
He isn't , she doesn't, ...
- In an affirmative response the auxiliary is not contracted with
Yes I will.
Yes, you are.
- In American English have alone is a main verb.
But in British English, it an auxiliary.
I have a book
Do I have a book? (US)
Have I a book ? (UK)
- As in the perfect tense, have is absolutely an auxiliary,
the main verb is a past participle.
3- An information question:
It is a question that asks for information by using
a question word.
What did she study ?
What = question word
3-1 Questions words
When is used to ask questions about time.
When did she call? - Last week.
Where is used to ask questions about place.
Where will you be this evening? - At home.
Why is used to ask questions about reason.
Why canít you stay with him? - Because I have to move.
Who is used as the subject of question for people.
It is followed by a singular verb even if it is related
to more than one person.
Who can solve this problem? - She can.
Who is speaking ? - All of them.
Who finds my keys? - He does.
Whom is used as the object of a verb or preposition.
Using who instead in spoken English is informal. Before
a preposition whom is used.
Whom did she meet? - Her sister.
At whom were they staring ? (informal)
- At this strange gentleman.
Whom where they staring at? (formal)
Whose asks questions about possession.
Whose pencil is this ?( whose is this?) - Itís mine.
Whose books are these ? - Frankís
What is used as the subject of a question. It refers to things.
What make you upset? - Her behavior.
What went wrong? - Everything.
It is also used as an object:
What did he say ? - Everything is going okay.
About what do you care? - My life.
Sometimes it accompanies a noun:
From what country does she come? - Italy.
What time did you arrive? - One Oíclock.
What + a form of do is used to ask questions about activities.
What should I do? - Be careful.
What was she doing? - She was writing an item.
What do you do ? = what do you do for living? The questions ask
for information about a personís occupation.
What does he do? - Heís a scientific programmer.
"What kind of" is used to know the particular variety or type of
What kind of car do they have ? - Audi.
What kind of words did you hear? - Nice ones.
What is + something / someone) + like? is used to ask for a general
description of qualities.
What is he like? - Heís clever, friendly and gentle.
What were they like? - They are broadminded.
What does + (something / someone) + look like? is used to ask for
a physical description.
What does she look like? - She is a nice figure with black hair.
What did these mountains look like? - They were very high.
What Ö for? = why =?, For hat purpose? Is used to ask questions
about a purpose the speaker does not understand.
What did she go to Massachusetts for ? - Iíve no idea.
Which is used instead of what when a question concerns choosing
from a group .
which book (one) do you suggest? - The green one.
Which do you suggest? - The green one.
In some cases, there is a difference in meaning between which
and what when they accompany a noun.
In which cities have you lived? - The last ones that I mentioned.
In what cities have you lived ? - In Caracas, Connecticut and Montreal.
How asks about manner, but it has many idiomatic uses.
How did he come from Europe? - By plane. - Very tired.
- How is used with much and many.
How many days has one week? - Seven.
How much information have you got? - A little bit.
-How is used with adjectives and adverbs.
How old is he? - Heís fifteen.
How soon can I get back this book? - In one month.
How long asks about length of time.
How long has she lived in The United States? - Three years.
-How often asks about frequency.
How often do you go to the park? - Every Sunday.
- How far asks about distance
How far can you run? - About two kilometers.
- How come means why (the sentence is always affirmative).
How come you didnít come over? - I was exhausted.
How about = what about : Used to make suggestions. They are followed
by a noun, pronoun, or -ing form of the verb. Usually, they are not used
in writing , but frequently in informal spoken English..
What about Frank?
How about discussing together ?
How about You? = What about you? Are used to ask a question whish
refers to the information or question that immediately preceded.
I am a little bit busy. How about you?
How are you felling? = How do you feel? ask about
personís physical well-being.
3-2 BE as the main verb:
In this case, it precedes the subject.
Who is she? - she is my friend.
Where were you? - At the park.
What color are his eyes? - They are brown.
( She, you and his eyes : the subjects of the questions)
But used as an auxiliary verb,
Who was running? - Frank. ( who is the subject of the question)
4- Negative questions
They are used to indicate the speakerís idea (true or not)
or attitude ( surprise, shock, annoyance, anger)
In yes/no question, the verb is negative and the
contraction is usually used.
Donít they work out everyday ?
Do they not work out everyday? ( very formal)
She left home to meet a friend . Isnít she supposed
to know his name ?
The expected answer is Yes.
The answer may be either Yes or No.
The news was bad. Werenít you happy?
The expected answer is No . Only No is possible.
5- Tag questions
They are added at the end of a sentence.
When the sentence is affirmative :
The tag question is negative and
The expected answers is affirmative : Yes+ subject+ auxiliary
When the sentence is negative :
The tag question is affirmative and
The expected answers is negative : No+ subject+ auxiliary+ not
The sun rise from the East . Doesnít it?
The sky isnít blue. Is it ?
He hasnít gone to sleep. Has he ?
She has a bike. Doesnít she. ( Hasnít she is British English)
These/Those are your shoes. Arenít they ?
There was a parade last week. Wasnít there?
I am confusing. Am I not ? ( Arenít I is informal.)
6- More questions with How:
- Who are you getting along? = howís everything going?
= howís it going? = how are you doing?
- Great. Fine. Okay. So-so. Not so well, not so good, Terrible.
- How do you know ?
- How does it end? - The speech was confusing.
- How does it start?
- How did you find out?
- How did you meet you wife?
- How did the team do - They won?
- How did you do on the test? - I got a ďAĒ
- How did you sleep last night?
- How would you like your coffee?
- How do you take your coffee?
- How do you spell earth?
- How do you say spring in Spanish?
- How do you say ( pronounce) this word?
- How do you do?
is used when two people are first introduced to each other.
- How far is it from Boston to Miami?
- How fast were you driving?
- How cold is it ?
Abder. Ajaja - © - All rights reserved 2002.