QUESTIONS IN ENGLISH

schlechte horror spiele The main logic of forming an interrogative phrase in English is to place an auxiliary verb (am/is/are/was/were/do/does, can, have/has) before the subject.

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  • He is happy.
  • Is he happy?
  • They have got a big house.
  • Have they got a big house?
  • She has done her hair.
  • Has she done her hair?
  • Jill will be waiting at home tomorrow.
  • Will Jill be waiting at home tomorrow?
  • There was a park in the city in the past.
  • Was there a park in the city in the past?

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In present simple tense we use the auxiliary verbs “do” and “does.”

  • Jill gets up early in the mornings.
  • Does Jill get up early in the mornings.
  • They speak English in New Zealand.
  • Do they speak English in New Zealand.

 

In past simple tense we use the auxiliary verb “did.”

  • My parents went on holiday last summer.
  • Did my parents go on holiday last summer?

 

The questions where the auxiliary verb is placed at the beginning of the sentence (as seen in the examples above) are called “Yes/No questions,” and we need to respond to these questions with “Yes” or “No.” The questions formed with the word “or” requests and alternative. The sentences below are examples to questions formed with “or.”

  • Are the children at school or at the shopping centre?
  • Is today Friday or Saturday?
  • Do you prefer to drink tea or coffee?

 

Some “or” questions may also be answered with “yes” or “no.” We can understand this by looking at the context:

  • Do you drink tea or coffee in the mornings?

 

 

ASKING QUESTIONS FOR UNDERLINED WORDS

 

While learning English, one of the common types of questions you will face will be exercises that request you to construct a sentence whose answer will be an underlined word in a given sentence.

Let’s take the below question as an example:

  • Ali is reading a book in the living room.
    • Let’s construct a sentence that seeks the answer “Ali.” If we’re asking for the subject of the sentence, then we can simply write an interrogative word in place of the subject. The interrogative word serves as the subject. As Ali is a human being, we must use the interrogative word “who.” When placed in the sentence as a subject, “who” must be considered as singular; that is to say, we can say “Who is …” but we cannot say “Who are …”
    • The answer would be:
      • Who is reading a book in the living room?

 

  • Let us construct a sentence that seeks the answer “a book.” While constructing an interrogative sentence that seeks elements other than the subject, we have to choose the correct interrogative word and place it at the beginning of the sentence. Then, we place the auxiliary verb, which will be followed by the verb. In other words, we construct the sentence as: “interrogative word + auxiliary verb + verb.” While doing so, we need to remove the answer (“a book”) from the sentence.
    • Form: “interrogative word + auxiliary verb + verb + …. ?
    • The question: “What is Ali reading in the living room?”

 

  • Let’s use the same sentence in the last example above, and construct a sentence seeking the answer “in the living room.”
    • Where is Ali reading a book?

 

  • Now let’s construct a question that asks for the verb. While constructing sentences that ask the verb, or the action, we use “do”:
    • What is Ali doing in the living room?

 

 

SUBJECT AND OBJECT QUESTIONS IN THE PRESENT SIMPLE AND THE PAST SIMPLE 

  1. a) Subject questions

In questions where the answer is the subject, the interrogative words “who” and “what” become the subject of the sentence. Therefore the sentence is constructed as a regular sentence, without using “do, does” or “did.”

Who makes you happy? My mother makes me happy.

What happened to him? He fell down.

Who lives in that house? Mrs Brown lives in that house.

What broke the vase? The cat broke the window.

 

  1. b) Object questions

While constructing sentences that seek the object as the answer, we use the auxiliary verbs “do/does/did” before the subject.

What did you eat? I ate some pasta.

Who did you see yesterday?  I saw Jill yesterday.

Who does he live with?  He lives with his sister.

What do you drink at breakfast? I drink tea at breakfast.

 

 

  • Please compare the sentences below: 

 

  • John (1) saw Jill (2) yesterday.
  • (1)- Who sawJill yesterday? Answer: John.
  • (2)- Whodid John see yesterday? Answer: Jill.