Questions for intermediate learners

In English, there are different types of questions. In this lesson, you will get to know them briefly and see some examples for each type. Are you ready?

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"Questions" in the English Grammar

What Are Questions?

Questions are sentences that we use when we want an answer. In this lesson, we will learn all about them.

Types of Questions

We have different types of questions in the English language. Look at the following list to get a glimpse of them:

Now, we are going to learn about some of them below:

Yes/No questions

As their name suggests, when we want a short 'yes', or 'no' answer, we use 'yes/no questions'. If we have an auxiliary verb 'be', 'do', 'have', we use them to make questions. Notice how the place of the verb and the subject changes. Look:

She is washing the dishes. → Is she washing the dishes?

I have two cats. → Do I have two cats?

Rita has gotten in the car. → Has Rita gotten in the car?

Warning!

Please note that when 'have' is the main verb, we use 'do' to form a 'yes/no question'. We only use 'have' to form 'yes/no questions' when we have either of the perfect tenses. Look:

The customers have complained about the quality of food. → Have the customers complained about the quality of food?

If we have a modal verb in the sentence, we must form a 'yes/no question' using it, not the main verb. Look:

I should practice the guitar everyday. → Should I practice the guitar everyday?

Martha can study and listen to music at the same time. → Can Martha study and listen to the music at the same time?

Wh-questions

'Wh-questions' are used with words like 'what', 'which', 'who', 'how', 'where', 'when', 'whom', 'whose', and 'why'. Look at the following examples for more clarification:

What are you doing Anna?

Where is mom going, Brad?

Why is that boy crying?

Alternative Questions

Alternative or sometimes called 'choice' questions are used when we want the listener to choose between two choices. In this type of question, we mainly use the coordinating conjunction 'or'. Look at the following examples:

Are you going to leave or stay a bit more?

Has the teacher cancelled her class or have the students not come?

Negative Questions

When we want to ask a negative question, we must use the negative contracted or uncontracted forms. If we are using the contracted form, the verb comes at the beginning. However, if we are using the uncontracted form, the 'not' is put after the subject. Look at the following examples:

Do you feel like getting some fresh air? → Do you not feel like getting some fresh air?

Here, both forms are correct.

Do you feel like getting some fresh air? → Don't you feel like getting some fresh air?

Is Richie coming to the party? → Is Richie not coming to the party?

Is Richie coming to the party? → Isn't Richie coming to the party?

Warning!

Please note that we must always have a question mark at the end of a question.

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