What is a question?
A question is a request for information.
A question should always end with a question mark (?).
Closed questions demand a yes/no, true/false or right/wrong answer.
When we want to ask yes/no questions we can use do/does, am/is/are or have/has as question words. We use do or have or am with personal pronouns (I), we use does or has or is with third person singular pronouns (he, she, it) and with singular noun forms. We use do or have or are with other personal pronouns (you, we they) and with plural noun forms.
Yes/no questions with the verb be are created by moving the verb be to the beginning of the sentence. In other words the subject and the verb change their positions in statements and questions.
When forming questions in the present continuous tense use the verb be.
When forming questions in the present simple tense use the verb be, do, or have. The auxiliary verb is placed before the subject.
If there is one verb in the statement and the verb is a form of be , simply switch the positions of the subject and verb.
If there is one verb in the statement and the verb is do, simply switch the positions of the subject and verb.
If there is one verb in the statement and the verb is have, (with or without got to show possession), switch the positions of the subject and verb.
We can also form this style of question with Do…have…? here there is no subject-verb inversion, do is placed before the subject.
If there is one verb, and the verb is not a form of be, the process is more complex. To form a question add the correct form of the verb 'to do' to the beginning. Here there is no subject verb inversion.
Answering a Closed Question
For example: "Are you from England?"
You can answer closed questions with "Yes" or "No".
You can also answer closed questions with a slightly longer answer "Yes, I am." or "No, I'm not."
Finally you can answer closed questions in the long form "Yes, I am from England." or "No, I'm not from England."
Open questions leave room for a description or opinion, and are more useful in eliciting information
Open questions are often called Wh.. questions:-
There are eight wh-questions - what, when, where, which, who, whom, whose and why and to this list we usually add how as they are all used to elicit particular kinds of information.
You use what when you are asking for information about something.
What, which and whose can be used with or without a noun as a question word.
What time is it? = What is the time?
Whom can only be used to elicit information about the object of the sentence. Although using whom would be grammatically correct, we normally use who instead because it doesn’t sound so formal.
"Whom did you see?" would normally be expressed as "Who did you see?"
Who, what, which and whose can all be used to elicit information about the subject or object of the sentence.
If the answer is "I ate the banana." the object question would be "What did you eat?" and the subject question would be "Who ate the banana?"
Object questions ask about the object of a sentence. The word order of the question must be changed and the question requires the use of the auxiliary verb 'to do'.
If the answer is "I caught the train to London." the question would be "Which train did you catch?"
There are also subject questions. These are questions that we ask to find out about the subject. When what, which, who or whose refers to the subject, the question word comes before the verb without the use of the auxiliary verb.
If the answer is "The train to London was late." the question would be "Which train was late?"
What is a tag question?
A tag question is a short question added to the end of a positive or negative statement.
How are they formed?
Normally a positive statement is followed by a negative tag, and a negative statement is followed by a positive tag.
!The statement and the tag are always separated by a comma.
The verb in the statement should be the same tense as the verb in the tag.
If the verb used in the statement is an auxiliary verb, then the verb used in the tag must match it. If a modal (can, could, will, should, etc.) is used in the statement, then the same modal is used in the tag part. If the statement doesn't use an auxilliary verb, then the auxiliary do is used in the tag part.
Why do we use them?
Tag questions are used to verify or check information that we think is true or to check information that we aren't sure is true. Sometimes we just use them for effect.
We show the meaning of the tag question through intonation.
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