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Questions forms

 
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    Questions forms

    There are a number of different ways of asking questions in the English language. Three of the more conventional methods are: asking object questions, subject questions or auxiliary questions, also known as yes/no questions.

     

    Questions forms- Object questions

    Object questions often contain an auxiliary verb, usually do or did but sometimes are as well. When we ask an object question the focus or main information in the answer is contained in the object clause of the answer. This is a complicated way of saying that when we ask an object question we would like a longer answer.

     

    Form of Object questions:

     

    Question word + auxiliary verb + subject + verb +

     

    Question form

    Answer to question

    Explanation

    What do you do on Saturdays?

    I usually play football on Saturdays

     

    By using a present tense object question we get more information from the recipient in reply

    Where did you go yesterday?

    My wife and I went to the shops

    This time, we can see a past simple object question which has given us more information than we get with other questions forms.

    When are they going?

     

    They are going soon

    Another good example of how object questions work, here we see that the important information (when they are leaving) in the answer is contained in the object clause

     

     

    Questions forms- Subject questions

    A speaker of English is forming a subject question when he or she uses a question word (what, where, when, why and so on) as the subject of a sentence construction we do not use auxiliary verbs (do or did, for example) and the word order is the same as affirmative sentences. In contrast to object questions, subject questions tend to be answered with shorter replies.

     

    Form of Subject questions:

     

    Question word + verb + object + ?

     

    Question form

    Answer to question

    Explanation

    Whose are these keys?

    They're mine

     

    All three of the examples highlight how subject questions behave in both the present and the past. We do not have any auxiliary verbs and the word order (subject- verb- object) can be seen. We can also see that the answers are shorter than those found with object sentences

    Who drank all the orange juice

    He did

    What happened?

     

    Nothing happened

     

     

     Warning!

    It is very easy to add an auxiliary verb to subject questions which makes the question look or sound very unnatural and therefore be incorrect.

     

    Where is he? NOT Where did he is?

     

    It is also easy to not include auxiliary verbs in object questions when they are needed

     

    Where do you liveNOT Where you live?

     

     

    Questions forms- Auxiliary questions

    When we want very simple information from someone, like a yes/no answer or perhaps a one-word answer, we use auxiliary questions. Auxiliary questions are very simple and should not be used if the speaker wants more complicated information but they are very useful questions for getting specific information and details. They are often answered with the affirmative (yes…) or the negative (No,…)

     

    Form of auxiliary questions:

     

    Auxiliary verb + subject + verb + ?

     

    Question form

    Answer to question

    Explanation

    Does he dance here?

    Yes, he does

     

    Present simple auxiliary question. Note the affirmative answer copies the structure of the question (Does he…? Yes, he does)

    Have they finished?

    No, they haven't

    A present perfect auxiliary question. This time, the answer is negative and notice the way the answer is similar to the question (Have they…? No, they haven't)

    Did she call you again?

     

    Yes, she did!

    Pat simple auxiliary question with answer in the affirmative

     

    Has the film started?

    Not yet, no Present perfect auxiliary question, in the third person with an answer that is more unconventional but simple still. 
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