English Grammar

“Questions” in English grammar with illustrations

Questions in English

Questions are a very important language resource that facilitates communication in all areas. When we learn a new language, it is essential to learn to inquire about information correctly. This time we explain how to ask questions in English. “Questions” in English grammar

Basic types of questions in English

There are two elementary types of questions in English: yes / no or closed questions and open questions in which the so-called “question words” or questions with Wh- are used.

  • Yes / No or closed questions: They are those that request specific information and admit a “yes” or a “no” as an answer.
  • Questions with open Wh- o: They are those that serve to request more information and require a more extensive explanation in response.

Let’s see below how each type of question is posed and some examples.

Closed questions (Yes / No)

They are called closed questions or “closed questions” because the answers are quite simple . Therefore, they can be answered with “Yes” or “No” , as they ask for specific information.

Example:

  • Do you have a pen?
  • Yes, I do .
  • No, I don’t .

How are closed questions structured?

To ask closed questions, the corresponding auxiliary must be used for each verb tense . This also applies to the answer to be given.

Present and past of the verb “to be”

The verb “to be” corresponding to the present (am, are, is) or the past (was, were) is used, as the case may be. Followed by the subject and the complement.

Example:

  • Question: Are you hungry?
  • Answer: Yes, I am . (Yes, I am) / No, I am not . (No I’m not)
  • Question: Are you at home last night?
  • Answer: Yes, I was . / No, I wasn’t .

Simple present

In these questions the auxiliary “Do” (for the pronouns I, you, we, they) or “Does” (he, she, it) is used. “Questions” in English grammar

Structure:

Do / Does + subject + verb in the infinitive without the “to” + complement?

Example:

  • Do you travel to work every morning?
  • Yes, I do . / No, I don’t . (Yes, I do travel. / No, I do not travel.)
  • Does John read the newspaper every day?
  • Yes, he does . / No, he doesn’t . (Yes, he reads it. / No, he doesn’t read it.)

Simple past

The auxiliary used is the “Did” , regardless of the auxiliary that is present.

Structure:

Did + subject + verb in the infinitive without the “to” + complement?

Example:

  • Did you practice the math exercises last night?
  • Yes, I did. No, I didn’t . (Yes, I practiced. / No, I didn’t practice.)

Future (Will)

The auxiliary Will is used with all pronouns.

Structure:

Will + subject + infitive verb without the “to” + complement?

Example:

  • Will she work tonight?
  • Yes, she will . / No, she won’t . (Yes, she will work. / No, she will not work.)

Future (be going to)

Used “are”, “am” or “is” , according to the pronoun appears in prayer, followed by the “going to” .

Structure:

Are / am / is + subject + going to + verb in infinitive + complement?

Example:

  • Are you going to play tennis?
  • Yes, I am. No, I am not.

Present continuous

It used “are”, “am” or “is” , according to the pronoun appears in the sentence and the verb in the present participle .

Structure:

Are / am / is + subject + verb in present participle + complement?

Example:

  • Are they studying now?
  • Yes, they are . / No, they aren’t .

Modal verb “Can”

In this case we use the modal verb Can at the beginning of the sentence and the infinitive verb without the “to” .

Structure:

Can + subject + verb in the infinitive without the “to” + complement?

Example:

  • Can we ride the horse?
  • Yes, we / No, we can’t.

Questions with “Wh-” or open

They are those that serve to request more information and require a more extensive explanation in response. To ask open questions, we use interrogative words (question words). These are:

  • WHO
  • What
  • Why
  • When
  • Where
  • How

Open questions in the different verb tenses

When we ask open questions, we start with the Question Word and follow the rules of the corresponding verb tense . For example, if the sentence is in the present simple, then we use the auxiliary “do” or “does”, according to the pronoun to be used. If we speak in the past simple, the auxiliary will be “did”. When it is in the future, the auxiliary “will” is used.

The structure would be the following:

Interrogative word + auxiliary + subject + verb in the infinitive without the “to” + complement?

Examples:

  • When do you go to church?
  • Where does your Dad work?
  • What do you like to eat for breakfast?
  • When did you travel to Italy?

When “to be” is the main verb

On the other hand, if the question is formulated with the verb “to be”, then the verb must come after the interrogative word and before the subject . “Questions” in English grammar

Example:

  • Whose is this pencil?
  • Where is your favorite place to be on vacation?
  • What is your favorite meal?

Meaning of the “Questions Words”

To better understand how to use question words, let’s look at their precise meaning.

When?

It is translated “When?” and it is used to ask the hour, the time or the moment in which an event occurred.

  • When did they go to the mountain? (When did they go to the mountain?

Que?

It can mean: “what? Which one? or which is it?”

  • What are their bikes?
  • What did he say this morning?

Quien?

Its meaning is “Who?” or “Who?”, is used to know who or who did an action. When “Who” is used, the question usually does not have an auxiliary.

  • Who ate the cake?

Who… with?

When finding this combination of words in a sentence, then it is translated “With whom?”.

  • Who do you work with?

Where?

It means “Where?” and is used to ask about a location or place.

  • Where were you last month?

Why?

Its translation is “Why?” and the answer to this question is made with the word “because” (because).

  • Why did you pay me too much?  (Because you did an excellent job.)

Which?

The meaning is “Which one?” or which is it? The questions that carry these words are almost always chosen from different options.

  • Which car do you prefer?

Whose?

It is translated “From whom?” and it is used to find out who owns or is the owner of something.

  • Whose is this pen?

How?

Although it does not start with “Wh-“, it is also a question mark. Its meaning is “How?” .

  • How was your journey to Miami?
  • How much ?
  • How much money do they need?

If the word “How” is accompanied by “many” “often” or “long” , it means: “How many?”, “How often?” or “How long does it take?” , respectively.

  • How many students does she has in her class?
  • How often does she go to the beach?
  • How long was the concert?  “Questions” in English grammar

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