ESL – The Interrogative Part 1

3 June

The Interrogative Part 1


The interrogative is normal for many questions. It contains a verb phrase that is
followed by a subject. 
There are two main types of question: those that can be answered yes or no, and those that have to be answered with a specific piece of information or a sentence such as ” I don’t know “.  Each type of question has its own special word order.

Yes or No – questions

Questions that expect the answer yes or no are called yes/no questions or sometimes, polar questionsThe interrogative is used to form yes/no questions. The normal sentence order for the interrogative is:   modal/auxiliary verb + subject + base form of the main verb.
  • Were the dogs barking?
  • Have you been dieting?
  • Would you like a chocolate?

When a sentence does not contain a modal verb or an auxiliary verb, the question is formed by placing a form of the supporting auxiliary verb do before the subject and following it with the base form of the main verb.

  • Does he enjoy tennis?
  • Do they play a lot?
  • Did that surprise his mum?

Yes/no questions also have a negative form. Negative yes/noquestions are almost always contracted. The negative in its contracted form n’t comes immediately before the subject.

  • Doesn’t he like talking about his childhood?
  • Can’t Peter have one too?
  • Wouldn’t you like to know a bit more about this?

If the full negative form not is used, it comes immediately after the subject. The full form is very formal.

  • Does he not like talking about his childhood?
  • Do you not want to know what it was about?
  • Can Peter not have one too?

WH – questions

When you want to get a detailed answer, not just yes or no, you must use a non-polar’ question), which allows for many possible answers. The words whowhomwhosewhatwhichwhenwherewhy, and how are used to form this sort of question. These words are referred to as WH- words. 

  • Yes/no:
  • Did you ring the school? – Yes, I did.
  • Was she all right in the end? – No/I don’t know.
  • WH-:
  • Who was that man? – He’s my geography teacher.
  • What did he say when you told him the news? – He was too surprised to say anything.


Thank you for reading my blog.


P.S. I am going away for a few days, so my next blog will be sometime next week.  

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