Question Form of Verbs

In this video we look at the Question form.

We use the question form to ask questions. In many languages questions do not grammatically different from the Positive Form or the Negative form. Instead you can just adjust your intonation to make it sound like a question. In English we adjust our intonation too but there is also a difference in the grammatical structure.

 

The difference with the Question Form

The biggest difference is that the auxiliary no longer comes directly before the main verb. It moves to be before the subject. As in the negative structure, there must always be an auxiliary verb. (to be verbs are the exception.) Sentences with this structure are questions and should, therefore, end with question marks.

So lets make our examples into questions.

“Are we learning?”

“Has she helped people? “

“Are we walking together?”

“Had they planned the project?”

“Have you taken over the office?”

“Was the house built in 1952?”

“Have I been to Africa?”

Question Words

All of the above example can be answered with a “yes” or a “no”. This is because the question starts with the auxiliary verb. However, sometimes you might want to know some specific information so this type of question will not be appropriate. In this case we use the question words What, Where. When etc. Each different question word refers to a different type of information and the question would need to be answered with that type of information instead of just yes or no.

What? – A general piece of information

When? – A time or date

Where? – A place

Why? – A reason

How? – Instructions

How much? – The price of something

How many? – A number

Although we add this question word, the overall question form that we have discussed is the same. The subject, auxiliary verb and main verb still come in the same order. Some similar examples to the ones above would be.

“What re we learning?”

“Why has she helped people? “

“Where are we walking together?”

“How had they planned the project?”

“Why have you taken over the office?”

“How was the house built in 1952?”

“How many times have you been to Africa?”

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  1. ELC Update - Pronunciation Videos - English Language Club - January 26, 2015

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