Questions play an important role in English conversation. Without enough skills or command over making questions, none can gets fluency in English. In today’s lesson, we are going to discuss the five common types of questions in English grammar. They are General or Yes/No Questions, Indirect Questions, Special or Wh-questions or 5 W questions using Wh-words, choice questions and tag/tail questions. There is also another type of question that is called Negative question. Details on how to form or use these 5 types of questions are given below :
Indirect Questions : This type of question is mainly used to ask for or request for something politely when one do not know well the person from whom something is being sought. Forming this question is also easy : add just a phrase before the direct question. Look at the sentences below :
Direct question : Which bus goes to Dhaka Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport? In indirect format, it can be expressed with different ways. Look at the dialogue below :
A : Could you please tell me which bus goes to the airport? Or Do you know which bus goes to the airport?
B : Oh! sure. There are several services that travel to the airport. Just take one and get to the airport. Ok.
A : Thank you very much. Well, do you know how much the fare it?
B : Sure. It’s not that much, just 30 taka. Ok.
A : Thank you again.
B : It’s ok.
Another example of indirect to direct question :
Direct question : How much will this book cost me? The indirect one to this is : Could you please tell me or do you know how much this book will cost me?
Note : both direct and indirect questions are used to ask for information. Also keep in mind that in indirect question, the verb ‘to be’ like am, is, are, was, is placed at the end of the sentence. Look at the following sentence :
Where’s the Shah Amanat International airport? (direct question)
The indirect question is : Could you please tell me where the airport is?
Choice Questions : Choice questions offer a choice of several options (to pick one from several options) as an answer. They are usually made up of two parts connected by the conjunction or. Note that when the question does not centre on the subject of the sentence, the answer is a bit long. On the other hand, when it is the opposite (the question focuses on the subject) the answer is usually short. To understand better, look at the sentences below :
1. Which brand smartphone do you want to buy, Samsung or Huawei? I want to buy one to Samsung.
2. My little daughter, what do you want to take, a nice toy or a nice dress? I prefer a nice dress (to a toy)
3. Does she like chocolate or sweets? – No, she likes neither of them. She likes ice cream very much.
4. Where do you want to go this weekend, to Sylhet or Cox’s bazar? – I would prefer Cox’s bazar.
5. Who has made the mistake, you or Karim?——– Karim. (In the sentence the focus is on the subject, so the answer is short)
Also note that when the question is about the subject, the auxiliary verb comes before the second option. In this case, The answer is usually short. See the sentences :
1. Have you self broken the screen of smartphone or has your son? — My son have this. (broken the screen)
2. Does your wife make the bed or do you? —Usually my wife does. (the full answer is my wife make the bed)
Negative Question : This type of question is used for confirmation just like tag questions. This question usually carries the word not or a negative verb contraction such as didn’t (did not), wasn’t, weren’t (were not), hasn’t, haven’t etc. See the sentence :
1. Haven’t you heard the sad news? At least 70 people including women and children died in a massive fire at a building in old Dhaka. (making confirmation by the speaker)
2. Haven’t you got the news? One of our friends Rahul is going to the USA for higher study. He has just got the visa.
We can use Negative Question to express surprise that something you expect to happen hasn’t happened yet. Look at the sentence :
Hasn’t your daughter got (returned) home yet? She has left the school at 4 P.M. So it’s been 5 hours since.
The basic way to form negative verb contraction : did, have, were, was, etc + n’t such as didn’t, haven’t, weren’t etc.
Note : Discussion on the rest three type of questions to be followed soon. If you like this article please share with friends.