Where can you practise the ways we ask questions in emails? Here, of course!

Unit 6: Enquiries

Enquiries

Consider these things when writing questions.

Subject questions

These questions are about the subject of a sentence:

  • Who takes you to school?
  • Where is your favourite place?
  • What annoys you the most?
  • When is convenient?

Do not add auxiliary verbs ('do', 'does', 'did', etc.): Who takes you ...? not Who does take you ...?

Yes/no questions

These questions usually only need a short answer like 'yes'/'yes, of course' or 'no'/ 'no, I'm sorry'.

  • Are you ready?
  • Is that convenient?
  • Do you remember me?
  • Can you send me the report, please?

Use the auxiliary verb before the subject: Do you remember ...? not You do remember ...?

Object questions

These questions are about the object of a sentence:

  • Where do you want to meet?
  • Who did you invite to the meeting?
  • Why couldn't you go?
  • How much is this going to cost?

Remember to use an auxiliary verb ('do', 'did', 'have', 'can', etc.): Where do you want to meet? not Where you want to meet?

'Let me know'

When you ask about something in an email, you can use this phrase. It shows that you want to get an answer.

  • Are you coming to the party on Saturday? Could you let me know? Thanks…
  • I would like to attend the training next Tuesday. Please can you let me know the start time?

Task 1

Task 2

Choose the correct preposition for the gaps in the email below.

From: Raj (raj.kumar@stancliffschool.org.uk)
To: Victor Obinna (Victor1997@yesmail.ng)
Subject: RE: pictures from my school

Hello Victor,

Thanks for sending me the pictures of your school and your friends. My school in England is very different! I want to ask you about your school. Here are my questions.

  1. I play cricket in the school team. What sports are you good (1) in / with / at?
  2. I hate maths but I love English. What subjects are you interested (2) in / to / on?
  3. In IT, we're learning how to make a website. At your school, what are you learning (3) about / on / at?
  4. My brother and I walk to school together every day. Who do you go to school (4) to / from / with?
  5. My flat is by a road with lots of cars. What is your home (5) next to / out of / away from?

Can you let me know?

Bye for now! Raj

Exercise

Task 3

Task 4

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Comments

I'm a bit confused of the use of the word "Let" for example: He lets the dog chase the boy. why not chases?
Another thing that confuses me is 'Let' in the past. Which one is true: He let the dog chased him or he let the dog chase him. Chased or chase? Thank you. Please send the answer to my email address, too. xxxxxxxxxxx. Thank you

Hello Q-mee,

The verb let is followed by a direct object (a person) and the base form of the verb:

let + someone + verb

Therefore the correct form is not 'chases' (present simple) but 'chase' (base form/infinitive without 'to').

We don't sent personal responses to email addresses, I'm afraid, but we try to answer as many questions in the comments are we can.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello!could you help me, what does it mean- 2 course lunch?
Yours sincerely,
Serg

Hello Serg,

Meals can have different numbers of courses, i.e. different kinds of food, usually served on different plates. For example, first you might eat salad, then some kind of meat, and finally a soup. That would be a three-course meal.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello,
In this Unit there are questions like "When would be convenient for you?" or "When is convenient?".
I would put an "it" in both. So could you explain me the reason? Is it also correct with it? There's also another question that has it: "Is that convenient?"
Many thanks,
Raquel

Hello Raquel,

The question 'When is convenient (for you)?' is unusual, isn't it? You are correct that you can also say 'When is it convenient (for you)?'

The reason we can say this without 'it' is that 'when' here means 'what time'. When we use 'what time' in this kind of sentence it is generally the subject of the sentence:

What time is good?

What time is best for you?

In the question 'Is that convenient?', we can also use 'it' or a noun:

Is that convenient?

It is convenient?

It the time convenient?

Is the location convenient?

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks, Peter. Now I understand the reason!

Hi Team.
1. What time the meeting does start tomorrow?
2. What time does the meeting start tomorrow?
Which one is correct?
Thanks.

Hi Mizam Balinese,

The second sentence is correct. You need to use inversion to form the question here, so the auxiliary verb 'does' comes before the subject ('the meeting').

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Dear LearnEnglish Team,
What is the difference between can and could? For example, Could you let me know the start time? vs Can you let me know the start time? Is could more polite?
Yours sincerely,
Dina

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