1. Yes/No questions

Yes/No questions are questions to which the answer is Yes or No

Look at these statements:

They are working hard.
They will be working hard.
They had worked hard.
They have been working hard.
They might have been working hard.

We make Yes/No questions by putting the subject, they, after the first part of the verb:

Are they working hard?
Will they be working hard?
Had they worked hard?
Have they been working hard?
Might they have been working hard?

2. Negatives

We make negatives by putting not after the first part of the verb:

They are not working hard
They will not be working hard
They had not worked hard
They have not been working hard
They might not have been working hard

In spoken English we often reduce not to n’t:

They aren’t working hard.
They won’t be working hard
They hadn’t been working hard
etc.

Reorder the words to make questions and negative statements.

3. Questions and negatives with present simple and past simple forms:

For all verbs except be and have we use do/does and did with the base form of the verb to make Yes/No questions for the present simple and past simple forms:

They work hard >>> Do they work hard?
He works hard >>> Does he work hard?
They worked hard >>> Did they work hard?

For all verbs except be and have we make negatives by putting not after do/does and did for the present simple and past simple forms:

They work hard >>> They do not (don’t) work hard
He works hard >>> He does not (doesn’t) work hard
They worked hard >>> They did not (didn’t) work hard.

Here are the question forms and negative forms for the verb be in the present simple and past simple:

I am (I’m) Am I? I am not (I’m not)
He is (he’s) Is he? He is not (He’s not/He isn’t)
She is (she’s) Is she She is not (She’s not/She isn’t)
It is (it’s) Is it It is not (It’s not/It isn’t)
You are (you’re) Are you You are not (You’re not/You aren’t)
They are (they’re) Are they They are not (They’re not/They aren’t)

 

The verb have:

We make questions and negatives with have in two ways:

  • normally we use do/does or did for questions :

Do you have plenty of time?
Does she have enough money?
Did they have any useful advice?

  • and negatives:

I don’t have much time.
She doesn’t have any money.
They didn’t have any advice to offer.

  •  … but we can make questions by putting have, has or had in front of the subject:

Have you plenty of time?
Had they any useful advice?

  • … and we can make negatives by putting not or n’t after have, has or had:

We haven’t much time.
She hadn’t any money.
He hasn’t a sister called Liz, has he?

4.  Wh-questions

Wh-questions are questions which start with a question-asking word, either a Wh- word (what, when, where, which, who, whose, why) or questions with the word how.

Questions with: when, where, why:

We form wh-questions with these words by putting the question word in front of a Yes/No question:

Where are they working?
Why have they been working hard?
Where does he work?
Where will you go?
When did they arrive?
etc.

Questions with who, which and what (see Pronouns):

  • Sometimes who or what takes the place of the subject (see Clauses, Sentences and Phrases) of the clause:

Who gave you the chocolates? >>> Barbara gave me the chocolates.
Who is looking after the children? >>> My mother is looking after the children
Who mended the window? >>> My brother mended the window
Who could have done this? >>> Anybody could have done this.

  • We use what in the same way:

What will happen?
What caused the accident?
What frightened the children?

When we ask who, which and what about the object of the verb (see Clauses, Sentences and Phrases), we make questions in the way described in 1 and 3 above with who, which or what at the beginning of the clause:

He is seeing Joe tomorrow >>> Who is he seeing tomorrow?
I want a computer for my birthday >>> What do you want for your birthday?
She has brought some fruit for the picnic >>> What has she brought for the picnic?
They need a new car >>> What do they need?

We sometimes use which or what with a noun:

What subjects did you study at school?
What newspaper do you read?
Which newspaper do you read – the Times or the Guardian?
Which book do you want?

Questions with how:

We use how for many different questions:

How are you?
How do you make questions in English?
How long have you lived here?
How often do you go to the cinema?
How much is this dress?
How old are you?
How many people came to the meeting?

Match the questions words with the questions.

5. Questions with verbs and prepositions:

When we have a question with a verb and a preposition the preposition usually comes at the end of the clause:

I gave the money to my brother >>> Who did you give the money to?
She comes from Madrid >>> Where does she come from?
They were waiting for more than an hour >>> How long were they waiting for?

Reorder the words to make questions.

6. Other ways of asking questions:

We use a phrases like these in front of a statement to ask questions:

Do you know…? I wonder... Can you tell me …?

  • We use these phrase with if for Yes/No questions:

This is the right house >>> Do you know if this is the right house?
Mr. Brown lives here >>> Do you know if Mr. Brown lives here?
Everyone will have read the book >>> I wonder if everyone will have read the book.


… or with wh-words:

I wonder how much this dress is.
Can you tell me where she comes from?
Do you know who lives here?

  • We often use do you think…? after wh-words:

How much do you think this dress is?
Where do you think she comes from?
Who do you think lives here?

7. Negatives with the to-infinitive:

When we make a negative with the to-infinitive we put not in front of IB:

He told us not to make so much noise.
They were asked not to park in front of the house.

 

Reorder the words to make questions and statements.

Section: 

Comments

Hi, about "who" as a question pronoun. How can I know what comes after it ?

Who rode the bike?

Or

Who did ride the bike?

And need an explnation, please.

All the thanks.

Hi Ano,

Your question is about subject/object questions and we have a page on this topic which I am sure will clarify it for you. You can find the page here.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you very much, sir. I think it is clear now.

Who did I ask?
Who asked Dr. peter?

Thank you again, sir.

Did they have any useful advice?
had they any useful advice?

Is there a different meaning between the two sentences?

In general, is there any different meaning between "Does someone have....." and "Has Someone..."?

Hello Salem249,

There is no difference in meaning but the second sentence sounds rather odd. Generally, we do not use simple inversion with 'have' when it is the main verb of the sentence. Therefore we say:

Did they have any useful advice?

Had they got any useful advice?

but not

Had they any useful advice?

The last sounds archaic in modern English and is not standard use.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Thank for your replay.
This example "Had they any useful advice?" is mentioned in this lesson in section 3. so, is it right in terms of English grammars but the native speakers do not use it? or, does the writer of this lesson make a mistake by mentioned it in this lesson?

Hello Salem249,

In Section 3 the first sentence is 'normally we use do/does or did for questions'. While, as the information says, 'we can make questions by putting have, has or had in front of the subject', it is not the normal use and, as I said, sounds very formal, old-fashioned and even archaic.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi,I don't understand the sentence of "She may not have had the time",
why the sentence use had after have?
if the sentence is "She may not have the time",is this corrent of the grammar ?

Hello DennisCheuk,

In this sentence 'have had' is a present perfect form and it describes a situation in the past (having or not having the time) with an influence on the present (she's not here etc). If you use a present simple form ('have') then the sentence has a different meaning and refers to the present (having time now) or future (having time later).

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Good evening,
Sorry to bother you again, but I really need your help.
As we know there are 4 kinds of sentences (declar., Imper., Exclam.and interrog.
How about the negative one?
Thank you in advance

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