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

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 the auxiliary verb 'do' ('do', 'does', 'did'): 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

Download

Comments

Hello LearnEnglish team,

Could you let me know your arrival time?
Could you let me know when your arrival time is?
Could you let me know when is your arrival time?
Please let me know whether the last two are correct or not.

Hi qayum2s,

The first and second sentences are correct. The third one is not – see our Reported questions page for an explanation of this.

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

hello every one
my question is in the exercise (task 1) , the sentence of "I look forward to working with you" , is this right to be in -ing form or it shall be "to work with you " ?

thanks

Hello eng.Ayman,

In the phrase 'look forward to', 'to' is a preposition, which is why verbs after it go in the -ing form and not in the infinitive form. 'look forward to working with you' is correct.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

its really good for some one like just learning writing e-mails .

Hello Learn English team,

Within the first paragraph it is suggested that we could not use any auxiliary verb when we ask 'Subject Questions'.
what about theses ones:
'Who is playing the Piano?'
'Who has brought the flower?'
The sentences 'Who playing the Piano' or 'Who brought the flower' doesn't sound correct!
I think we should not add those auxiliary verbs which are used in simple present and simple past tenses of 'Subject Questions', and those are just 'do', 'does', 'did'.

Best,

Hello RezAref,

Yes, you are right. It is the auxiliary verb 'do' (in all its forms) that is not used in subject questions, but the other ones are. The word 'etc.' should not be in the explanation above and I will remove it from the page soon.

Thanks very much for taking the time to point out this error to us!

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Dear Sir,

In the Task 4, it show that is wrong what time will being convenient for you. Could you let me know how to write is correct.

with thanks,
Chunlin

Hello chunlinai,

The sentence should be as follows:

What time will be convenient for you?

After 'will' we use the base form of the verb ('be') not the -ing form ('being').

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

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

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