Three Types of Questions You Should Really Know in English
A guide to asking questions in English
If you want to learn English, try to think like a child again and be as curious as possible. In this friendly guide, I’m going to cover three main types of questions in English that you can use again and again in real life.
1. Yes/No questions
This type of question is usually the easiest to ask and answer. ‘Yes/No‘ questions are questions to which the answer is Yes or No
We make Yes/No questions by so-called ‘inversion’, which means that we change the order of words in the sentence by putting the the auxialiary verb for example: are, will, had, have before the subject of the sentence- they, you, she, I, etc.
The basic structure for yes/no questions looks like this:
[Auxiliary Verb] + [Subject] + [Main Verb] + [Object or Other Information] + ?
Are they working hard?
Will you be working hard?
Had she worked hard?
Have I been working hard?
Famous song with ‘Yes/No Questions’:
Wh-questions are questions which start with a question-asking word, either a Wh- word (what, when, where, which, who, whose, why, who).
We form wh-questions with these words by putting the question word in front of a Yes/No question:
The structure of a “wh- question” is usually like this:
[“Wh-” Question Word/Phrase] + [Auxiliary Verb] + [Subject] + [Main Verb] + [Object or Other Information] + ?:
Where are they working?
Why have they been working hard?
Where does he work?
Where will you go?
When did they arrive?
Wh-questions can be used to ask about the subject or object of the verb. Compare these questions:
Who loves Lucy?
Who does Lucy love?
Who invented the telephone? ( not Who did invent the telephone?)
Who loves Lucy? ( not Who does love Lucy?)
Which album brought fame to Queen? ( not Which album did bring the fame to Queen?)
What did you do at the weekend?
Where does your brother work?
Who will you ask for help?
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?
Famous songs with ‘WH-questions’:
– “When Will I See You Again?“ by The Three Degrees (Future simple — This song also has many other questions in the lyrics.)
–“Where Did All the Love Go?” by Kasabian (Past Simple tense)
3. Indirect questions:
We use phrases like these in front of a statement to ask questions:
Do you know…? I wonder… Can you tell me …?
- the order of subject, auxilliary verb i the same as in statements, positive sentences:
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?