English as an Additional Language/Questions and Compounds

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Interrogatives[edit]

Questions in English often start with an interrogative which describes the type of information being asked for. Some examples are:

Interrogative Example question Example answer
what What is this? This is an apple
who Who is that? That is my teacher.
where Where is the restroom? The restroom is down-stairs.
when When does class start? Class starts at six o'clock.
why Why are you studying English? I'm studying English because of my work.
how How does my dress look? Your dress looks great!

Note how the word order changes between the question and the answer.

Yes-no questions[edit]

In yes-no questions (so-called polar questions) the word order is usually the same, but instead of the interrogative comes a verb to make a Verb-Subject-Object sentence. Below are some examples of yes-no questions:

Verb Example question Positive answer Negative answer Negative answer with positive explanation
do Do you like apples? Yes, I like apples. No, I don't like apples. No, I like/prefer oranges.
be Is this red? Yes, this is red. No, this isn't red. No, this is blue.
be Are you studying English? Yes, I'm studying English. No, I'm not studying English. No, I'm studying French.
be Will you sing a song? Yes, I'll sing a song. No, I won't sing a song. No, I will read a story.

Usually, simple positive or negative answers will be shorter. It is enough to say: "Yes, I do.", "No, I don't.", "Yes, it is.", "No, it isn't", etc.