A sentence that is used to ask a question or a sentence expressed to get information in reply is called a question or an interrogative sentence. Indeed, in the English language, there are many types of questions. We use different types of questions commonly in English and to know when to use different types of questions, read this article completely and recognize all types of questions.
All Types of Questions in English
1. Included Questions:
A question included in another question/statement is called Included or Embedded Question.
- Do you know who they are? (question included in question)
- I don’t know who they are. (question included in statement)
2. Included Question into Statement:
Included questions into statements are those questions in which we combine one question with one statement. After combining the question changes and become affirmative.
The formula for Included Question in Statement:
Phrase + WH Question Word/If + Positive sentence
- I am not sure how he got your Email.
- I am not sure if he lives here.
Phrases to introduce Included Question in Statement:
- I don’t know….
- I have no idea….
- He is not exactly sure….
- I really can’t tell you
1. I don’t know. (Where does he live?)
I don’t know where he lives.
2. I am not sure. (How much is the price?)
3. I have no idea. (Is he studying the English language?)
4. I wonder. (Were they friends?)
5. I am not exactly sure. (What did he buy?)
6. I don’t remember. (Did he help the poor man?)
3. Included Questions into Questions:
Included questions into questions are those questions in which we combine two questions. When we combine then the second question loses its word order and becomes a positive sentence.
The formula for Included Question in Question:
Phrase + WH Question Word/If + Positive sentence + ?
- Can you tell me where they have gone?
- Can you tell me if they live here?
Phrases to introduce Included Question in Question:
- Do you know…
- Do you have any idea…?
- Could you please tell me….?
- Do you remember….
1. Do you know? (Where is his home?)
Do you know where his home is?
2. Can you tell me? (What is he doing?)
3. Could you tell me? (Is he a doctor?)
4. Does she know? (How does an engine start?)
5. Do you have any idea? (What will they buy?)
6. Do you know? (Does she work?)
4. Indirect Questions
Indirect questions are those questions that are asked indirectly. The helping verb and the modal verb come after the subject and it is ended with a full stop instead of a question mark.
Note: In an indirect question: => “A” says to “B” to ask “C” or
- First person says to second person to ask the third person.
- Do you go to school?
- Ask her if she goes to school.
Note: If the question is from a “W.H word”, the same W.H word comes between the two clauses.
- What are they doing?
- Ask them what they are doing.
Direct questions Indirect questions
- What is she doing? Ask her what she is doing.
- Does he work hard? Ask him if he works hard.
- Will you help us? Ask him if he will help us.
- Why do they go there? Ask them why they go there.
- Did you enjoy the party? Ask her if she enjoyed the party.
- Are you a doctor?
- Have they written their H.W?
- Can you teach English?
- How much money do you have?
- Where do you live?
5. Yes/No Questions
A common question that can be answered simply with “Yes” or “No” is called Yes/No questions in English.
- Do you like this city?
- Do they know about your occupation?
- Can you call the teacher?
- Is it cold today?
- Are they ready for the match?
The answer to Yes/No questions depends on the verb used in the question and you can simply answer by “Yes, I do” or “No I don’t like this city.”
Moreover, when the question begins with the form of To be verbs (Is, Are, or Am) then the answers can be “Yes, I am/ she is/ we are” or “No, I am not,/he is not, we are not”. The same way you can for past To be verbs (Was and Were)
If the Yes/No question contains auxiliary verbs (do/does, did, will, have/has) you can answer with yes or no using the same verb.
- Did she clean the table? — Yes, she did/ No she didn’t.
- Have you washed the dishes? — Yes, I have/ No, I haven’t.
- Will they come on time? — Yes, they will/ No they won’t.
6. WH- Questions
WH questions are very common in English and we use them in our daily conversation. If you want to get some information about someone or something you ask with the help of WH questions. In other words, WH Questions are words that include the letter ‘W’ and ‘H’, we use them to ask certain types of questions.
What: “What” is used to ask about things or facts.
- What is this?
Which: “Which” is used to ask about choice or selection?
- Which book do you want?
When: “When” is used to ask about time.
- When is your birthday?
Where: “Where” is used to ask about the place.
- Where were you born?
How: “How” is used to ask about condition or quality.
- How are you feeling now?
Why: “Why” is used to ask about reason or purpose.
- Why are you upset?
- Because I failed the test.
- Why is she happy today?
- Because she passed the final test.
- Why do you visit Learn ESL?
- In order to learn English. / To learn English.
Who: “Who” is used to ask about a subject or object.
To ask about the subject:
- Who is walking in the street?
- Who is drinking tea now?
To ask about the object:
- Who are you speaking with?
- Who does he send a letter to?
1- ————— is his name? -His name is Jan.
2- ——————- are you from? -I am from Japan.
3- ——————- are you going? -I am going to the zoo.
4- ——————- is she doing? -She is reciting the Holy Quran.
5- ——————- is your beloved? -My beloved is my English teacher.
6- ——————- are they sad? -Because they are missing their families.
7- ——————- he studies hard? -In order to pass the test.
8- ——————- is your dad? -He is doing well.
9- ——————are you talking to? -I am talking to my friend Ali.
10- For —————– are you waiting here? -I am waiting for my uncle.
7. Tag Questions
The tag question or question tag is a phrase added to the main part of the sentence. They are not really questions but are put with the statement in a sentence in order to keep the conversation going and make a comment. Tag Questions / Question Tags are frequently used in spoken English when you want to confirm something, but not in formal written English. So, we can define question tags as follow:
Tag Question/ Question Tag is a short question that is used for confirmation.
How to Form Tag Questions?
1. If the statement is positive, then the question tag will be negative
- You are a teacher, aren’t you?
2. If the statement is negative, then the question tag will be positive.
- He isn’t a teacher, is he?
3. Check the kind of verb used in the statement. If the auxiliary verb is used in the states follow the same verb in tag questions.
- They have won the match, haven’t they?
4. If the statement is without auxiliaries, then (doesn’t, don’t, didn’t) are used in the question tags.
- Ali likes reading books, doesn’t he?
- They postponed the test, didn’t they?
- They play cricket on weekends, don’t they?
How to respond to tag questions?
Question tags are used to keep a conversation going, you can agree or refuse a sentence with a question tag. To agree or refuse possible answers are Yes or No.
- They are from Pakistan, aren’t they? (Yes, they are/ No, they aren’t)
Example: Peter works in the shop, _________ ?
Answer: Peter works in the shop, doesn’t he?
1) She is collecting stickers, _________ ?
2) We often watch TV in the afternoon, _________ ?
3) You have cleaned your bike, _________ ?
4) John and Max don’t like Math, _________ ?
5) Peter played handball yesterday, _________ ?
6) They are going home from school, _________ ?
7) Mary didn’t do her homework last Monday, _________ ?
8) He could have bought a new car, _________ ?
9) Kevin will come tonight, _________ ?
8. Choice Questions
Choice questions are types of questions that offer a choice of several options as an answer. You might recognize them from your exam “MCQs” multiple-choice questions. Choice questions are made of two parts which are mostly connected with the conjunction “Or“.
- Does she like ice cream or chocolate? – She likes chocolate.
- Where would you go, to the park or to the zoo? – I would go to the park.
- Do you make it or do I? – I do.
- Did she buy the car or did they? – They did.
9. Rhetorical Questions
Rhetorical questions are used for expression or stylist purposes only. They don’t expect any answer and this is the reason that they are mostly ended with an exclamation mark instead of a question mark.
- What! I have won the game?
- Coach: I think we better cancel the match today?
- Players: What? But we are fully prepared for it.
- Is she really serious?
10. Hypothetical Questions
Hypothetical questions are used to draw out beliefs and opinions about an imaginary condition or situation that don’t exist and these questions are based on supposition.
These types of questions are also used in the context of events and situations that haven’t occurred yet. Therefore asks the opinion of the respondent to express how he or she would handle a hypothetical situation or event that might occur in the future.
- What would you do if you lost the game?
- Would you go out for a picnic if it didn’t snow?
- If you had a million-dollar, what would you buy?
After reading this article completely, now you must ask any type of questions in English with confidence. Moreover, make sure to practice and attempt the given exercises to master the material you have just read.