Saturday, 9 February 2013


Questions are sentences that seek information. There are three main types, dependant on the kind of reply they expect and their construction. These type of sentences are said to have an interrogative structure. 

Yes-no questions

'Are you ready?' 'Do you want dinner?'

Wh- questions

What, why, where and how questions.

'What time is it?' 'How are you today?'

Alternative questions

Requires an option to be selected. They always have the connecting word 'or' in them.

'Would you like eggs or bacon?' 'Manchester City or Manchester United?'

Statements can be turned into questions by a tone of voice. 

'John's home?' 'You've spoken to him?'

Tag questions

These are questions where the interrogative structure is added at the end of the sentence. 

'You like ice cream, don't you?' 

These questions also expect a 'yes' or 'no' reply.

Exclamatory questions

These are questions that are an exclamation and ask the hearer to agree. 

'Hasn't she grown!' 'Wasn't the book marvellous!'

Rhetorical questions

These are questions that don't expect an answer. 

'Who cares?' 'How should I know?' 'What difference does it make?'


If we change the intonation of a question it can alter it's meaning. 

'She's not in, is she?' (I want to know - The tone at the end is rising)
'She's not in, is she!' (I told you so - The tone at the end is falling.)

This can be unclear when written down, so be careful. 

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