Interrogative sentences

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If you’re learning English, you might feel confused about the different sentence types. One of them is the interrogative sentence. In this reference, we’re going to look at what an interrogative sentence is, the various types of interrogative sentences, how to form them, and common mistakes to avoid.

What is an interrogative sentence?

An interrogative sentence helps us ask a question. It is different from a declarative sentence, which makes a statement or expresses an opinion. Interrogative sentences usually begin with a verb, and the subject comes after the verb.

For example, "Do you like pineapples?" is an interrogative sentence because it asks a question. On the other hand, "I like pineapples" is a declarative sentence because it makes a statement.

Examples of interrogative sentences

Types of interrogative sentences

There are three types of interrogative sentences: yes/no questions, wh- questions, and tag questions.

Yes/no questions

Yes/no questions are the most common type of interrogative sentence. They are called yes/no questions because they are answered with a "yes" or "no." These questions usually begin with an auxiliary verb or the verb "to be."

For example, "Are you hungry?" and "Do you want to go to the movies?" are yes/no questions.

Wh- questions

Wh- questions are questions that begin with the words "who," "what," "where," "why," "when," or "how." They are used to ask for more information about something.

For example, "What is your favorite color?" and "Where were you born?" are wh- questions.

Question tags

Tag questions are questions that are added to the end of a statement. They are used to confirm or clarify information.

For example, "You like pizza, don't you?" and "She's a doctor, isn't she?" are tag questions.

How to form interrogative sentences

To form an interrogative sentence, you need to invert the position of the subject and the auxiliary verb. If there is no auxiliary verb, you need to add one.

For example, to turn the declarative sentence "You like pizza" into an interrogative sentence, you would say "Do you like pizza?"

Here are some other examples:

  • Declarative: She is going to the store.
  • Interrogative: Is she going to the store?
  • Declarative: They have a dog.
  • Interrogative: Do they have a dog?
  • Declarative: I am hungry.
  • Interrogative: Are you hungry?

Examples of interrogative sentences

Here are some more examples of interrogative sentences:

  • What time is it?
  • Who is coming to the party?
  • Why did you quit your job?
  • How do you make lasagna?
  • Where did you park your car?

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Difference between declarative and interrogative sentences

The main difference between declarative and interrogative sentences is that declarative sentences make a statement, while interrogative sentences ask a question.

For example:

  • Declarative: The sky is blue.
  • Interrogative: Is the sky blue?
  • Declarative: She is a doctor.
  • Interrogative: Is she a doctor?

Common mistakes

Common mistakes to avoid when forming interrogative sentences:

  • Forgetting to invert the subject and auxiliary verb
  • Using the wrong auxiliary verb
  • Forgetting to add an auxiliary verb when there isn't one in the declarative sentence
  • Using the wrong word order in wh- questions

Summary

Interrogative sentences exist to ask questions and gather information. There are three types of interrogative sentences: yes/no questions, wh- questions, and question tags. To form an interrogative sentence, you need to invert the position of the subject and auxiliary verb. If you follow these rules, you'll learn to ask great questions in a very short order!

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Comments

Janessa SotoMar 5th, 2024
I've read many grammar guides, but this one stands out for its clarity and practicality. I'll definitely be referring back to it often.
Johnny SsntosoJan 23rd, 2024
more information about question tag , We often use question tags when we expect the listener to agree with our statement. In this case, when the statement is positive, we use a negative question tag. She's a doctor, isn't she? Yesterday was so much fun, wasn't it? If the statement is negative, we use a positive question tag. He isn't here, is he? The trains are never on time, are they? Nobody has called for me, have they?
Jay Yadav Jan 11th, 2024
Very useful
RGCP JayarathnaNov 21st, 2023
nice