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English Grammar in Use, Unit 49: QuestionsEnglish Grammar in Use, Unit 49: Questions

  • Topic: Questions
  • English Grammar Class
  • Date of Class: May 29, 2016, from 9:00 to 10:00 pm (Iran)
  • Use the audio player below to listen to the podcast of this vocabulary class which is based on the text below.

Part A:

In questions we usually put the subject after the first verb:
subject + verb verb + subject (I, Tom, you, the house, etc.)

Remember that the subject comes after the first verb:
Will Tom be here tomorrow?
Have you been working hard?
When was the house built?
Is Katherine working today? (not Is working Katherine)

Part B:

In present simple questions, we use do/does:
In past simple questions, we use did:
Do you Live near here?
What time does the film start?
Did you sell your car?
Why did the train stop?
But do not use do/does/did if who/what etc. is the subject of the sentence. Compare:
who object who subject
Emma phoned somebody somebody phoned Emma.
Who did Emma phone? Who phoned Emma?
In these examples, who/what etc. is the subject:
Who wants something to eat? (not Who does want)
What happened to you last night? (not What did happen)
How many people came to the meeting? (not did come)
Which bus goes to the centre? (not does go)

Part C:

Note the position of prepositions in questions beginning Who/What/Which/Where … ?:
Who do you want to speak to? :

What was the weather Like yesterday?
Which job has Tina applied for?

Where are you from?
You can use preposition + whom in formal style:
To whom do you wish to speak?

Part D:

Isn’t it … ? I Didn’t you … ? etc. (negative questions)
We use negative questions especially to show surprise:
Didn’t you hear the doorbell? I rang it three times.
or when we expect the listener to agree with us:
Haven’t we met before?’ Yes, I think we have.’
Note the meaning of yes and no in answers to negative questions:
{ Yes. (= Yes, I want to go)

Don t you want to go. No. (= N o, I don’t want to go)
Note the word order in negative questions beginning Why .. . ?:
Why don’t we eat out tonight? (not Why we don’t eat)
Why wasn’t Emma at work yesterday? (not Why Emma wasn’t)

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