Short questions

Sometimes we answer a statement by asking for more information. Questions of this kind have a very simple structure.

Study the following examples.

  • ‘Rani is quitting her job.’ ‘Why?’ (More natural than ‘Why is Rani quitting her job?’)
  • ‘Aruna is getting married.’ ‘When?’(More natural than ‘When is Aruna getting married?’)
  • ‘The head teacher wants to see you.’ ‘What for?’(More natural than ‘For what does the head teacher want to see me?’)
  • ‘The trains aren’t running?’ ‘Why not?’(More natural than ‘Why aren’t the trains running?’)

Negative statements

We can convert a negative statement into a question in two different ways.

Compare the example given below.

  • Ramya does not like to watch TV.
  • We can convert this into a question in two different ways.
  • Does Ramya not like to watch TV? (This is somewhat formal.)
  • Doesn’t Ramya like to watch TV? (This is less formal.)
  • She didn’t get the first prize.
  • Didn’t she get the first prize?
  • Did she not get the first prize?

Manjusha Nambiar

Hi, I am Manjusha. This is my blog where I give English grammar lessons and worksheets.

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