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When to ask with verb "Be" or "Do" , and when to use "Wh" questions?

I do not understand the difference between questions which start with a Wh- word and questions which start with an auxiliary verb such as BE, DO or HAVE.


migration rejected from english.stackexchange.com Feb 15 '14 at 5:48

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closed as unclear what you're asking by Nigel Harper, Tyler James Young, Gilles, Jonathan Garber, Maulik V Feb 15 '14 at 5:48

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Can you give a few examples? The question as it is now is rather vague. – J.R. Feb 13 '14 at 13:48
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Your question is a little vague, you might want to expand it a little to make it more clear. But if I understand you correctly ...

"Be" and "do" questions call for an answer of "yes" or "no". "Wh" questions call for an answer identifying a person, place, thing, time ... maybe some other possibilities. But not a simple yes/no.

Do you live in Germany?


Where do you live?

The United States.


Are you the son of Fred Smith?


Who is your father?

Fred Smith.


Of course one can answer a yes/no question with something other than a simple yes or no. This is often done when the situation is more complex than the question might imply.

Are you a citizen of the United States? Well, I'm not a citizen, but I have a permanent-resident visa.

And of course there's the classic:

Lawyer: Have you stopped beating up your wife?

Defendant: What, wait, I never ...

Lawyer: Judge, please direct the witness to answer the question "yes" or "no"!

The lawyer question you presented we call a loaded question and is absolutely means for an objection, if the presupposition is not fact in the courtroom. – Cruncher Feb 13 '14 at 18:34

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