One of my homework is changing sentences into question sentences.

The original sentence is "Reports were not taken seriously."

BI am not sure where the ‘not’ should be put

‘Were reports not taken seriously’ or ‘Were not reports taken seriously’

Which is right? I feel both are right.

  • Is there any more context? Why are you asking about these sentences? – James K May 29 '19 at 11:03
  • @JamesK The original sentence is : Reports were not taken seriously. One of my homework is changing this sentence into question sentence. But I am not sure where the ‘not’ should be put. – Y. zeng May 29 '19 at 11:08

The simple negative question is "Were reports not taken seriously".

The other form "Were not reports taken seriously" is more marked. It has a rhetorical effect as it indicated that the person is expecting the answer "Yes, they were".

  • You have the rhetoric reversed. Am I not beautiful? expects the answer, Yes, you are. The expected answer here should be Yes, they were. – Jason Bassford May 29 '19 at 13:08

"Reports were not taken seriously."

Verb: to be

negative of to be: am not/is not/are not Past: was/were

Reports were not taken seriously.

negative interrogative, inversion

Were reports not taken seriously?

Also: Weren't reports taken seriously?

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