In casual spoken English, is it okay to speak English like sentences in bold below?


A: Where you are going?

B: To the movies.


A: What you talked about with your friends yesterday?

B: We talked about the trip.


A: How you write code?

B: It's complicated.


A: When you are going to come to my home?

B: On Sunday afternoon.


A: Why you chose this one?

B: It matches my need.

  • Too many question in one. Only the first & 4th [though it's a bit awkward] are grammatically & idiomatically correct. No English native would use the others. Commented Jan 12, 2020 at 17:10
  • 2
    (04) is not correct - it should be "When are you going to...?" (02), (03) and (05) all need do as an auxiliary verb. "What did you talk about...?" Commented Jan 12, 2020 at 17:39
  • Also the title is misleading - 'uptalk' is normally taken to mean rising intonation at the end of a sentence, also known as High Rising Terminal
    – peterG
    Commented Jan 12, 2020 at 18:28
  • You need to review how to ask questions in English. With be verbs and action verbs.
    – Lambie
    Commented Jan 12, 2020 at 19:02
  • Sorry about the "uptalk" in the title. I just kind of feel I have heard conversations like my examples above. But there is no doubt it is wrong to use that now because laugh has provided an answer saying that inversion is requisite in spoken English, too.
    – VinceL
    Commented Jan 13, 2020 at 3:02

1 Answer 1


I assume these examples are supposed to be questions, specifically Wh-questions.

Forming questions in English requires inversion of the usual "subject - verb" order, and sometimes addition of the auxiliary "do" (do-support). With these rules, the questions in your examples should be

  1. Where are you going?
  2. What did you talk about with your friends yesterday?
  3. How do you write code?
  4. When are you going to come to my home?
  5. Why did you choose this one?

This inversion is always used, including casual speech, and in fact, not using it will immediately mark the speaker as a foreigner with weak control of English (as many other languages do not use inversion). However, a question formed without inversion may still be understood.

  • You should specify be versus other verbs.
    – Lambie
    Commented Jan 12, 2020 at 19:04
  • Yes, be and modal verbs generally. But I guess from the question that this may be too much information. The links include more details. Commented Jan 12, 2020 at 23:25
  • It is clear that it is not standard grammar. I recalled this from my vague memory of watching dialogues of TV shows, so I kind of think it as valid in casual spoken English. But thanks for your explanation in detail. I see it now.
    – VinceL
    Commented Jan 13, 2020 at 2:42
  • 1
    You may have heard non-inverted yes-no questions such as "You think I'm stupid?" - this is acceptable in casual spoken English. Maybe because this resembles a tag question, which is part of standard English (you think I'm stupid, don't you?) Commented Jan 13, 2020 at 6:53

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .