I have this sentence:

What does the temple have outside? ~ It has many gateways with carved figures.

As you can see, I want to ask about things outside the temple. Is it correct if I put "outside" in that place?

  • You want to talk about features of the environment located outside of the temple ? I think you are right since "outside" is also adverb. in addition we can say, i think: How is the outside of the temple ? What does the temple look from the outside ? What can we find at the outside ?
    – Cardinal
    Oct 22, 2015 at 7:45
  • Yes, you are right! Whenever confused, take some other simpler example. Say - how many people are there outside?
    – Maulik V
    Oct 22, 2015 at 7:48
  • Thanks a lot. This is the original sentence that I have to fix: -What does the gateway of Sanchi Stupa have here? -It has beautifully decorated gateways with carved figures. my coworker said it's meaningless. So I change it into the sentence above.
    – Sour Tofu
    Oct 22, 2015 at 8:02
  • Use the sign of '@' and type the username to reach the commenter. Or else we will not get any notification and you may be left unanswered. In the original sentence, 'entrance' seems better than 'gateway'. Also, 'here' is not good unless you are 'standing' right there at the place! After your comment, I'm not sure whether you want an 'adverb' usage or something else! Maybe, you want 'how to construct the sentence better'? if it is so, @cardinal's comment is useful.
    – Maulik V
    Oct 22, 2015 at 9:13
  • @Cardinal : I think it's not "at the outside", but "on the outside", the 'at' doesn't sound right to me, but I can be wrong of course. Oct 22, 2015 at 12:10

1 Answer 1


First, to answer your question, I agree, you can have the adverb "outside" in the question.

However, I think the issue here is verb usage.

Compare and contrast:

What is outside the gateway of Sanchi Stupa? There are beautifully-decorated gateways with carved figures.

What does the gateway of Sanchi Stupa have outside? It has beautifully decorated gateways with carved figures.

I teach English in Taiwan and it is very common for Mandarin-speaking learners of English to use "to have" (or even "there have" :D!) to mean "there is/there are."

Not their fault, just a literal translation from Mandarin and a misunderstanding of the multiple meanings of the word "there" :).

I suspect that this is the case, as well, here.

I suspect that "...does...have outside" is forced on the question because the original answer has "...has...."

In my re-wording of the question and answer, there is no issue of where to the put the word "outside." It becomes very obvious because we use "is."

I have a feeling your grasp of English is quite good for you to even consider asking if you can insert the adverb at the end, but if you'd like more information, you may:

See here for what I mean: http://www.grammar.cl/Present/ThereIsThereAre.htm. "Meaning: To say that something exists (or doesn't exist)." In this case, your "beautifully-decorated gateways with carved figures."

And here for even more detail: https://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/en/english-grammar/pronouns/it-and-there. See "there" > "to say where something is." Again, the gateways with carved figures.

  • Also, this is just a stylistic comment, but I would not say "beautifully-decorated." I would say "beautiful gateways decorated with carved figures" or "beautiful gateways adorned with carved figures" or "beautiful gateways peopled with carved figures." To me, these kinds of active verb phrasings make the sentence come alive more. Think "show versus tell." But if you still want to use "beautifully-decorated," I would add a hyphen. Again, just a stylistic point, nothing carved in stone. Dec 19, 2016 at 11:49

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