He does?

He ran?

I think I read a complete interrogative requests a subject, and verb. So, may I use these two sentences, and have them grammatically all right?


1 Answer 1


These aren't complete sentences. But they would be understood and accepted as responses to a statement indicating that you find it unlikely or surprising.

Alice: Bob likes Mexican food.

Carl: He does?

Carl is saying that he is surprised that Bob likes Mexican food, or that he doesn't think that this statement is true.

But it's not a complete sentence. A complete sentence would be something like:

Does Bob like Mexican food?

  • So, I guess, a complete interrogative may not request a subject, and verb. It seems, here, that a complete interrogative requests an auxiliary verb(?), argument, verb, and, maybe, other arguments. May you get to use Does he run?, and have it grammatically proper?
    – saySay
    Commented Feb 10, 2016 at 22:57
  • The general form of an interrogative sentence is [interrogative word (who/what/where/why/how] [helping verb (usually is/does)] [subject] [verb] [object], like "What do dogs eat?" The interrogative word can be omitted for yes/no questions, like "Is Jack here?" or "Do birds fly?" Yes, "Does he run?" is a perfectly grammatical sentence. You could debate if one-word questions like "Who?" are complete sentences. I'd say no, but they're common and generally understood in context.
    – Jay
    Commented Feb 11, 2016 at 14:38

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