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Questions tagged [questions]

This tag is for inquiries about the grammar and phrasing of questions. (If your question is about anything else, do not use this tag.)

69
votes
4answers
11k views

Difference between “Do we have a blog?” and “We have a blog?”

I saw a simple question in a comment on SE: What if i told you there was a sci-fi and fantasy blog? We have a blog? But according to my English textbook, that question should be: Do we ...
34
votes
3answers
10k views

“When did you born?”

When did you born? What does the above question mean? Does it mean "When did you give birth" or "When were you given birth to"? The situation is that I'm trying to ask my friend his birthdate. ...
32
votes
8answers
6k views

Does the question mark mean this is a question?

Imagine the following written conversation, as recently occurred via SMS between me and a friend (edited for brevity): A: What are you going to do today? B: I don't know. Go shopping? What ...
27
votes
5answers
7k views

“How many psychologists does it take to change a light bulb?”

Is the following sentence grammatically correct? (I found this sentence on a friend's wall on Facebook) How many psychologists does it take to change a light bulb? or it should be How many ...
27
votes
4answers
10k views

I have “a doubt” about whether this phrase is acceptable English

To my (British) ear, it never sounds correct to say you have a doubt about something. I expect that doubt to be pluralised, even if there's only one specific thing that I'm doubtful of, in one ...
25
votes
7answers
3k views

Why do my “How to” questions often get renamed to “How do I”?

On the other hand the edit that fix mistype in "How to" got though community approval. What is the rule about "How to" and "How do I"? Why are some tutorials called "How to"s?
25
votes
7answers
4k views

Asking the position of a person in a sequence

How to ask the position(?) of a president (like 10th) of a country, correctly?
21
votes
4answers
1k views

How should I construct a question from a sentence containing “used to”?

What is the question form of "She used to come here."? Is "Did she use to come here?" or "Used she to come here?" From my high school English classes, I remember I was taught it is "Used she to come ...
19
votes
5answers
4k views

Is it standard to add “please” after a question?

I was in a conversation with a client who asked me, "How are you?" I responded with "I am fine, thank you." I then followed up with, "How are you? Please." My manager asks why I append "please" and ...
18
votes
2answers
71k views

When to use “is” vs. “does” when asking a question?

When do I use is or does when I ask a question? For example, Is your item still for sale? Does your item still for sale? I am not sure which one to use.
16
votes
3answers
15k views

Do I have to use “do” in any “wh-” question?

What did you say? What you said? What did you wear? What you wore? Where did you go? Where you go? I know that sometimes in English, people do not use “do” in “wh-” questions. I have heard ...
14
votes
3answers
3k views

“What's your favorite actor?” (AmE)

What's your favorite actor? Is such a formulation ("what", not "who") acceptable in AmE? Some source says that it is acceptable and even fine. Update. Some examples: 1) what's your favourite actor? ...
14
votes
5answers
3k views

Grammar of titles - wh-clause vs. question

I found an article with the title: Why We Listen to Music This seem somewhat incomplete to me, because "why we do something" is usually used as the subject of dependent clause like "This is why we ...
14
votes
3answers
143k views

“Did you watch this movie?” or “Have you watched this movie?”

What is the difference between Did you watch this movie? and Have you watched this movie?
13
votes
2answers
749 views

Who or what? Questions about animate beings

Which of the words should I choose when I ask about the meaning of a word that I don't know exactly but I know that the word I am asking about is an animate being? What/who is a king? What/who ...
13
votes
4answers
3k views

Why {are you / you are} making noise?

I always get confused between these two sentences: Why are you making noise? Why you are making noise? Could anyone put light in the differences between the two?
13
votes
5answers
29k views

Help explaining “Where am I?” vs “…where I am”

I would like to explain to a non-native girlfriend that it's correct to say "Where am I?" on its own as a question, but if you want to say "Can you guess where I am?" or "Do you know where I am?" or "...
12
votes
6answers
10k views

How do I start a sentence with a date?

I want to say: August 22, 2012, the day my life changed forever and the day I met you. My only problem is that I don't know how to start a sentence with a date. If someone could help me with this ...
12
votes
6answers
19k views

How to properly ask for store hours on phone?

I call a restaurant today and ask them for "Are you open till what time today?" as today is Christmas Eve and the person on phone asked me twice what? What? So how do I ask for a store/restaurant ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

Can we use “no” and then say an affirmative sentence to a yes/no question?

Take this question. Do you have two brothers? For short answers we can say" no,I don't and for long answers we should say " No I don't have two brothers Can I answer "No, I have 3 brothers."
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Does “Do you have some Chinese in you?” refer to parents or to interests?

"Do you have some Chinese in you?" This means, do you have some Chinese blood in your body because your parents or grandparents are Chinese? or do you have any interest in Chinese culture or ...
10
votes
4answers
962 views

Is “You alright?” (without “are”) acceptable?

I'm having a hard time figuring out which is the correct form of asking this kind of question. I mean speaking strictly, this doesn't sound right: You alright? or You eaten anything? compared to Are ...
10
votes
5answers
100k views

anyone vs someone. Which one?

Has someone seen my bag? Has anyone seen my bag? Which one is grammatically correct? Why? Please explain. Which one should I use at this place? Can you give some more examples?
9
votes
11answers
3k views

Is there a polite way to ask about one's ethnicity? [on hold]

Suppose I'm talking to a person who is an American citizen but obviously has some "Asian roots" (either they immigrated to the US at early age or their parents were immigrants). Is there a polite way ...
9
votes
5answers
788 views

Question sentences involving negation

(1) Does he not know? (2) Doesn't he know? I don't usually see and hear questions formed in the first style. I was even surprised to know that it is grammatically correct. And actually it is the ...
9
votes
5answers
12k views

How to answer a negative question in English?

Q: "Don't you know?" If I really don't know, how should I respond to this question? Yes or No? There's a similar question on EL&U, but the answer isn't clear how it works: A confusion about ...
9
votes
4answers
923 views

1. What GB hard disk do you need ? - and similar wordings

If i am a shop-keeper and someone walks into my shop asking for a hard disk. And i want to ask him 'how many gb hard disk does he need' How should i ask it ? What GB hard disk do you need ? How many ...
9
votes
4answers
700 views

Is the interrogative structure “Is X to do with Y” grammatical?

I don't know precisely why, but the interrogative structure "Is X to do with Y?" sounds weird and not natural English. In fact, if I transform "Is X to do with Y?" into the related affirmative form I ...
9
votes
3answers
329 views

Can I put the question word “where” at the end of a question?

I got this sentence from a Primary 5 student's worksheet. According to this passage, this creature can be found where? Some of the parents think that the sentence should be "..., where can this ...
8
votes
5answers
280k views

did + present tense (or ) Past tense of the verb [duplicate]

What did you say? What you said. How did you and mum guess I wanted Agnes? how you and Mum guessed I wanted Agnes What is the meaning of above two sentences? When should I use "did + ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Correct answer from options: True, false and not given

I would like to have some clarification on the below question and its given answer. Does the following statement agree with the views of the writer in given passage? You have to answer, ...
8
votes
4answers
279 views

Phrasing a question

How ungrammatical/colloquial is to structure questions without the usage of an auxiliary verb? Is it possible to communicate well using only the second type? What impression does this make on an ...
8
votes
3answers
49k views

“Do you know what IS IT?” vs “Do you know what IT IS?” [duplicate]

What is the right way to embed one question inside another? For example: "Do you know what is it?" "Do you know what it is?" Are they both grammatical? If one of them isn't, then why is ...
8
votes
3answers
5k views

The subject of an interrogative sentence

What is unusual about Angkor Wat? What is the real subject of this sentence?
8
votes
5answers
1k views

Answering a negative question with an infinitive phrase

This question came up in one of my student's textbooks. They are given three potential answers, only one being correct. Why does the text say that the answer below is not correct? I know it doesn't ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Statements used as questions in casual speech

I see people say statement as question while speaking by raising their voice at the of it to mean it's a question. For example consider followings. You want to stay here? ==> Is used to mean "...
8
votes
3answers
173 views

Using “with” with inanimate objects

I always hear this whenever I call my printer company. It doesn't sound correct to me. Are you with the printer? How do we correct this sentence?
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Is it OK to put a “?” after embedded questions?

I was wondering if it's OK to put a question mark after an embedded question? Example sentences are below: I was wondering if he is from California? I'm not sure if that's the right solution?...
8
votes
2answers
6k views

“Why had you to” or “why did you have to”

I was solving a test on modals and there was the following line: What was the problem? Why _ leave early? The proposed fill-in combinations were: had you to did you have to must you you had to ...
7
votes
6answers
44k views

Use of “Have” in questions “Do you have” or “Have you”

I've seen it on TV that a guy asking another man, "have you a map?" If I were him, I would probably say, "do you have a map?" I would like to know what grammatical rules it followed in this case.
7
votes
3answers
408 views

Mary's house is near to/next to the hair salon.

Mary's house is _____ the hair salon. Do you think you can find it? a. Near to b. Next to When I was filling out this question, my answer was "near to" but is wrong according to the page. So ...
7
votes
4answers
528 views

How can I explain this “Who” question simply to my student?

I'm having trouble explaining to my student why you can't use "do/did" in the following sentence: Who taught you how to play the guitar? He thinks that it's strange there is no "do/does" in the ...
7
votes
2answers
761 views

In this song, who is the fondue talking to?

I'm not good in English, so this can be awkward – I'm sorry. "I've been searching my whole life to find my own place / and maybe it is the party talking or the chocolate fondue / but with you I ...
7
votes
2answers
25k views

Questions with “whether”

Sorry for such a basic question, but I don't know how to google it. How to correctly ask questions with whether? Questions like these: Whether she made it blue or green? Whether she made it ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

'declarative' questions and 'interrogative' questions (When to use which?)

Declarative questions: 'Boss' and 'Manager' can be used interchangeably? She is going there tomorrow? AND Interrogative questions: Can 'Boss' and 'Manager' be used interchangeably? ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

How do I use the auxiliary “do” in questions?

Consider these two sentences: Who left the door open? and Who do you want to speak to? In the first question auxiliary do cannot normally be used, but in the latter question it can. Why is ...
6
votes
5answers
24k views

When converting a statement to a question, where in the sentence should I put “to be”?

For example, take a statement like this: You have no idea what the thing is. If we ask it as a question, where should the is go? 1) Have you any idea what the thing is? 2) Have you any ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Is the sentence “Could I smoke here?" ungrammatical?

The correct sentence is "Can I smoke here?", but I wonder why I can't use "could" in this question.
6
votes
2answers
3k views

what (color hair vs. hair color) do you have?

My hair color is black, and the question should be what is your hair color? or what hair color do you have?. However, it turns out surprisingly to me that the question with do is: what color hair do ...
6
votes
1answer
307 views

How would a native speaker understand a malformed question?

In Portuguese, to transform an affirmative phrase in interrogative, you just append a question mark. When learning English, beginners sometimes just append the question mark, forgetting about ...