70 votes
Accepted

Difference between "Do we have a blog?" and "We have a blog?"

What you noticed is an example of echo questions. Normally, questions would follow the grammar you expect them to. They would contain an auxiliary "do" at the beginning; that kind of absorbs whatever ...
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  • 7,367
67 votes

Difference between "Do we have a blog?" and "We have a blog?"

Do we have a blog? . . . asks the direct question We have a blog? . . . asks the same question but adds a feeling of surprise to the statement. (The person who is asking the question just heard ...
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  • 560
55 votes

Is it standard to add "please" after a question?

As a native speaker of Northeastern US English, I would normally only add please after a question if I was asking for a specific favor or for an object from the person I am questioning. For example: ...
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36 votes

How to answer a negative question?

GREAT QUESTION If you are asked Did you go to the store? "Yes" means that you did go, and "No" means that you did not go. If you are asked, Didn't you go to the store? the negative form of ...
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34 votes

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

Both of these are perfectly correct. You could also say "How many psychologists are necessary to change a light bulb?" or "How many psychologists are required to change a light bulb?" However, as ...
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34 votes
Accepted

When can we skip 'if'?

It is indeed informal (I don't use the word slang). Your paraphrase is grammatical, but I don't think it has the same meaning. I don't think if is what's omitted. I think the full version would read ...
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  • 64.9k
32 votes
Accepted

"What's your favorite actor?" (AmE)

No, I don't think this is acceptable -- I've never heard this used before in American English, and I'm pretty sure it isn't used in any dialect. An actor is a person and must be referred to as "who." ...
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  • 7,622
31 votes

How to ask briefly about the ownership of a frying pan?

"Whose frying pan is this?" is how most people would say it. Edit--"Who does this frying pan belong to?" might be about as common. "Whom" is almost never used in spoken English. (For example, you ...
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  • 852
27 votes

Difference between "Do we have a blog?" and "We have a blog?"

If you start a conversation with somebody to ask this question, you would say Do we have a blog? If you are having a conversation with somebody and they happen to mention that "we have a blog" and ...
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  • 56.5k
26 votes
Accepted

Questioning with how in the middle of sentence

(2) is correct as BillJ's comment states. (1) appears incorrect as written. But the excerpt is from a speech by Obama, who says the words in the order set forth in (1), so it's worth looking at the ...
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  • 2,853
25 votes
Accepted

How to ask briefly about the ownership of a frying pan?

You could ask: Who owns this frying pan? Who does this frying pan belong to? Who is the owner of this frying pan? Whose frying pan is this?
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25 votes

Grammar of titles - wh-clause vs. question

Why we listen to music is a noun phrase. Why do we listen to music? is a well-formed question. Either could work as the title of an article, say, or a blog post. Titles are not required to be well-...
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23 votes

Is it standard to add "please" after a question?

Please is for requests Please could you pass me that pencil? Or Could you get the door for me, please? Although note that both of these would be valid, if potentially impolite, without the "...
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  • 2,219
23 votes

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

The first one. It's important to note that this can be a personal/intrusive question in many situations. "Do you have some Chinese in you?" could be rephrased as "Do you have Chinese ancestry?".
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  • 1,633
23 votes
Accepted

Who or what? Questions about animate beings

When asking about the meaning of a word, the concept of the word is the object, not what the word represents. As such, you use "what". In your examples, you know that kings and fairies are animate ...
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  • 1,343
23 votes

How do I start a sentence with a date?

Just add a was or is after the date. Practically speaking, it doesn't really matter which one you use. Either one will work equally fine: August 22nd, 2012 was the day my life changed forever and ...
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22 votes

When can we skip 'if'?

Used like this what do you say is an idiom. Like many idioms, it uses unusual syntax and like other idioms, you should not try to change its form (except as intentional wordplay). We use the idiom ...
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  • 6,815
21 votes

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

The rule is that Do support is called into play after a Wh-interrogative when subject/auxiliary inversion is called for and the verb is not headed by BE or an auxiliary. Consequently: You do not ...
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20 votes
Accepted

Is there a polite way to ask about one's ethnicity?

I (an Asian American) grew up in a rural part of Florida where I was asked that question pretty much anytime I had an encounter that lasted longer than 3 sentences. From my experience, just throwing ...
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19 votes
Accepted

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

Yes, you can say "no" whenever you disagree with any part of a question. These are all good: Do you have two brothers? Yes, I have two brothers. No, I have two sisters. No, I have ...
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  • 7,622
18 votes

Is there a polite way to ask about one's ethnicity?

First think: "Why do I need to know?" Just being curious is not a need to know. It is impolite to ask for personal information just to satisfy your curiosity. If you don't need to know, then don't ...
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  • 152k
17 votes
Accepted

Use of "Have" in questions "Do you have" or "Have you"

The most common form of the question, in both British and American dialects is "Do you have..." Using "Have you" is a non-typical use. It sounds old fashioned. For example there is a nursery rhyme ...
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  • 152k
16 votes
Accepted

How to properly ask for store hours on phone?

The reason the person was confused was because you started your question with: "Are you open till...?" That is the start of a yes-or-no question, such as: Are you open till 8 o'clock tonight? ...
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  • 108k
15 votes

How do I start a sentence with a date?

You could start the sentence with the preposition on On August 22, 2012, my life changed forever when I met you for the first time.
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  • 22.6k
14 votes
Accepted

"Where am I and my sister?" or "Where are I and my sister?"

Think about it: My sister and I are going to the store. My sister and I are now at the store. My sister and I are where? Where are my sister and I? Don't semantically muddle the issue by ...
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14 votes

Grammar of titles - wh-clause vs. question

Why We Listen To Music=The Reason We Listen to Music versus: Why Do We Listen To Music? = A question. Titles of written texts (books or articles) can be quite complicated. In the examples above, ...
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  • 36k
13 votes

"How long have you been working?" vs. "How long you have been working?"

How long have you been working? *How long you have been working? The former is grammatical; it's a direct or normal question. The latter has not been formed properly. If you omit the question ...
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13 votes

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

"It takes x to y" is extremely common, and I'm surprised that you haven't met it before. It is certainly not confined to light-bulb jokes! It means "x is necessary in order to y." Here are some ...
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  • 1,284
13 votes
Accepted

Correct answer from options: True, false and not given

You are correct and I would say it's a trick question. The passage only talks about lead instruments replaced by guitar in the 1950's, but this does not mean that the guitar was not used at all in ...
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