This post is a part of [GMAT GRAMMAR BOOK
]created by: bbedited by: dzyubam
When forming questions, the auxiliary, or be, verb is placed before the subject. If one of these is not used then a correct form of the verb do should be used. The tense and person are shown only by the auxiliary and not by the main verb.
Some questions can only be answered with either yes, or no. They use this formula:
do, does, did
|+ subject + verb|
with us to the mall?Was
Darrell at work yesterday?Have
you ever been
Mr. Johnson announce
the contest winner today?Do
if math homework is due tomorrow?Does
his priority package?
These are questions that require more detailed answers than simply yes or no. More information is being requested. There are three different types of informative questions.
questions are requesting information concerning the subject. The subject is unknown.Who has
a question? (Someone
has a question.)What came
in the mail today? (Something
came in the mail today.)
are considered complement questions. The complement is unknown and information on it is being requested.NOTE
is often misused in spoken English to ask a complement question. However, whom
is the correct form in written English to indicate that the question is requesting information on the complement position.Whom does
from the office? (Jackie sees someone
from the office.)What are
Friday night? (You are doing something
• When, where, why
questions are similar to complement questions as they are seeking more information about the action of the subject.When did
her letter jacket?Where do
to get assistance?Why does
such a big dog?How can
my car go faster?
An embedded question is included in a sentence or another question. The word order is different than in a typical question, except for subject questions. There must NOT be an auxiliary between the question word and the subject in an embedded question.Normal Question
: When will
the court hearing begin?Embedded Question
: They haven’t determined when
the court hearing will begin
: Why did
that girl?Embedded Question
: I don’t understand why
Question words within a sentence can be single words, or phrases. Phrases include: whose
+ noun, how many, how much, how long, how often, what time
and what kind
Betty didn’t know how many cupcakes
to make for the Girl Scout troop.
I asked Doug how often he jogs
The girls asked the ranger how far it was
to the next camping point.
We wanted to know what kind of fruit
was in this delicious ice cream.
The boss wanted to know whose break time it was
When there is an embedded question within a question, the embedded question is seeking the actual information.
Do you know what time it is
? The questioner is requesting the time.
Could you tell me how to get to the post office
? The questioner is asking directions.
Exercise 16: Creating Embedded Questions
Complete the following sentences to create embedded questions from the given question. Example
: Why is she angry? I don’t know why she’s angry
1. Who has seen the new vampire movie?
I’d like to know _______________________________.
2. How do you do this algebra homework?
Could you tell me ______________________________?
3. Where can I find that new fantasy book?
Tell me ______________________________________.
4. When will the train arrive?
The travel updates ______________________________.
5. Why is Sally crying?
Do you have any idea ___________________________?
A tag question is placed at the end of a sentence clause which the speaker is uncertain about. The tag question is separated from the main clause by a comma and ends in a question mark.
Follow these guidelines for using tag questions:
• If the main clause is negative then the tag is affirmative. If the main clause is affirmative then the tag is negative.
• Negative forms are usually contracted (She was happy, wasn’t she
• Use the same auxiliary verb in the tag as in the main clause. If an auxiliary is not used then use do, does,
• Don’t change the tense of the verb from the main clause to the tag.
• Use the same subject that is in the main clause for the tag. Always use a subject pronoun for the tag.
• Sentence forms that use there is
, there are
and it is
will have the same use of there
, or it
, in the tag. (There is
enough for everyone, isn’t there
• The verb have
can be used as the main verb (I have
a headache), or as an auxiliary verb (Jenny has received
her diploma). When have
functions as the main verb, a form of do
, or did
must be used (You have
a headache, don’t
Examples of tag questions:Eric is
in gym class now, isn’t he
in gym class now, is she
?The train will
be arriving soon, won’t it
any potato chips left, are there
a new car, don’t you
Exercise 17: Creating Tag Questions
Complete the following sentences by adding a tag question with the correct form of the verb and subject pronoun.
1. You’re learning English quickly, _________________?
2. Tommy is going to the party with us, __________________?
3. Tom and Andy will be coming to the movies with us, __________________?
4. It’s a great time of the year for a vacation, ___________________?
5. There isn’t any pizza left from last night, ___________________?
6. We’ve already taken that test, ______________________?
7. Yvette is going to Peru this year, _______________________?
8. There’s plenty of room left in the bus, ______________________?
9. They shouldn’t be playing around that area, ______________________?
10. You have been to Washington D.C., ______________________?Think something is missing? Let us know - Help Improve GMAT Club's Grammar Book Project!
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