GMAT Grammar Book: Questions : GMAT Verbal Section
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# GMAT Grammar Book: Questions

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06 Jul 2010, 07:51
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edited 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.

Yes/No Questions

Some questions can only be answered with either yes, or no. They use this formula:

 auxiliarybedo, does, did + subject + verb

Is Mark coming with us to the mall?
Was Darrell at work yesterday?
Have you ever been skydiving?
Will Mr. Johnson announce the contest winner today?
Do you know if math homework is due tomorrow?
Does Lisa like roses?
Did Carlton receive his priority package?

Informative Questions

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.

Who or what 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.)

Whom and what are considered complement questions. The complement is unknown and information on it is being requested.

NOTE: Who 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 Jackie see from the office? (Jackie sees someone from the office.)
What are you doing Friday night? (You are doing something Friday night.)

When, where, why and how questions are similar to complement questions as they are seeking more information about the action of the subject.

When did Erin receive her letter jacket?
Where do you go to get assistance?
Why does Kathy have such a big dog?
How can you make my car go faster?

Embedded Questions

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.

Normal Question: Why did John hit that girl?
Embedded Question: I don’t understand why John hit that girl.

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 every week.
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?
5. Why is Sally crying?
Do you have any idea ___________________________?

Tag Questions

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, or did.
• 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, does, or did must be used (You have a headache, don’t you?)

Examples of tag questions:

Eric is in gym class now, isn’t he?
Julie isn’t in gym class now, is she?
The train will be arriving soon, won’t it?
There aren’t any potato chips left, are there?
You have 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., ______________________?

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Re: GMAT Grammar Book: Questions [#permalink]

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15 Dec 2010, 00:02
I'd like to add more tag questions:

I am pretty, aren't I?
We ought to sleep now, shouldn't we?
Let's watch this movie, shall we?
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Re: GMAT Grammar Book: Questions [#permalink]

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01 Feb 2011, 17:55
phuongle wrote:
I'd like to add more tag questions:

I am pretty, aren't I?
We ought to sleep now, shouldn't we?
Let's watch this movie, shall we?

Shouldn't this be as follows:

I am pretty, ain't I?

I don't know if this very much different but aren't I looks odd. May be it is just me.

Could someone please tell us which one is correct and why?
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Re: GMAT Grammar Book: Questions [#permalink]

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31 Dec 2014, 11:51
“Aren’t I?” is commonly used and very acceptable in informal language. “Am I not?” is grammatical, but extremely formal, so in most contexts, “aren’t I?” is the preferred choice. The only exception is when you are writing a formal letter or an academic paper, and then you can either use “am I not?,” or even better, restructure the sentence to avoid using either of these forms. http://www.learnersdictionary.com/qa/ar ... r-am-i-not

Example 1 (incorrect usage): I’m going with you on vacation, aren’t I?
Although the use of this phrase is widespread, it is atrocious English that could be considered equivalent to you is, a phrase which most educated people abhor (although for some reason, these same people have no qualms about saying aren’t I). The correct form of the sentence in Example 1 is as follows:
Example 2 (correct usage): I’m going with you on vacation, am I not?
If you read this sentence aloud, it probably sounds awkward and formal, perhaps even a bit hoity-toity. However, it is correct English. If the phrase aren’t I is converted from a question to a statement, I aren’t, it becomes obvious that it is indeed grammatically incorrect. http://www.grammarerrors.com/grammar/arent-iam-i-not/

I think I would use "am I not?". However, I must say that I have used "aren't I" and "ain't I", but the second in really informal settings. Now, I am not sure if we see a question with "aren't I" whether we should consider it wrong or right...
Re: GMAT Grammar Book: Questions   [#permalink] 31 Dec 2014, 11:51
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