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Framing questions

How do you ask?
We give information and we take information. To take the information from others we ask questions. The order of words varies from a sentence to a question in English. Where as in Telugu the word order does not change but the tone of the speaker raises and intends the meaning of a question. Since there is a change in the structure between native language Telugu and the target language English it is relevant to learn how to frame questions to seek information.

Read the conversation
Siddu: Are you in vizag?
Nikhil : yes, presently I’m at vizag. Can you come and meet me?
Siddu: To day I can’t. Where do you stay?
Nikhil : I stay at Jagadamba centre. When can I meet you then?
Siddu: Tomorrow. Sure.
There are two types of questions.

Observe the examples
  • Is this your book? Yes, that is mine. / no, it is not.
  • Is Ram a doctor? Yes, he is/ no he is not.
  • Can I have your pen? Yes, of course.
  • Shall we go to a movie tomorrow? Sure, it is a good idea.
  • Would you like to have a cup of coffee? No, thanks
In the category you have certain information but to confirm that you ask questions. In such contexts or for those questions you get the answer yes/ no and sometimes there may be an extension to the answer.

The structure of a sentence/ statement is
Subject + verb
The structure of a question is Verb+ subject? In all the above questions the verb is followed by the subject.

A few more examples
  • Whose book is this? That is my book/ not my book.
  • What is Ram? Ram is a doctor. ( asking about the profession)
  • What is your name? My name is Ram.
  • Who is Ram? Ram is my brother.
  • Which is your pen? The red pen is mine.
  • Where did you go yesterday? I went to a movie yesterday.
  • Why did you go there? I went to a movie.
  • How did you go there? I went there by bus.
Unless the first category, here you do not know the information/ do not have a clue of it and trying to get it. All these questions begin with a questioning word that expects a particular type of answer.

For example
  • Who … answers a person
  • Where ….answers a place
  • Why… answers reason
  • When …. answers time
  • How many…answers number
  • How much… quantity
  • How… answers explanation, procedure
The structure of the above pattern of questions is

Questioning word/ wh- question + verb+ subject?
  • What is your name? questioning word + verb + subject? (right)
  • What your name is? questioning word +subject+ verb? ( wrong)
Some questions begin with auxiliary verb/ modal verb as in the first category are followed by a subject and the answer also consists of same verb.
Questions that consists of a main verb or an action verb carry a ‘do’ form with them in simple present and simple past tenses.

Study the flowing examples
  • He plays cricket. Does he play cricket? Is he play cricket?
  • They play cricket. Do they play cricket
  • He played cricket. Did he play cricket?
Do } present plural
Does } present singular
Did present/ past both singular and plural)

Framing the questions depend on the statement or the answer you are expecting.
Teacher: Who plays cricket well in our class? Who does play cricket?
Students: Ravi plays cricket well.
Teacher: How many students went to the ground?
How many did go to the ground?
Students: ten students went to the ground.

Read the conversation
Receptionist: Who do you want to speak to?
Ram: I want to speak to the manager regarding the job notification.
Receptionist: Which job have you applied for?
Ram : I have applied for a technician job.
Receptionist: Where are you from? Where you are from?
Ram: I’m from Visakhapatnam.
Observe the use of prepositions. They are used at the end of the question. They can also be used at the beginning.
From which place are you coming?

Read the following examples
Siddu: Do you know where they have gone?
Do you know where have they gone?
Usually in a question verb comes first and next the subject. …..where have they gone?
But, when a sentence consists of two clauses asking for something, the first clause has the pattern of of a question and the next a pattern.

Example :
  • What is the cost of this book?
  • Can you tell me what the cost of this book is?
  • Can you tell me what the cost of this book is?
  • Can you tell me where we can find it?
  • Can you tell me where can we find it?
‘Can you tell me?’ itself is a question and after starting the question we should ask for the information but not pose a question once again.
Similar rule applies even to the questions when they are used in reported speech.

Study the following examples
  • He said, “What is your name?” ( direct speech) Q word+ verb+subject?
  • He asked what my name was. ( reported speech) Q word+ verb+subject?
  • He asked what was my name.
Frame questions to the following statements
  • She is my sister.
  • My family stays at Delhi.
  • Ram can draw this paint.
  • I do not know where the school is.
  • The bus had left.
  • Teacher taught us grammar.
  • She is my sister.
    Who is she?
  • My family stays at Delhi.
    Where does your family stay? / Who stays in Delhi?
    Ram can draw this paint.
    Who can draw this paint? / Can Ram draw this paint?
  • I do not know where the school is.
    Where is the school? / Do you know where the school is?
  • The bus had left.
    Did the bus leave?
  • Teacher taught us grammar.
    Who taught you grammar? / What did the teacher teach?
    Courtesy to google images.
Published date : 10 Jan 2011 03:16PM

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