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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: How to Ask Questions in English: Top 4 Question Types

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Hi.

I'm Vanessa from SpeakEnglishWithVanessa.com.

How can you ask questions in English?

Let's talk about it.

Today you're gonna dip your toe in the water of questions, so that you can have amazing

conversations in English.

We can imagine that you're walking beside a swimming pool, and you dip or put your toe

in the water, just to test the temperature.

Oh, it's cold.

That's exactly what we're gonna do today with questions.

You're gonna briefly learn the four most common ways to create beautiful questions in English.

At the end of this lesson, I want to challenge you to write a comment using all four question

forms.

Listen carefully.

Why should you learn how to ask questions?

Well, I've said, many times in the past, including this video about How to Stop Being Shy in

English, that when you ask questions, it takes off the pressure from you, because you're

asking a question, and the other person is speaking.

You can take a moment to take a breath, and you can also learn more about the other person.

Let's start with a simple sentence.

It's the fall season right now, and because I live in the mountains this is a great time

to be here.

The trees are red and golden and orange.

It's breathtaking.

There is nothing better than a gorgeous fall colors and the sun shining.

Let's take the sentence, "I like sunny days."

We can make four questions.

Number one, "Do you like sunny days?"

Number two, "What is your favorite weather?"

Number three, "You like sunny days, right?"

Number four, "You like sunny days?"

Let's break down these four different types of questions.

The first question, "Do you like sunny days," is using an auxiliary verb.

"Do you like sunny days?"

The auxiliary verb is do.

"Have you been outside yet?"

Have is that auxiliary verb.

"Would you like me to join you?"

Would is that auxiliary verb.

These are closed questions.

That means that the answers can only be yes or no.

"Do you like sunny days?"

"Yes."

"Have you been outside today?"

"No."

"Would you like me to join you?"

"Yes."

Great.

There are only two answers to these questions, or are there?

If you would like to expand your vocabulary beyond just yes or no you can check out the

video that I made 22 to 25 Different Ways to Say Yes and No.

You can click on the link up here, and expand your vocabulary for your answers to this auxiliary

question.

The second way to form a question is with a question word.

"What is your favorite season?"

Here the question word is what.

You probably learned these in your early elementary school English classes ... what, who, where,

when, why, how often, how much.

This one is an open question.

Really, the answer could be anything.

It's not just yes.

It's not just no.

Let's take a look at a [inaudible 00:03:12] example.

You might ask, "What did you do in Florida on your vacation?"

The question is what.

"What did you do in Florida?"

You could say, "Well, I went to the beach and it was really beautiful, 'cause I love

sunny days.

And, it was quite hot, but I enjoyed it."

Great.

You might ask, "When did you go to Florida?"

Here the question word is when.

"When did you go to Florida?"

Well, the answer is not just yes or no.

It's not a closed question.

It's anything.

"Oh, I went last week.

I went three years ago.

I'm gonna go there tomorrow."

Great.

The third way to create questions is by using tag questions.

You might ask, "You like sunny days, right?"

You can see that the main part of the sentence, you like sunny days ... This is a statement.

This is not a question, but we're just adding a tag question on the end, right?

When we use these words, we're just trying to verify information.

The only time that you use a tag question, is if you think something, but you're not

quite sure, so you want to verify that your idea is correct.

Maybe you want to invite me to eat some barbecue at your house.

You ask me, "You eat meat, right?"

You think that I eat meat, but you want to verify that information, to make sure that

it's correct.

You don't want to invite me to eat barbecue if I don't eat meat.

You ask me, "You eat meat, right?"

The statement is you eat meat.

That's just a statement.

It's not a question, but then you're adding the tag word, right?

The tag question right, is pretty common, but there are other tag questions that are

a little more complicated.

I'd like to give you a quick tip about how to use them.

Let's go back to that original sentence, "You like sunny days right?"

Let's change right, and instead, let's say, "You like sunny days don't you?"

Or we could say, "You don't like sunny days do you?"

Let's try to look for a pattern here.

We can see in that first sentence, "You like sunny days," this is a positive sentence,

and then, we're adding a negative tag question ... don't you.

What about the second sentence, "You don't like sunny days do you?"

We have a negative sentence and a positive tag question.

This is the key to great tag questions.

When you have a positive sentence, you're gonna add a negative tag question.

When you have a negative sentence, you're gonna add a positive tag question.

This is just a quick tip about tag questions.

If you'd like me to make a full lesson here on YouTube about tag questions, let me know

in the comments.

The fourth way to form questions in English, is simply by changing your intonation.

You could say, "You like sunny days?"

Here, the grammar is the same as a simple sentence.

"You like sunny days."

But, my voice changed in pitch.

"You like sunny days?"

It went up at the end, to show that I'm asking a question.

When do we use intonation in a question?

This is mainly when you're showing that you're surprised, or shocked.

You might say, with a shocked voice, "That's salt?"

Here we have a statement, "That is salt."

I know that it's a shocked, surprised question, because of your intonation.

"That's salt?"

It's going up at the end.

Maybe you're surprised, because usually salt is small and fine, but here, I have big pieces

of salt.

They actually go in a salt lamp that I have.

It makes a nice pink color.

You might be surprised.

"That's salt?"

This is a great way to use intonation questions.

Or you might ask, "Vanessa's from the US?"

Here, we know that you're shocked.

You're surprised, because you're using an intonation question.

Maybe you thought that my name, Vanessa, is Brazilian, or Italian, or from another country.

Nope, I'm from the US.

My name is just an international name.

You can use this intonation question.

"Vanessa's from the US?"

Make sure that you lift your voice at the end.

Now, it's your turn.

I have a big challenge for you.

In the comments below, can you make four questions using each of these methods, auxiliary verb

questions, question word questions, tag questions, and an intonation question?

Maybe you can tell me about food in your country.

You might say, "Do you like Turkish food?

What is Turkish food?

You like Turkish food, right?

You like Turkish food?"

Great.

You're using all four kinds of questions.

I hope that you'll be able to integrate these into your speaking, and also hear them as

you're listening to other native speakers talk.

Thanks so much for learning English with me.

I'll see you again next Friday, for a new lesson here on my YouTube channel.

Bye.

The next step is to download my free ebook, Five Steps to Becoming a Confident English

Speaker.

You'll learn what you need to do, to speak confidently and fluently.

Don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel for more free lessons.

Thanks so much.

Bye.

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