Interrogative Sentence

Definition: An interrogative sentence is a type of sentence which usually asks a question and use a question mark (?). They may ask for information or for confirmation or denial of a statement. They typically begin with a question word such as what, who, or how, or an auxiliary verb such as do/does, can or would.

For example:

  • Do you speak French?
  • Will you go to the supermarket for me?
  • How can I do that?

There are four types of interrogative sentences.

Yes/No Interrogatives
Yes/No questions usually will be answered by yes or no.

For example:

  • Will you bring your book?
    * => Answer: Yes or No)
  • Did she pass the test?
    * => Answer: Yes or No)

Alternative Interrogatives
Alternative interrogativse offer two or more alternative responses:

For example:

  • Should I telephone you or send an email?
  • Do you want bear, wine, or wisky?

Yes/no interrogatives and alternative interrogatives are introduced by an auxiliary verb.

Wh- Interrogatives
Wh- Interrogatives are introduced by a wh- word, and they elicit an open-ended response:

For example:

  • What happened?
  • Where do you work?
  • Who won the Cup Final in 1997?

Tag Questions
They are sometimes tagged onto the end of a declarative sentence.

For example:

  • David plays the piano, doesn't he?
  • We've forgotten the milk, haven't we?
  • There's a big match tonight, isn't there?

Be careful to distinguish between direct and indirect questions. Direct questions normally use inverted word order (verb before subject) and end with a question mark. Indirect questions normally do not use inverted word order and do not end with a question mark.

For example:

  • When was Lester Pearson prime minister?
    => Direct/Interrogative.
  • I wonder when Lester Pearson was prime minister.
    => Indirect/Declarative.

Declarative Sentence
Exclamative Sentence

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