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Basic English Sentence Structures

Interrogative Sentences

Interrogative sentences are used to form questions. One form of an interrogative sentence is a declarative sentence followed by a question mark. In verbal communication, the final syllable of the last word of a question is pronounced with a rising pitch or intonation.

Click the pictures to hear the difference in intonation of a statement and a question.

Today     Today?



<Interrogative Sentence> = <Declarative Sentence>"?" 

Examples:
The computer is not working?
An actor became governor?



 "Who" <predicate>"?"  

Where the verb of the predicate is in 3rd person form.
Examples:
Who fixed the computer?
Who wants to drink water?



   ("What" |"Which") [<adverb>* <adjective>] <noun> <predicate>"?"  

Examples:
Which flower is the prettiest?
What bridge goes to Manhattan?



   ["What" |"When" |"Where" |"Who" |"To whom" |"Why"] 
   ("do" |"does" |"don't" |"doesn't" |"did" |"didn't")
   <subject> <predicate>"?"  

The verb of the predicate must be infinitive (Vinf).
Examples:
Where does John live?
Does John go to Manhattan?



   "Which"  [<noun phrase>] 
   ("do" |"does" |"don't" |"doesn't" |"did" |"didn't") 
   <subject> <predicate>"?"  

The verb of the predicate must be infinitive (Vinf).
Examples:
Which flower do you like best?
Which didn't Mary take home?



   ["What" |"Which" |"When" |"Where" |"Who" |"To whom" |"Why"] 
   ("will" |"won't") <subject> <predicate>"?"

The verb in the predicate must must follow these patterns: 
       "have" <Vpastp> 
       "have" "been" <Ving> 
       "be" <Ving> 
       <Vinf>

Examples:
What will John take to Manhattan?
When will he return?
Will John be thinking about Mary?
Why will John cry?



   ["What" |"Which" |"When" |"Where" |"Who" |"To whom" | "Why"]
   ("has" |"have" |"hasn't" |"haven't")
   <subject> <predicate>"?"  

The verb in the predicate must be past participle <Vpastp>
Examples:
Why haven't the tulips flowered?
To whom has John sent a letter?
What has Mary told John?
Hasn't John passed the test?



   ["What" |"Which" |"When" |"Where" |"Who" |"To whom" | "Why"] 
   ("are" |"is" |"was" |"were" | 
         "aren't" |"isn't" |"wasn't" |"weren't") 
   <subject> 
   [<adverb>* <adjective> | <prep phr>* | <predicate>]"?" 

Verb in the predicate must be present participle <Ving> or past participle <Vpastp>
Examples:
Why is Mary cooking noodles?
Which are the best?
Are small airplanes safe?
Was John at Mary's party?

 CONTINUED: Imperative Sentences



© Copyright  - Antonio Zamora

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Grammar:
Introduction
Sentence Types
Parts of Speech
Sentences:
Declarative
• - The Subject
• - The Predicate
• - Verbal Phrases
Interrogative
Imperative
Conditional
Glossary

Regular verbs
Irregular verbs
Verb "to be"
English vocabulary