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Framing of questions

Before studying to frame questions,  we have to learn all  the most relevant question words and their purposes  and also understand  more about the types and patterns of interrogative sentences ( sentences denoting questions).

 

First of all, let’s study about the types and patterns of interrogative sentences .

Interrogative sentences are in two types.

  1. Auxiliary beginning interrogative sentences         &

 

  1. Question word beginning interrogative sentences

 

 Auxiliary beginning interrogative sentences.

Interrogative sentences beginning with auxiliary verbs are known as Auxiliary beginning interrogative sentences.

The answer of this type of interrogative sentences is always ‘Yes’ or ‘No’.  So they are also called as ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ questions.   This type of sentences can be used in Active voice and Passive voice.

The common pattern in Active Voice is shown as below:-

Auxiliary Verb + Subject + Verb + O ?

Eg:  Do you know Grammar ?

Here  ‘Do’ is the auxiliary verb, ‘You’ is the subject, ‘know’ is the verb and ‘Grammar’ is the object.

 

The common pattern in Passive voice is given below:-

Auxiliary verb + O + V3 ( past participle form of the verb) + by + Subject ?

Eg: Is Grammar known by you?

Here,  ‘Is’ is the auxiliary verb, ‘Grammar’ is the object, ‘known’ is the V3 and  ‘you’ is the subject.

 

 Question word beginning interrogative sentences.

Interrogative sentences beginning with question words are known as question word beginning interrogative sentences. They can be used in  Active voice and Passive voice.

The common pattern of this type of interrogative sentences  in Active Voice is as shown below:

Question word + Auxiliary verb + Subject + Verb + Object ?

Eg:  When did Jacob ask the question?

Here,   ‘When’ is the question word, ‘did’ is the Auxiliary verb,  ‘Jacob’ is the subject, ‘ask’ is the verb and ‘the question’ is the object in the example.

 

The common pattern in Passive voice is given below:-

Question word + Be-forms + Object + V3 ( past participle form of the verb)  + by + Subject ?

Eg:- When  was the question asked by Martin?

Here, ‘When’ is the question word,  ‘was’ is the be-form, ‘the question’ is the object, ‘asked’ is the past participle form of the verb ( V3) and ‘Martin’ is the subject.

 

But  if the question word is ‘Who’ or ‘What’,    there will be a slight difference in the pattern in both voices.  To know the difference and  understand  more about auxiliary beginning and question word beginning interrogative sentences in both voices  click here.

 

Now we are going to study more about  question words and their purposes one by one in detail.

 

  Who

The question word ‘Who’ is used to denote persons.  The purpose of this question word is to know the ‘Do-er’ ( subject) of the ‘verb’ in a sentence.

Eg: Martin played football.

 

Here, if we have to know the ‘Do-er’ of the verb ‘played’ in the sentence, we should use the question word  ‘ who’.  Then we get the answer ‘Martin’.

 

To frame a question for the given sentence as example,  the question word Who is to be used in the  interrogative sentence with the purpose of getting Martin as the answer,  as shown below;

Who played football ?

 

Now, let’s see the given direction and try to frame a question as directed.

 

‘Megha’ attended the meeting.  ( Frame a question to get the word in italics as answer)

 

Here we know that  ‘Megha’, the word in italics, is the subject of the sentence.   So to get this as answer, we should use the question word ‘Who’.

Then the question will be,

Who attended the meeting?

 

 

 Whom

This is also used to denote persons  in a sentence.  The purpose of this question word is to know the object in a sentence.

 

Eg:  Mathew called  Mary’.

 

Here Mary is the object in the sentence.  So, to know the object in the sentence, the question word Whom is to be used as shown below,

 

Whom did Mathew call?

 

By whom.

This  question word is used in passive voice as subject. The purpose of the question word is to know the ‘Do-er’ of the verb in a sentence.

Eg:  The work was completed by ‘John’.

Here the sentence is in passive voice and  ‘John’ is the subject. So, to get John as the answer,  the question word ‘By whom’ is to be used as follows,

By whom was the work completed?

 

What.

It is used to denote the object in a sentence.

 

Eg;  Mahesh  wrote a ‘poem’.

 

The object of the sentence is ‘poem’.  To get ‘poem’ as the answer,  the question word ‘what’ is to be used here, as shown below,

 

What did Mahesh write ?

 

 

Which

 It is  used to denote  nouns.

 

Eg: ‘Grammar’ is very tough to him.

 

Here ‘Grammar’ is the noun.  To get  Grammar  as  answer,  the question word ‘which’ is to be used, as follows,

 

Which is very tough to him?

 

Which + noun.

It is used to denote a ‘noun along with adjective’ standing as an  object in a sentence.

 

Eg:  She  often likes ‘long kurtas’.

 

Here,  ‘long Kurtas’  is the object of the sentence in which ‘kurtas’ is the ‘noun’ that stands  along with the adjective ‘long’.   So to get ‘long kurtas’ as answer, the question word  ‘Which + noun’ is to be used as shown below,

               ‘Which kurtas’ does she often like?

 

When.

It is used to know the ‘time’ of the verb in a sentence.

 

Eg: Tom reached there at ‘4. P.M’.

 

Here,  ‘4.P.M’. is the time of the verb ‘reached’.  So, to get ‘4. P.M’. as answer, the question word ‘When’ is to be used as follows,

 

‘When’ did Tom reach there?

 

 

  Where

It is used to ask about a ‘place’ in a sentence.

 

Eg:  Mathew settled in ‘Australia’.

 

Here ‘Australia’ denotes a place ( a country)  and to get it as answer, the question word ‘Where’ is to be used as shown below,

‘Where’ did Mathew settle?

 

 Why

It is used to ask about a reason.

 

Eg: Jancy missed the train because she was late’.

 

Here,  the fact ‘She was late’ is the reason for Jancy to have missed the train.  So to get the reason as answer, the question word ‘Why’ is to be used as follows,

‘Why’ did Jancy miss the train?

 

The above question words are known as Wh-question words.

 

Question words beginning with How are given below.

 

How.

It is used to ask about ‘the manner or the way of the verb being done’ in a sentence.

 

Eg: Namit went to  school ‘by bus’.

 

Here, the phrase ‘by bus’ denotes ‘the manner of  Namit going to school’.  So to get ‘the manner’ as the answer,  the question word  ‘How’ is to be used as shown below,

‘How’ did Namit go to school?

 

How often.

 It is used to ask about ‘a specific time regarding to habitual actions’.

 

Eg: She watches movies ‘every weekend’.

Here, ‘watching movies’ is her habitual action and  ‘every weekend’ is the specific time.  So to get the specific time as the answer,  the question word ‘How often’ is to be used as follows,

‘How often’ does she watch movies?

 

How far.

It is used to ask about the distance between places.

 

Eg:   The Moon is 384,400 km. away from Earth.

 

Here,  384,400 km is the distance and to get it as the answer,  the question word ‘How far’ is to be used as shown below,

 

‘How far’  is the Moon away from Earth?

 

How long.

 It is used to ask about the duration of time.

 

Eg: We should  wait here for ‘2 hours’

 

Here,  ‘2 hours’ is a duration of time  and to get it as answer,  the question word ‘How long’ is to be used  as follows,

 

‘How long’  should we wait here?

 

How many.

 It is used to ask about numbers.

 

Eg:  He has ‘two’ cars.

 

Here , ‘two’ is the number and to get it as the answer, the question word ‘How many’ is to be used as shown below,

 

‘How many’ cars does he have?

 

How much.

It is used to ask about the quantity of something.

 

Eg:  Mary bought ‘2 litres  milk’.

 

Here, 2 litres milk is a quantity and to get it as answer,  the question word ‘How much’ is to be used as follows,

 

‘How much’ milk did Mary bought.

 

 

The difference between the question words ‘How many’ and ‘How much’ is that while ‘How many’ denotes ‘numbers of something’,  ‘How much’ denotes ‘quantity of something’.

 

Eg: Q : How many kilometres should we travel to reach there?

Ans: We should travel 4 kilometres to reach there.

 

Q :  How much did you pay for that?

      Ans:  I paid $ 5 USD for that.

 

 

Thus  we have studied the most relevant question words  and  how to frame questions in this topic.

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