This tag is for questions related to the formation, or answering of questions.

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31
votes
18answers
4k views

How should I phrase a question that must be answered with an ordinal number (e.g., the third prime)?

I want to make a question having an answer as follows: 5 is the third prime number. The bold part is the answer. How to phrase the question?
32
votes
4answers
19k views

How to answer a negative question without ambiguity?

I faced a problem to answer a negative question, for example When someone ask you: Don't you have any money? It's a yes/no question but how should one answer the question without ambiguity? ...
9
votes
4answers
3k views

Framing a question whose answer is an ordinal number [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How should I phrase a question that must be answered with an ordinal number (e.g., the third prime)? I am the third daughter of my parents. How should a question ...
7
votes
10answers
7k views

How to ask a question to get an ordinal number answer [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: How to phrase an asking sentence that must be answered with an ordinal number? Framing a question to which the answer is an ordinal number Given that I want to know ...
37
votes
2answers
121k views

“Which” vs. “what” — what's the difference and when should you use one or the other?

Most of the time one or the other feels better, but every so often, "which" vs. "what" trips me up. So, what's the exact difference and when should you use one or the other?
8
votes
6answers
50k views

“Can/may/will you help me with this?”

Which word to use when we ask for help? Some conditions: We know that the person asked is able to do it. We don't know if the person asked is able to do it.
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Changing subject and verb positions in statements and questions

We always change subject and verb positions in whenever we want to ask a question such as "What is your name?". But when it comes to statements like the following, which form is correct? I ...
3
votes
1answer
4k views

Question tags — “did you” vs. “didn't you”

Typically, when we ask for confirmation/denial of a statement, we say something like the following: We turn left here, don't we? You have a cat, don't you? We've met before, haven't we? ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

How manyth son to your father? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How should I phrase a question that must be answered with an ordinal number (e.g., the third prime)? Framing a question to which the answer is an ordinal number I know ...
14
votes
3answers
9k views

Why do we use 'did' with questions using the simple past tense?

Where did you go last night? Where went you last night? Is there a reason we say the first of the previous two sentences as opposed to the last one? I know the second sentence is ...
5
votes
3answers
7k views

Is “To whom could we direct our questions to?” grammatical?

Which of these sentences are proper? : If we have further questions with regards to x&y, to whom could we direct our questions? If we have further questions with regards to x&y, to whom ...
2
votes
4answers
9k views

Difference between “can” and “may” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Can/May/Will you help me with this? Which is correct if I want to request for a pen? Can I have your pen please? May I have your pen please?
3
votes
2answers
568 views

How do you convert the sentence “George Washington was the first president.” to a question? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How should I phrase a question that must be answered with an ordinal number (e.g., the third prime)? How do you convert the sentence: George Washington was the ...
3
votes
6answers
12k views

What is the question form of “used to do”?

What is the correct way to convert "used to do" into a question? Since I want to emphasize that the action is not on-going any more, so simple past tense is not a good idea here. Could I say "do xxx ...
2
votes
0answers
634 views

How to frame a question to get answer about the turn that somebody has taken in doing something? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How should I phrase a question that must be answered with an ordinal number (e.g., the third prime)? How to ask a question to get a cardinal number answer I want to ...
45
votes
10answers
118k views

Do you really answer “How do you do?” with “How do you do?”

We're told in our English classes (learning English as a foreign language) that the only possible answer to How do you do? is to repeat the question: How do you do? (While it's ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Quoting a question at the end of a sentence which is itself a question

If my sentence is a question and ends with a quote of a question, where exactly do I put a question mark? Did she ask, "Is it raining"? Did she ask, "Is it raining?"? Did she ask, "Is it ...
9
votes
5answers
871 views

'How to' vs 'How do I'

This question is inspired by comments on a question on stackoverflow. The original poster wrote: How to correct this error? And comments say that it's an incorrect question. Better is How ...
9
votes
5answers
1k views

Is it OK to add a question mark to show inflection?

When asking a question you generally have to raise your voice at the end of the sentence, is it okay to stuff a question mark in order to show inflection? A couple examples: 'That really happened?' ...
5
votes
1answer
548 views

Punctuating a Sentence Containing a Question

If a sentence contains a complete question, but ends with a statement, should it be punctuated with a question mark? Example: Could she go to the store, he wondered
4
votes
0answers
342 views

How to ask “nth time” of something [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Framing a question to which the answer is an ordinal number How should I phrase a question that must be answered with an ordinal number (e.g., the third prime)? If the ...
3
votes
0answers
609 views

Interrogative form of a sentence [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How should I phrase a question that must be answered with an ordinal number (e.g., the third prime)? How to ask a question to get a cardinal number answer Neil ...
3
votes
0answers
401 views

How do you say this in English? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: Framing a question to which the answer is an ordinal number How to phrase an asking sentence that must be answered with an ordinal number (e.g., the third prime) ? It ...
2
votes
2answers
10k views

Punctuation with “The question is…” '.', '?' or ' “… ?” ' [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Position of question mark when sentence doesn't end with question Take this statement for example: That's not the question. The question is what was Colonel ...
1
vote
1answer
375 views

What will be the question for “he is my second son” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How should I phrase a question that must be answered with an ordinal number (e.g., the third prime)? How do you convert the sentence “George Washington was the first ...
0
votes
1answer
309 views

How can I ask a question with the answer “I'm eating the fourth apple”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How should I phrase a question that must be answered with an ordinal number (e.g., the third prime)? Framing a question to which the answer is an ordinal number How to ask ...
0
votes
1answer
547 views

How will I ask this particular question? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Framing a question to which the answer is an ordinal number How to phrase an asking sentence that must be answered with an ordinal number? How to ask a question to get a ...
9
votes
1answer
4k views

Negative questions vs positive questions

I'd like to know if negative questions are used very often in English. For example, in Spanish, negative questions are used very often just to offer something, to ask about something you're not sure, ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Tag Questions “is he not”

"He is happy, isn't he?" If you did not use the contraction isn't he, in the question above, would the correct sentence be: "He is happy, is he not?" "He is happy, is not he?" Sentence #1 seems ...
10
votes
4answers
9k views

“Haven't you?” or “don't you?”

What is the right question tag (in British English) when we use the verb have? I have interviewed a few native speakers and none of them could explain why sometimes they prefer "haven't/hasn't" and ...
8
votes
5answers
244 views

“How to […]?” and “Where to […]?” Questions that are not questions. Is this defensible?

Adding a question mark to the end of a "How to" or "Where to" sentence appears to be quite common. Here are two examples from this very site: How to punctuate a list of questions? (link) Where to ...
5
votes
2answers
509 views

About question tags

He did nothing*. Which is the correct question tag for the sentence above? didn't he? did he? What is the effect of using nothing for negation?
5
votes
5answers
5k views

When is it appropriate to end a question without a question mark?

Basically, if I ask a rhetorical question, it's not really prompting for an answer. Does that mean it should not end in a question mark? Here are two examples: "What's New" used as a title for a ...
4
votes
3answers
5k views

How do I punctuate a question within a statement?

What is the proper way to punctuate a question that is posed within a statement like in the following example? Associated with my interest in the patterns that structure aquatic ecosystems is the ...
4
votes
3answers
690 views

Why is there no form of “do” in questions of the type “who knows?”

I'm wondering whether expressions like the ones below are correct or not. I've seen them several times but they don't seem to follow the typical grammatical structure. Who comes? (instead of ...
3
votes
5answers
5k views

What is the correct punctuation for an indirect question?

I'm wondering how it is correct to structure sentence and what punctuation should be used. In particular, is the next sentence correct: I was wondering if there's any progress on the issue. Or ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

“Where am I?” vs. “Where I am?” [closed]

Which is more correct to say in a question? (For example a guy that wakes up in a train) "Where am I?" or "Where I am?"
84
votes
1answer
5k views

Did English ever have a word for 'yes' for negative questions?

The Germans have doch and the French have si as a word that means "yes" in response to a negative question, such as: Don't you want some ice-cream? Yes [I do]! In English, we only have yes (as ...
15
votes
5answers
36k views

What is the best way to punctuate a list of questions in a declarative sentence?

In my report a need to write a list of example questions that someone might ask, but I would like to do it in a sentence rather than a separate list. Here is an example: This poses questions such ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

When a negative question is asked, what is the grammatically correct way to answer? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How to answer a negative question without ambiguity? Response to “Would you not do it?” When a negative question is asked, what is the grammatically correct way to ...
1
vote
2answers
3k views

Position of prepositions in questions and clauses

I would like to know if there is any rule to know where prepositions should be placed in questions or clauses. For example, I have heard many sentences and some of them put the preposition in the ...
12
votes
6answers
3k views

Why do we put the verb to be at the end of these questions? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Changing subject and verb positions in statements and questions Look at the following questions - can anyone give a simple grammatical explanation as to why we put the ...
7
votes
5answers
419 views

“Why can't I see?” or “Why I can't see?”?

Which of the following is correct? Why can't I see? Why I can't see? I am a bit confused, since both have inversion, negation and a "why" in the beginning.
6
votes
8answers
7k views

“Does it make sense?” or “Do you understand me?”? [closed]

Suppose I tell something to my companion and I want to make sure he understands me. I thought I may simply ask "Do you understand me?". But recently I heard that in such cases I should ask "Does it ...
15
votes
3answers
3k views

How does one correctly punctuate a sentence that declares that one has a question? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Punctuation with “The question is…” '.', '?' or ' “… ?” ' Position of question mark when sentence doesn't end ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

Is it incorrect to say, “Why cannot…?”

At any point in history was "Why cannot...?" used as frequently as "Why can't...?" Is it even grammatically correct to say "Why cannot you do this?" I know it can be rearranged to be "Why can you not ...
7
votes
3answers
7k views

How to reply to question tags

English is not my native-tongue, so I always find it hard to grasp the concept of "question tags" and more importantly the way to answer to them. Let me explain with the help of this situation - I am ...
6
votes
1answer
6k views

What is the correct punctuation when quoting a question in the middle of a larger sentence?

There are several questions here on quoting a question within a sentence, but most of them deal with the quote being at the end of the larger sentence. What if it's in the middle? In many ...
6
votes
5answers
1k views

“How much water do you take a bath with?” — Is this sentence correct?

I corrected the student, saying that he should write "How much water do you use to take a bath?" because his sentence seemed unnatural to me. Do you consider it correct? Would you use it?
5
votes
1answer
699 views

Why do positive and negative variants of the same question elicit the same answer? [duplicate]

In common American English usage, these two questions elicit the same response: Do you have a ticket? Don't you have a ticket? These are the usual answers (I was going to say "possible answers" ...