51

In England, "How do you do?" was until recently a commonplace greeting. The correct response was, "How do you do?" This may be what you're thinking of. Both "How are you?" and "How are you doing?" should generally be taken as a question, to which the reply is often, "Fine, thanks!" or, more formally, "Very well, thank you." However, the whole thing ...


48

Because the logical stress in that sentence falls on "is": Where IS it? If you abbreviate the stressed syllable, it results in nothing but nonsense.


45

The "...or not?" phrasing seems to imply that your correspondent has been undecided for a while, changing decisions back and forth and you are now urging them to make up their mind once and for all. -- Let's go for a walk. -- OK. But give me 5 minutes. -- OK. // 5 minutes later -- Hey? Are you coming? -- Umm... I don't know. I ...


37

"Have you got a chance to X?" asks if the person has a chance to do something. E.g. "Have you got a chance to win the lottery?" It essentially implies that being able to do something is mostly out of your control. Asking "Have you got a chance to look into this?" would imply that "looking into this" is something that one is unlikely to do with out a lot of ...


37

Are you sure to delete this item? Sure means "certain, without doubt". Therefore this asks if they are definitely going to delete the item. This isn't something to ask the user; if anything it's something for the user to ask about the program; "will it definitely be gone". Are you sure you want to delete this item? This asks not about what will happen (...


35

The clitic 's meaning "is" can only be used to substitute for a "weak form" is (pronounced /əz/). The is in in "Where is it" is the "strong form" is (pronounced /ɪz/) since it is used as a main verb and not as a modal (or helping) verb. Therefore it cannot be replaced with the clitic 's. See a related answer I wrote a while back discussing this restriction ...


32

You were right and your editor was wrong. Your question was Can anyone tell me X? and you properly expressed X as a free relative clause, which always acts as a nominal constituent. You asked, in effect, if anyone could tell you an answer. Your editor inverted the auxiliary verb and the subject of the free relative clause, transforming it into a free-...


25

English doesn't have a standard way of framing a question whose answer is an ordinal number. (Although, which and what can be used but they don't cover all the cases. Some familiar examples are: What grade are you in?, On which floor is your apartment?. You can try framing the question in several ways but it doesn't guarantee that the answer will include an ...


25

Negative questions are used to express surprise and when we expect agreement from the listener. Q: Don't I know you? >>> Expected answer: Yes, we've met. (This is similar to "Haven't we met somewhere before?") On the other hand, positive questions are really seeking information. Ex. Why do you keep staring at me. Do I know you? Finally, you bought ...


24

1.) Which one is you? 2.) Which one are you? Which is correct? * Both are "correct". They just have different subjects. . LONG ANSWER VERSION: Let's identify the subject of each interrogative clause, by using the verb's number as the indicator: 1.a) Which one is you? 2.a) Which one are you? Notice that there is formal subject-verb agreement ...


21

People do say it, but that doesn't make it right or that you should repeat it. People will probably understand what you mean, but it sounds wrong to me. Ask instead: "Do you have a Facebook account?" "Are you on Facebook?" "Do you use Facebook?" And note Facebook should be capitalised. Finally, the website Facebook was named after the face book or ...


21

A yes–no question that begins “Did you. . . ?” is invariably, or mandatorily, a do-auxiliary inversion. It cannot stand alone as an actual non-auxiliary. You have no verb afterwards, because to it is not English. You cannot say any of these: Spoke you it? Called you her? Ran you the race? Think you so? Called you? Gave you it? Proposed him to her? Have ...


21

Teachers sometimes refer to this kind of question as a trap: From The Pragmatics of Mathematics Education by Tim Rowland: One common perception is that the questions teachers ask their pupils are not searchlights focused to reveal truth, but traps set to expose ignorance. Rowland was quoted in Teacher-student Interaction by Alandeom Wanderlei de ...


19

I contend that the sentence needs slightly more editing than just the punctuation mark at the end. Reword slightly, to leave the sentence as a declaration: Another question I had was why people were swimming with the dolphins. Avoid changing words, but make it clearer what the question was: Another question I had was, "Why were people swimming with ...


17

I was wondering ... is an example of what could be termed deferential backshift. Using a past tense makes the request remoter. As Yule, in Explaining English Grammar, states: Remote potential in social terms creates an impression of less imposition and hence greater politeness. Note that in such circumstances it would be more usual to use the past ...


16

Such a degree of politeness isn't normally required in such a question. When it is, anyone who answers it with your second alternative is being intolerably perverse, and you should dissociate yourself from such a person at the earliest opportunity.


16

I'm no expert, however it seems to me that "Have you got a chance to look at this?" sounds a little forced- I think you're confusing tenses here. For the past tense case, in which you are asking the second person whether or not they have looked at a document, stick to either: "Did you get a chance to look at this?" "Have you had a chance to look at it?" ...


16

This is an interesting question. I haven't an authoritative answer, but I can sketch the historical development and make some suggestions for how it came to be. The first thing is that not is an anomaly in English: it is a kind of modifier that follows the word it modifies. This is normal in some languages, but unusual in English, where modifiers (such as ...


16

"Why is the sky blue?" has the grammatical structure of a question, and cannot be interpreted in any other way. "Why the sky is blue" has the grammatical structure of a phrase standing in for a noun; it could be replaced by "the reason for the sky's blueness" or "the reason the sky is blue". E.g. one can say "Why the sky is blue is a fascinating question". ...


15

If you are trying to educate, instead of expose, the answerer, I would say Socratic.


15

Teachers and politicians sometimes call these "gotcha questions." Here's an excerpt from a discussion of gotcha questions in a Daily Caller article: The infamous “gotcha” question is something politicians always rail >against. But what exactly defines a “gotcha”? “I suppose a gotcha question is one that’s fundamentally unfair because it has a ...


14

According to Some Aspects of the History of Modern Hindi "Nahîn" "No", "Not" by L. A. Schwarzschild, the Hindi interjection nahîn (and Marathi nahi, Gujerati nahi(m), etc.): is used as an equivalent of "no" (though it may serve also as a negative adverb), and it represents an enlargement of the old Indo-European negative particile, Sanskrit na. The ...


14

I posted a question somewhere that said: 1.) Can anyone tell me how I can solve this? but someone edited it to: 2.) Can anyone tell me how can I solve this? and it was accepted. That's wrong isn't it? Can someone explain how that's wrong? The difference between the two versions is that the subordinate interrogative clause has NOT undergone subject-...


14

I can't find any references that really address this, but as a native English speaker, this is what sounds right to my ear: Ask John a question. Ask a question of John. Pose a question to John. Request a response to a question from John.


14

If you have to use a preposition with ask a question, then of your choices, certainly it has to be of. The thing is that normally, we wouldn’t use a preposition at all to name the person we’re posing the question to. Instead, we’d just use an indirect object, which must fall between the verb and the direct object: I’ll ask them three questions. [indirect ...


14

Yes, (2) is ungrammatical. You gave him the book is You gave the book to him after it goes through Dative alternation. After flipping the direct object and indirect object, the to preposition disappears. You can't do this with questions, so you need the to.


13

Navigating the complexities of modern families with English semantics and syntax can generate a bevy of interesting question and answer combinations. An excellent foundation for the queries posted would be the interrogative: What is your place in the birth order of your family? Various complexities of the family dynamic would still need to be sorted out ...


13

The rise of 'do' in the history of English The history of do has long been of interest to historical linguists, and there is an extensive literature on the rise of do in the history of English. The change took place over the course of the Middle English period, with the very earliest uses appearing in the beginning of the 15th century. The change took place ...


12

It's very simple, you are adding the question mark. That is why is reads funny to you and the other posters. The book title is NOT a question. It is a statement. The presumed question is, "Why is the sky blue?" Because David Richerby understands how Rayleigh scattering works, he could write a book explaining it to you. He might call that book, "Why the ...


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