Interrogative sentences – Definition, Types & Examples

Definition: An interrogative sentence is a sentence which usually asks a question using a question mark (?) at the end. These sentences may ask for information or confirmation or denial of a statement according to the form of question asked.

They usually begin with a question word such as

  • Do/Does/Did
  • Can,could,shall,should,may
  • How
  • When
  • Where
  • What
  • Which
  • Who
  • Why. Etc.

Types of questions.

There are 4 types of questions in English language. They are

  • Wh – questions / Wh – Interrogatives
  • Yes/No questions / Rhetorical questions
  • Tag questions
  • Alternative Interrogatives/Choice questions

Wh – questions.

This type of questions are introduced by Wh-word and they obtain an open ended response. If we see question words who, what, where, when, why or how then we understand they are Wh- Interrogatives.

These interrogatives ask for a specific kind of answers depending on the question word used.

Example:

  • What’s the matter?
  • Where do you live?
  • How old are you?
  • When did you meet him?

Yes/No questions / Rhetorical questions

The questions which can be answered in Yes or No are Yes/No questions.

Example:

  • Did you tell him to go?
  • Is there a civil engineer in your house?
  • Has everybody understood the concept?
  • Do your parents help in your studies?

Tag questions

A tag question is just a declarative sentence with a question at the end. Declarative sentence makes a statement of fact. The tag at the end will usually allow a yes or no answer, but not always. They consist of a main or auxiliary verb followed by a pronoun.

Example:

The weather is pleasant. Isn’t it?

Sheela wrote a book. Didn’t she?

We need to make a move. Don’t we?

Go soon. Won’t you?

Alternative Interrogatives/Choice questions

An alternative interrogative will give a person options to choose from. There is no limit to the number of options.

Example:

Would you like to wear this dress or that dress?

Do you want Tea, coffee or juice?

Should I inform you over phone or send email?

Are you going by bus, car or train?

Note : Sometimes interrogative sentences are actually declarative sentences that have a question mark (?) at the end.  If you ask this type of question, the last syllable of the final word in the sentence is spoken with a rising intonation.

Examples

  • He has already left?
  • It’s raining in Cincinnati?
  • She has lost 5 kgs already?
  • That team won by huge score?

Changing Positive Sentences into Negative & interrogative

Examples :

Sl Positive Negative Interrogative
1 He went to college yesterday. He didn’t go to college yesterday. Did he go to college yesterday?

When did he go to college?

Why did he go to college?

Where did he go yesterday? Etc.

2 She studies well. She doesn’t study well. Does she study well?

She studies well. Isn’t she?

How does she study?

Why doesn’t she study well? Etc.

 

 3 He went to a movie last week. He didn’t go to a movie last week. Did he go to a movie last week?

Where did he go last week?

When did he go to a movie? Etc.

4 They know the fact. They don’t know the fact. Do they know the fact?

How do they know the fact?

Why do they know the fact? Etc.

5 You do it daily. You do not do it daily. Do you do it daily?

When do you do it?

Why do you do it daily?

What do you do daily?

How do you do it daily? Etc.

6 He has good command over English. He doesn’t have good command over English. Does he have good command over English?

How good does he have command over English? Etc.

7 She thought he was good. She did not think he was good. Did she think he was good?

What did she think of him?

Why did she think he was good? Etc.

8 We feel he knows everything. We feel he doesn’t know everything. Do we feel he knows everything?

Why do we feel he knows everything?

How do we feel he knows everything? Etc.

9 They have come early. They haven’t come early. Have they come early?

Why have they come early?

They have come early. Haven’t they?

 

10 I saw him the day before. I did not see him the day before. Did I/you see him the day before?

When did you see him?

Where did you see him the day before?

You saw him the day before. Didn’t you?

 

 

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