For basic survival abroad you are need to know how to ask “Yes/No” questions in English.
Luckily, “Yes/no” questions are the easiest type to ask and to answer in English. The answer to yes/no questions is usually a yes or a no.
How to form yes/no questions in English:
We need an auxiliary verb (Do, Be, Have or a modal verb) and we need to place the components of the question in the following order:
[Auxiliary Verb] + [Subject] + [Main Verb] + [Object or Other Information] + ?
Examples of yes/no questions in different tenses
Examples of YES/NO present simple questions
We use the present simple to talk about routines and facts. We use adverbs of frequency with the present simple to talk about frequency. These are some examples of how to ask yes/no questions in English:
- Do you enjoy Skype English lessons?
- Do you always feel tired in the mornings?
- Does he watch T.V every day?
- Can you sing in tune?
Be careful with the verb TO BE! If the main verb in the question is “to be” you should use it in the position of the auxiliary verb as in the following examples:
- Am I boring?
- Are you OK?
- Is the concert tonight?
- Are the children afraid of spiders?
Examples of YES/NO present continuous questions
The present continuous or progressive indicates that something is occurring now, in this moment. We have to use the verb to BE in the present tense as an auxiliary verb and the main verb in the present participle (ING) form.
- Am I boring you with my explanations?
- Are you studying English this term?
- Is the Queen feeling unwell?
Examples of YES/NO present perfect questions
When we use the present perfect we talk about something that started or happened in the past and is connected to the present, so it is still true or relevant in the present.
Here are some examples:
- Have I told you about this already?
- Have you been to Paris?
- Has your sister seen your new car yet?
- Have we met our goals yet?
Examples of YES/NO present perfect continuous questions
If you want to emphasize that something started in the past and is still actively happening in the present, we use the present perfect continuous tense. It is a combination of the present perfect and the present continuous tenses.
- Have I been working on this all day?
- Have you been sleeping enough recently?
- Have the men been bothering you?
Examples of YES/NO past simple questions
The past simple is the right tense to use when you want to describe actions that happened and were completed in the past. We need the past form of the auxiliary verb – “did”.
- Did I interrupt something?
- Did you call me?
- Did she seal the deal?
- Did they accept your pitch?
Be careful with the verb TO BE! As with the present simple, if the main verb in the question is “to be” you should use its past form in the position of the auxiliary verb. This is an important aspect of How to ask “Yes/No” questions in English:
- Was I mistaken?
- Were you late to the conference?
- Was she happy with your results?
- Were they keen on joining us?
Examples of YES/NO past continuous questions
The past progressive (or past continuous) is used to describe actions that happened in the past which continued for a period of time. The auxiliary verb is the past for of the verb “to be” and we use the main verb in the present participle (ING) form.
- Was I bothering you with my questions?
- Were you waiting for him yesterday?
- Was Gwen working for the government?
- Were they really wearing jeans in the office?
Examples of YES/NO past perfect questions
We use the past perfect tense to connect a moment in the past to another moment in the past. The event that happened earliest is described using the past perfect and to describe the later event we use the past simple. The auxiliary verb is the past form of “to have” (HAD) and the main verb is the past participle (for regular verbs, with ED for irregular verbs we use the third column from this list). This tense is not common however it can come in handy:
- Had you thought about adopting before you tried IVF?
- Had the water boiled before you added the pasta?
- Had you met your husband when you started your business?
- Had you seen the first movie before you read the book?
Examples of YES/NO past perfect continuous questions
This tense is easy to form when you understand past perfect and continuous tenses. The meaning is similar to the past perfect tense, however the past perfect continuous indicates that the action continued for a while. The auxiliary verb is “had” and the main verb is “been + ING”. This tense is quite uncommon, but it is still important to know how to ask this type of question in English so here are some examples:
- Had you been waiting long before he arrived?
- Had the fire been burning long before the fire brigade arrived?
- Had the cat been acting unusual before you decided to take him to the vet?
- Had they been learning English before they came to Canada?
Examples of YES/NO future simple questions
The future simple (using will) is used in these main situations:
- Making offers
- Spontaneous decisions
- Making predictions
- Conditional structures
The questions need to start with “will” as the auxiliary verb and the main verb is the infinitive form (without to):
- Will you marry me?
- Will he help us?
- Will you have the fish?
- Will you answer him if he calls?
- Will you finish this project by Monday?
Examples of YES/NO future continuous questions
The future perfect describes something that will happen in the future for a prolonged period of time. The auxiliary is “will”, and we use “be + ING” for the main verb. Examples:
- Will I be working with John on this project?
- Will she be staying with you all summer?
- Will we be needing extra help this quarter?
Examples of YES/NO future perfect questions.
Questions using the future perfect continuous ask about an event that may or may not have finished at some point in the future. They connect a finishing event with a point in the future and are complicated to form because you need to include more information or context. As with all perfect tenses we need to use the verb to have and the past participle (ED for regular verbs). The auxiliary verb is “will” and the verb “to have” is in the infinitive form.
Here are some examples:
- Will I have worked here long enough to receive the bonus?
- Will she have gained sufficient points to qualify for the next round in the competition?
- Will the train have left before we get to the station?
Examples of YES/NO future perfect continuous questions.
Finally, the future perfect continuous is also used to connect two future events, and again we need to provide context about the time frame. We use “will” as the auxiliary and “have been” with the ING form of the main verb:
- Will you have been studying for very long when you take the exam?
- When the financial year ends will you have been doing the books for 15 years?
- Will you have been dating Mark for longer than I will have been dating John when we get married?
I hope you find this information useful, for more information about how to ask different types of questions in English you can click the following links:
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