Yes/No Questions

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Yes/No Questions
By Yung-Chen Chung
What is a Yes/No question?
 A Yes/No
question wants either “yes” or
“no” as an answer.
Which sentence seems to be trying
to get “yes” or “no” as an answer?

Why did you send Bob an avocado in the
mail?

Did you send Bob an avocado in the
mail?
1. Why did you send Bob an avocado in
the mail?
2. Did you send Bob an avocado in the
mail?
The second sentence “Did you send Bob an
avocado in the mail?” seems to expect
either “yes” or “no” as an answer.
Therefore, it is a Yes/No question.
How to make a Yes/No question?
 There
are two ways to form a Yes/No
question.
 The first way to make a Yes/No question is
from statements with an overt auxiliary
verb (helping verb).
Hej !
 Here is an example:
Maria can speak Swedish.
Step One: Find the helping verb.
Maria can speak Swedish
Helping verb
Step Two: Move the helping verb in
front of the subject, and
capitalize the first letter.
C
Maria can speak Swedish
Step Three: Add a question mark.
(?)
Can Maria speak Swedish ?
 The
other way to form a Yes/No question
is from statements without an overt
auxiliary verb (helping verb).
 Here
is an example:
The boy lives in Taipei.
Step One: Find the helping verb
(Dig it up if it’s buried.).
The boy
does live
lives in Taipei
Step Two:
1.
2.
3.
D
Move the helping verb in front of the subject, and capitalize the
first letter of “does”.
Change the first letter of “The” to the lower case “t”.
Change the third person singular verb, “lives”, to its base form,
“live”.
The
t
boy does lives in Taipei
Step Three: Add a question mark.
(?)
Does the boy live in Taipei ?
One more thing you need to know
about the Yes/No questions!
 The
intonation of a Yes/No questions is
different from a statement.
Statement intonation:

The statement intonation in English usually rises and falls within the
last content word in the sentence.
Maria can speak Swedish.
Yes/No question intonation:

Yes/No question intonation rises sharply on the vowel in the
stressed syllable and then continues to rise slightly on the second
syllable.
Can Maria speak Swedish?
§128.6. English as a Second Language
(ESL), Grade 4.

(b) Knowledge and skills.
(30) Second language acquisition/writing.
(A) use basic capitalization and punctuation correctly such
as capitalizing names and first letters in sentences and
using periods, question marks, and exclamation points.
(E) employ increasingly complex grammatical structures in
writing.
(i) demonstrate knowledge of verbs, tenses, and
auxiliaries, wh-words, and pronouns/antecedents;
(iii) demonstrate knowledge of parts of speech;
(F) construct correct sentences, including a variety of
sentence types and styles.
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