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.