Interrogative Sentence – Definition & Examples

Have you ever wondered how curious minds are fed?

Sure, it is the answers, solutions, and discoveries that satisfy such minds, but before answers would roll out of our tongues, before solutions would prompt us to blurt out “Eureka!”, and before discoveries would give power to the light bulbs in our heads, we do the most fundamental thing that is, asking a question.

A curious mind will no longer be void of information or knowledge once it could ask a question that would make comprehensively address its curiosity. But what if we cannot easily comprehend the exact words that could decipher the discord in our heads? How can curious minds get fed?

That is why it is very important that we should know how to construct effective survey questions in a way that it would not anymore constitute follow-up questions.

 

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Asking questions is a part of our day-to-day communication. When we interact or make dialogue with people, we do not only converse using the other types of sentences such as the declarative sentences, exclamatory sentences, and imperative sentences. We also use one type of sentence which is called the interrogative sentence.

Defining an Interrogative Sentence

An interrogative sentence is one of the types of sentences which asks a question and requires an answer.

To end an interrogative sentence, we punctuate it using a question mark (?).

In an interrogative sentence, the first verb in a verb phrase should always be written before the subject.

Along with declarative sentences, exclamatory sentences, and imperative sentences, we use interrogative sentences in our daily interactions and conversations, thus, it is vital in human communication.

It is through interrogative sentences that we gain information because it would always require an answer and that answer could form a new body of knowledge.

List of Interrogative Words

One indication that a sentence is using an interrogative format is that if starts with one of the following interrogative words.

  • Do – Do you hear that creepy sound?
  • Does – Does she know I’m visiting you?
  • Did – Did you try to unlock the door?
  • How – How were you able to get in the house?
  • When – When are you going to leave?
  • Where – Where will you wait for me?
  • What – What were you thinking?
  • Which – Which of the three kings brought gold?
  • Who – Who are your group mates? 
  • Why – Why are you causing him pain?

How to Write Interrogative Sentences

The most important thing to keep in mind when writing interrogative sentences is to know what information you would like to obtain. It is by then that you would be able to construct an interrogative sentence.

There are a lot of ways that you can ask and each of it also gives you a different kind of answer that is why it is really important for us to know how to ask questions correctly so we can also get an equally correct answer as well.

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Types of Interrogative Sentences

There are four ways you can construct an interrogative sentence.

1. Yes or No Interrogative Sentences

This type of interrogative sentence is answerable with a yes or a no.

Here are some examples:

  • Have you taken a bath today?
  • Does he take a bath every day?
  • Can you take a bath right now?
  • Do you know how to drive a car?
  • Do you own a car?
  • Can you lend me your car?
  • Did you take the exam?
  • Was the exam difficult?
  • Were you able to pass the exam?

2. 5 “WH” and 1 “H” Interrogative Sentences

This type of interrogative sentence starts with any of the 5 “WH” and 1 “H” questions, namely: who, what, where, when, why, and how.

The answer that constitutes to this type of interrogative sentence is rather varied.

Here are some examples and what kind of answer it needs.

  • Who will be in the front act for tomorrow’s act?
  • Who is that person lurking behind you?
  • Who are you going to dance with for tomorrow’s party?
  • Who do you think is the winner of last night’s contest?
  • Who is your first love?

1. Interrogative sentences that start with who answers either the name of the person or pronouns (him or her).

  • What was the first breed of dog you ever owned?
  • What is your first and last name?
  • What did you eat for breakfast?
  • What makes you think that I am sleepy?
  • What else can you think of a solution to this problem?

2. Interrogative sentences that start with what answers mostly nouns.

  • Where are you now?
  • Where is she going at this hour?
  • Where were you when I called you?
  • Where is the bathroom?
  • Where can I get more towels?

3. Interrogative sentences that start with the word where answers location

  • When can I see you again?
  • When are you coming back?
  • When is she going to pay us back the money she owes us?
  • When are you planning to make amends with your past?
  • When did I contact you?

4. Interrogative sentences that start with when answers time or date

Interrogative sentences that use why and how are more open-ended but it often describes how some things can be done or how an event can unfold.

To help you understand, here are some examples of possible answers.

  • Why are you leaving on the 1st of June?
    • I have to visit my sick mother back at home.
  • Why are you doing this to me?
    • I’m doing this to you so you can reflect on your actions towards me.
  • How are you going to explain this situation to our parents?
    • We can always have a sit-down talk with them to clear things up.
  • How are things going between you and your neighbor?
    • We have talked amicably and we have already settled things.

3. Alternative Interrogative Sentence

This type of interrogative sentence gives someone options or choices to choose from. List options to choose from because that’s what makes an interrogative sentence in the alternative format.

This type of interrogative sentence is similar to the yes or no interrogative sentence only that the answer is among the choices suggested.

Although you can provide a vast number of options, try to keep it to a minimum because there is a possibility that the person you are asking will feel overwhelmed.You may also see what is a negative sentence.

Here are some examples of alternative interrogative sentences.

  • Do you want coffee, tea, or water?
  • Would you like this blueberry cake or strawberry cake? 
  • Should I get you a pillow, bed sheet, or blanket?
  • What season do you prefer: summer, spring, winter, or fall?
  • How would you like your coffee: hot or iced?
  • Were you sick because you had a flu or were you just tired of working?
  • Are you going to pick me up at 7 o’clock in the morning or 3 o’clock in the afternoon?
  • Where do you want to travel, Europe or Asia?
  • Am I too sensitive, close-minded, or irritable?
  • Does she want to know my first name or just the last name? 

4. Tag Question or Interrogative Sentence

A tag question is a declarative sentence with an interrogative sentence variation. True to its name, tag questions is tagged after a declarative sentence, therefore making the entire sentence into an interrogative one.

Usually, it would answer yes or no but it may not be applicable at all times.

Take note that if the be verb used in the declarative sentence is in the positive note, meanwhile the tag question turns it into a negative, and vice versa.You may also see what is a sentence fragment.

Here are some examples of declarative sentences that are added with tag questions which turn it into interrogative sentences.

  • She is so beautiful, isn’t she?
  • The sun is so bright, isn’t it?
  • You are not coming, are you?
  • That’s her new album, right?
  • You were plotting revenge on me, weren’t you?
  • Sheila was crying, wasn’t she?
  • Those are your shoes, aren’t they?
  • Let’s go, shall we?
  • I am too early, aren’t I?

Learning a new body of knowledge, information, answers, solutions, and discoveries are important. However, asking the right questions with the correct sentence construction is also equally important. If we know how to construct an interrogative sentence and know its different variations, it gives us room to acquire the correct answers that satisfy our curious minds and it gives us the ability to be able to communicate effectively with all the people we interact every day.

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