Unit 11.1

Yes or No Questions in Present Form (interrogative)


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Introduction

In the interrogative form, Yes or no questions are also called closed questions or polar questions because the answer to them can only be yes or no. The answers to closed questions are called short answers.

The closed questions in the present tense are used to ask for information in the present.

Form

To create a closed question only auxiliary (behavedo) or modal verbs (cancouldwould…) can be used. In the present tense, we use the present forms of the auxiliary and modal verbs.

The interrogative form with yes or no questions have this structure:
Auxiliary/modal verb + subject + noun/verb + …?

The answers to closed questions are called short answers. Those answers usually include the auxiliary or the modal verb (it is not necessary to repeat the verb itself).

The short answers have this structure:
Yes/no + , + subject + auxiliary/modal verb (the same as the question)Some yes or no questions and their corresponding short answers are:

Question Affirmative Short Answer Negative Short Answer
Are you…? Yes, I am. No, Im not.
Is she…? Yes, she is. No, shes not.
Do you…? Yes, I do. / Yes, we do. No, I don’t. / No, we don’t.
Does he…? Yes, he does. No, he doesn’t.
Can we…? Yes, we can. No, we can’t.
Have you got…? Yes, I have. / Yes, we have. No, I haven’t. / No, we haven’t.
Has he got…? Yes, he has. No, he hasn’t.
Would you like…? Yes, I would. / Yes, we would. No, I wouldn’t. / No, we wouldn’t.

Example

  • Are you fine? – Yes, I am. 
  • Is she your brother’s girlfriend? – No, she’s not
  • Do you like postcards? – Yes, I do
  • Does he know the truth? – Yes, he does. 
  • Can we go to Madrid for the weekend? – Yes, we can.
  • Have you got a minute? – No, we haven’t. 
  • Has he got a license? – No, he hasn’t. 
  • Would you like to help us? – Yes, we would. 

Use

We use yes or no questions when we expect that answer will be either yes (affirmative) or no (negative).

Summary

Yes or no questions can only have yes or no as an answer.

The structure of a yes or no question is: Auxiliary or modal verb followed by a subject and a noun or a verb (the sentence ends with a question mark).

The structure of short answers is: Yes or no followed by a comma followed by the subject and an auxiliary or modal verb (the same as in the question).

For example:
— “Do you like cats? – Yes, I do.” = Yes/no questions are also called closed questions, and since the question has been asked with the auxiliary verb to do, the short answer will contain it.
♦ “Whose cat is this?” = Wh- questions are also called open questions because you can give an infinite number of answers.

NOTE: We can only use an auxiliary (be/have…) or a modal verb (can/could/would…) to create a yes or no question.

Let’s revise this content within the {Form} section. Take a look at the {Example} section that shows its use within a context.

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