Unit 11.1

Yes or No Questions in Future Form

Syntax

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Introduction

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 future tense are used to ask for information in the future.

Form

{See Yes or No Questions in Present Form,  A1 level}

In the future tense, we use the future forms of the auxiliary and modal verbs. There are two means we can use to ask about the future:

  • will (the future form of the auxiliary to be);
  • the phrase to be going to {See Be going to, A1 level }.

Some yes or no questions and their corresponding short answers are:

QUESTION AFFIRMATIVE SHORT ANSWER NEGATIVE SHORT ANSWER
Will she…? Yes, she will. No, she will not. / No, she won’t.
Will I…? Yes, you will. No, you will not. / No, you won’t.
Shall I…? Yes, please. No, thank you.
Are you going to…? Yes, I am. No, I‘m not.
Is she going to…? Yes, she is. No, she’s not.

NOTE: Generally, we should use shall instead of will in the first person singular and plural (I and we). The answers to the questions in which they are used are acceptances or declinations of offers, suggestions or requests.

Example

  • Will he arrive in time?Yes, he will.
  • Will I go to prison if I steal?  – Yes, you will
  • Shall I bring you your bag?Yes, please.
  • Are you going to leave soon?No, I‘m not.
  • Is she going to study chemistry next year? – Yes, she is.

Use

{See Yes or No Questions in Present Form, A1 level}

We use will to talk about:

  • immediate decisions;
  • predictions;
  • feelings.

We use to be going to to talk about:

  • previously decided plans;
  • future situations we have information about.

Summary

Yes or no questions can only have yes or no as an answer. In the future we use them with the auxiliary will (for immediate decisions, predictions and feelings) and the phrase to be going to (for previously decided plans and future situations we have information about).

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:
— “Will he cook the dinner? – Yes, he will.” = Yes/no questions are also called closed questions, and since the question has been asked with the auxiliary verb to be, 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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