In the learning of a language it is useful to have a variety of quick and easy to use phrases, such as short questions that help you to interact with ease. These phrases can be fixed phrases HERE or even short questions HERE. The key is to be able to use them when you need to and know how to apply them to real life contexts.

It can be an essential skill when answering questions as it will give you time to think of a more extended answer, or even just serve as a basic response and nothing else.

It is important to know that when you wish to give a short response to a question that there are two types of questions: open and closed questions. Both of these types of questions need to be answered in a different way.


Closed questions: these are the types of questions that can be answered with a YES or NO answer. They usually begin with an auxiliary verb. You should answer with YES/NO + subject + auxiliary verb:

Yes, I do/am/have/was/will/would/should (etc)

No, I don´t/am not/haven´t/wasn´t/won´t/wouldn´t/shouldn´t (etc)


You can also answer with a short phrase: sure, of course, sort/kind of (more or less)


Closed questions are recognisable as they begin with an auxiliary verb:

Is it easy to play? Yes, it is/no, it isn´t

Can you swim well? Yes, I can/no, I can´t

Should I study more? Yes, you should/no, you shouldn´t

Would you like a sandwich? Yes, I would/no, I wouldn´t

Do you like eating cheese? Sort of

Have you got many friends? Of course

Do you enjoy going to work? Kind of


Open questions begin with a question word (what, where, when, who, why, which, how etc). They cannot be answered yes or no, but in fact, have an infinite number of answers.

Open questions can be answered: well, good question, let me see, let´s see, let me have a look, let me think


Open questions are recognisable because of the question word (how long, how far, how often, whose etc):

What is your name? Good question, my name is Marc

Where do you live? Well, I was born in England, but now I live in Spain

Who is your best friend? Let me see, Ian is my best friend, I don’t see him often though as he lives in Australia.

How often do you go out? Let me think, I go out every now and again

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