A key part of holding a conversation in English is the ability to ask questions. When you can ask questions, you have the ability to guide an interaction and you can also maintain (continue) and develop (elaborate) it. What you need to take into account is that there are two types of questions: open questions (more than yes or no answers) and closed questions (yes or no). What we will review is open questions and interrogative words.
Where: ask about a place
- Where do you live?
- Where were you born?
- Where do you work?
- Where do you usually go on holiday?
Who: ask about a person
- Who is your best friends?
- Who lives in your house?
- Who is washing up at the moment?
- Who knows how to play the piano?
Who… with: ask about a situation with a person
- Who do you live with?
- Who do you like going on holiday with?
- Who are you gossiping with?
- Who are you giggling with?
When: ask about a general time or date
- When is your birthday?
- When did you start working here?
- When did you get a new car?
- When do you want to celebrate your birthday?
Why: ask for a reason
- Why are you learning English?
- Why are you so tired today?
- Why do you want to study online?
- Why did you miss class yesterday?
What: ask about a thing
- What is your favourite colour?
- What is your favourite food?
- What are you talking about?
- What are you doing right now?
Which: ask about a thing when there is a choice
- Which colour do you prefer, blue or red?
- Which table do you mean?
- Which beer would you prefer, this one or that one?
- Which is the best option available?
Whose: ask about possession
- Whose bag is this?
- Whose car is this?
- Whose shoes are there?
- Whose name begins with an M?
What time: ask about a specific time
- What time do you get up each day?
- What time do you have breakfast?
- What time do you start work?
- What time do you go to bed?
What… for: ask for the purpose of something (it can substitute why)
- What are you going to the supermarket for?
- What are you looking at me for?
- What are you shouting at me for?
- What is he learning English for?
How: ask for the way something is done
- How do you say ___ in English?
- How can I learn English faster?
- How do you get around you city?
- How are you doing?
How much: ask for the quantity of something uncountable (bread, water, milk, time)
- How much does it cost?
- How much is the train fare?
- How much do you love your sister?
- How much bread did you buy?
How many: ask for the quantity of something countable (apples, coins, people)
- How many people work in your office?
- How many people are coming to they party?
- How many people do you live with?
- How many coins are there on the table?
How often: ask about the frequency of an action
- How often do you go to the cinema?
- How often do you listen to music?
- How often do you hang out with friends?
- How often do you watch TV?
How long: ask about the duration of an action
- How long have you been living in your flat?
- How long have you been learning English?
- How long are you staying for?
- How long does the film last?
How long: ask about the length of something
How far: ask about a distance (What is the distance from… to…?)
- How far is it to the station?
- How far is Albacete from Chicago?
How far: ask for the “extent” of something
- How far would you say that you agree?
- How far do you agree with his opinion?
How old: ask for the age of something/someone (What is the age of…?)
- How old are you?
- How old is your dog?
- How old is your house?
- How old is this tree?
How come: ask for the reason informally behind something (why)
- How come you don´t want to come to the party?
- How come he is angry?
- How come you are late?
- How come you missed the bus?
How tall: ask for the height:
- How tall are you?