English Grammar Step by Step
QUESTIONS AND EXCLAMATIONS
There are two types of direct questions: wh-questions (that is,
they begin with wh- question words, including how: what, when,
where, who, and so forth) and yes-no questions (that is to say,
the answer to these questions is yes or no). Yet, if we are
choosing between at least two alternatives, we do not use yes
or no in our response:
‘Are you married or single?’
The order is, of course, interrogative, but there are
—When the subject is what, which, who, how much or how many:
‘Who has set the table?’
—With yes-no questions, when the speaker just wants to
confirm something or when he or she wishes to express surprise:
You overheard their conversation?
That is your girl-friend? She’s beautiful!
Note also the following changes:
—I→you; we→you, we; you→I, we; he, she, it and they remain
—me→you; us→you, us; you→me, us; him, her, it and them
do not change.
—my→your; our→your, our; your→my, our; his, her, its and their
—mine→yours; ours→yours, ours; yours→mine, ours; his, hers
and theirs do not change.
Make questions for the answers given.
Yes, he is exceptionally gifted.
Is he exceptionally gifted?
No, he didn’t pull up the weeds in the garden.
Did he pull up the weeds in the garden?
a Yes, she washed her stepdaughter’s car.
b No, they didn’t want to marry and settle down.
c Yes, he set up in business as a fishmonger a year ago.
d No, he didn’t give me a lift to the airport.
e No, they didn’t lay the table.
I bought some grapes. (some grapes = what→object)
What did you buy?
A hurricane threatens their lives. (a hurricane = what→subject)
What threatens their lives?
a I studied Catalan there.
b My bike was destroyed in the crash.
c It’s made of ivory.
d Butter is made from milk.
e This bread is made with flour, leaven, walnuts, olive oil,
salt and water.
Mary stood up. (Mary = who→subject)
Who stood up?
a An inspector is coming next week to look over the factory.
b Dolly glared at me.
c Mr Williams is my legal adviser.
d Nick tossed the coin.
e The Greens drew the map.
They stared at Miranda. (Miranda = whom or who→object)
Whom/Who did they stare at?
He loves Amanda.
Whom/Who does he love?
Whom is formal and more correct than who. Who is informal and
more commonly heard than whom. If there is a preposition, it
can be put at the beginning or end of the interrogative
sentence. If we place it at the beginning, whom must be used:
At whom did they stare? This construction is the most formal,
and rare in modern spoken English. We can find it with
other wh-question words, too: For when do you want the
tickets?/When do you want the tickets for?
a It was made by me.
b They murdered him.
c He had a row with Belinda.
d I saw Arthur last month.
e I was being watched by the police.
They won that old lamp in a raffle. (in a raffle = where)
Where did they win that old lamp?
a I come from Barcelona.
b They’re from London.
c The dog buried the bone in my garden.
d I bought these batteries in the shop round the corner.
e I have been to the shops.
They came home at three o’clock. [at three o’clock = when or
(at) what time]
When/(At) what time did they come home? (At is usually omitted.)
It’s seven o’clock.
What time is it?/What’s the time?
a The enemy attacked by night.
b They set off for school two hours ago.
c I think they will visit Michael next winter.
d She wants to go abroad in August.
e It’s a quarter to nine.
I (1) saw Mary (2) in Lisbon (3) on 5th May (4).
(1) Who saw Mary in Lisbon on 5th May?
(2) Whom/Who did you see in Lisbon on 5th May?
(3) Where did you see Mary on 5th May?
(4) When did you see Mary in Lisbon?
As you can see, at times we have a lot of possibilities. So as
to avoid this, I have underlined the answer. Therefore,
there will be only one alternative. In spite of this, you will
have to ask as many questions as possible in this section.
a Margaret broke the window.
b Nicky spent three days in Mexico last year.
c My father needs a pair of braces.
d Our boss observed that Tom was trying to convince our
workmates to go on strike.
e Mrs Turner was accused of bribery.
8 Revision exercise.
a I live in a detached house.
b I sell fruit and vegetables.
c Yes, I spun a coin.
d Yes, she glanced shyly at me.
e No, the castle wasn’t shrouded in mist.
f No, it wasn’t a misty morning.
g Snowflakes covered the tops of the trees in my garden.
h We finished work at nightfall.
i They left at daybreak.
j We work from dawn until dusk.
k Barry patted me on the back for getting the best marks in
the whole class last night.
l My dog has just bitten Tony.
m He always gawps at beautiful girls.
n He always gawks at beautiful girls.
o We will arrive in Morocco at sunset.
p Eric starts work at sunrise.
q Nothing happened.
r The cat scratched Lesley two days ago.
s The concert begins at seven o’clock.
t Andrew is at the bank.
u No, you shouldn’t lie to them.
v They got to Paris in the afternoon.
w I adore Charlotte.
x No, I don’t believe in God.
y He reached the cottage yesterday.
z Edward was taken away.
There isn’t much cheese.
How much cheese is there? (not much = how much→uncountable)
Notice the construction how + adjective or adverb. We can
create many structures like this by following this pattern.
Some of them have been included in the next sections. All
the same, you will have to use new ones in the revision
a A lot of milk was spoilt.
b There is no time left.
c A great deal of sugar is sold here.
d We haven’t got any butter.
e We bought a lot of tea.
There were heaps of bottles of sherry. (heaps = how many→plural)
How many bottles of sherry were there?
a We purchased three houses.
b We drank five cans of beer.
c Many people came to the party.
d A large number of flats were pulled down.
e There are two tin-openers.
Edinburgh is two miles from here.
How far is Edinburgh (from here)?
It’s two miles to Edinburgh from here.
How far is it to Edinburgh (from here)?
I’s two miles from here to Edinburgh.
How far is it from here to Edinburgh?
It takes two hours to get to Lleida.
How long does it take to get to Lleida?
My car is very long.
How long is your car?
The first three questions mean more or less the same.
a Catalonia is a long way from here.
b It won’t take long.
c I have been living here all my life.
d The next petrol station is not far.
e Her hair is very long.
The helicopter flew very high.
How high did the helicopter fly?
My sister is two metres tall.
How tall is your sister?
The Pacific Ocean is very deep.
How deep is the Pacific Ocean?
a These mountains are very high.
b My daughter is not very tall.
c This river is not very deep.
d Our brother-in-law is the tallest men I have ever seen.
e This well is ten metres deep.
See unit 1.
We are not going to deal with questions of this sort here.
Question tags have a similar meaning. See unit 3.
In a more formal situation, we can use what + a noun,
or what without a noun:
How old are you?/What is your age? (formal)/What age
are you? (formal)
How much do you weigh?/What is your weight? (formal)/
What weight are you? (formal)
How far is Edinburgh from here?/What is the distance
from here to Edinburgh? (formal)/What distance is
Edinburgh from here? (formal)
Author: Miquel Molina i Diez
Pages: 1, 2 and the key
1 Negative and interrogative sentences (Page 2 and the key)
2 Short answers (Page 2 and the key)
3 Question tags (Page 2 and the key)
4 Questions and exclamations (Page 2 and the key)
5 So, neither, nor, either (the key)
6 Be, used to, would, be/get/become used to, dare, have, get, become, grow, go, turn, fall and feel (Page 2 and the key)
7 Verb tenses: forms (Page 2 and the key)
8 Irregular verbs
9 Verb tenses: uses (Page 2, Page 3, Page 4, Page 5 and the key)
10 Personal pronouns, possessives and reflexive pronouns (Page 2 and the key)
11 The genitive case (the key)
12 Singular and plural nouns (Page 2 and the key)
13 Gender (the key)
14 A, an, some, any, no, not, none, each, every and the; compounds of some, any, no and every (Page 2, Page 3 and the key)
15 Neither, not...either, none, not...any, both and all (the key)
16 A few, few, a lot, lots, a little, little, many, much, no and plenty (the key)
17 Enough, too, so and such (the key)
18 Comparative and superlative sentences (Page 2 and the key)
19 Adjective order (the key)
20 Relative clauses (Page 2 and the key)
21 Do and make (the key)
22 Modal verbs (Page 2, Page 3 and the key)
23 Infinitives, gerunds and present participles (Page 2 and the key)
24 Conditional sentences (Page 2 and the key)
25 Passive sentences (the key)
26 Reported speech (Page 2 and the key)
27 Purpose (the key)
28 Word order (the key)
29 Inversion (the key)
30 Connectors (Page 2 and the key)
31 Prepositions (Page 2, Page 3 and the key)
32 Phrasal verbs (the key)