Interrogatives In English

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Wh-questions formation in English
1. Interrogatives in English

According to Fromkin, Robert, Neil, & Harry (2001), one of the linguistic universals is that all languages have a system of asking questions. In English, there are two main kinds of interrogative sentences, close-ended sentences and open-ended sentences. Closed class interrogative sentences have yes/no answer while opened class interrogative sentences having many possible answers.
1.1. Yes/No questions
Yes/no question in English is known as closed class questions because it has yes/no answer. Subject-auxiliary inversion (SAI) is applied to form yes/no question, if a declarative sentence contains an auxiliary verb i.e. have or be, or a modal auxiliary like can, could and may etc.
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In English object is questioned with wh-words who and what. The word who asks about the person while what asks about object/idea/action. If a sentence has auxiliary verb such as be, have or modal verb (can, could) then Subject-auxiliary inversion occurs. If there is no auxiliary in declarative sentence then do/does and did support is used to form object Wh-question. To question the object of the sentence in English, the wh-word can move to the initial position of the interrogative sentence. It is known as full wh movement. In object Wh-question formation, SAI takes place as shown in b in the sentences 1, 2 and 3.
1) a. He killed a snake. b. What did he kill?
2). a. He buys a book? b. What does he buy?
3) a. Sami beats Fatima. b. Who does Sami beat?

1.2.2.3. Adjunct Wh-question

The adjunct questions answer the wh-questions when, why, where and how. The word when asks about the time of an action, why explains the reason, where inquiries about a place, and ‘how’ explains the manner of an action. In English, the wh-word comes to the initial position of the sentence and subject-auxiliary inversion also takes place. The sentences below show the wh-word initial position and SAI.
1) a. He met me yesterday. b. When did he meet you?
2) a. I came late due to heavy traffic. b. Why did you come late?
3) a. She lives in Peshawar. b. Where does she live?
4) a. I reached here on foot. b. How did you reach here? 1.2.2. Complex

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