: Business Grammar Builder. : (.. .. )


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Unit 15 questions 1


 Yes/no questions and answers A


 Questions with the answer yes or no are formed with an auxiliary verb + subject + main verb The auxiliary can be do, be, have or a modal verb like can, will, would. Short answers repeat the auxiliary.


Present simple

Present continuous


Past simple


Past continuous Past perfect Present perfect Will



A: Do you speak French? A: Are you staying at the Metropole?

A: Did you check all the invoices?

A: Were you living in Rome

at the time?

A: Had you already left when

I phoned?

A: Have you seen my new


A: Will you be back before lunch?

A: Can you speak French?


B: Yes, I do. /No, I dont.

B: Yes, I am. /No, Im not.


B: Yes, I did. /No, I didnt.


B: Yes, I was. / No, I wasnt.


B: Yes, I had. /No, hadnt.


B: Yes, I have./No, I havent.


B: Yes, I will. /No, I wont.


B: Yes, I can. /No, I cant.


Have Yales applications been rising over the past couple of years? Do you accept people into your MBA program without any work experience? Can you give applicants any advice on the best ways of securing scholarships?


 The main verb be comes before the subject in a question.

Is it time for the meeting? Are you ready? Was it a useful trip?


 Question word questions B


 Question words are: what, when, where, which, who, whose, why and how.

The key to production in the future will be partnership. One does not begin with the question What do I want? and then How do I persuade these people? One begins with the question What do they want? and then How can this be made to fit into our common purpose?


 After the question word we use the same structure as a yes/no question:

auxiliary verb + subject + main verb.



I couldnt get through to directory inquiries.

(= contact someone by telephone)

Present simple Present continuous Past simple

Past continuous

Past perfect


Present perfect




When do you usually leave work?

Which projects are you working on at the moment?

Whose car did you borrow?

Where were you living at the time?

How much research had you done before the product launch?

Why have you decided to cut back on investment this


When will you be back?

What languages can you speak?



 Question phrases C


 We often use what and which with a noun:

What time are you arriving?

What areas do we need to cover in the meeting?

What sectors look promising at this time? What implications would there be if the price of oil continues to rise?


Which is more usual with people and organisations, and when there is a limited number of possible answers:

Which customer service representative were you speaking to?

Which courier service did we use last time?

Which way is it?


 We can use which of or which one: Which of the proposals did you accept? Which one did you accept?


We cannot use what in this way.


 We can make phrases with how: how many how much, how old, how far how often, how long, how fast.

How often do you travel abroad on business?

w long will the meeting last?

How important are the municipal election?

How much will the Brazilian economy grow next year and in what areas?


 Question words as the subject D

 Sometimes the question word is the subject of the sentence:

Who did you meet in Argentina? (you is the subject)

Who met you at the airport? (who is the subject, you is the object)


 When a question word is the subject of a question do not use do/does/did.

What happened? Who works here? (What and Who are the subjects)

What did you do? Who do I pay? (you and I are the subjects)


 Note that auxiliaries other than do/does/did can be used, but there is no subject pronoun because the question word is the subject.

What has happened? (NOT What it has ...)

What will happen? (NOT What it will...)


 Negative questions E


 We use negative questions to disagree politely.

But dont you think that different societies have a different appetite for social cohesion or social disruption? Isnt there a limit in what one can

introduce from the US to Europe in terms of the new economy? (Economist website)


 We use negative questions when we expect the answer to be no. In social

English this makes it

easier for the other person to reply politely. A: Do you like Japanese food?

B: No, not really. (the answer seems very strong)

A: Dont you like Japanese food?

B: No, not really. (the answer seems more polite)


 We use negative questions to show surprise.

Dont you accept American Express?



Exercise 1 (A, B, D)

Underline the correct words.


1 Spoke you / Did you speak with Lara yesterday?

2 What did Lara say / said when you spoke to her?

3 A: Do you like Scotch whisky?

B: Yes, I like. / Yes, I do.

4 How works this machine? / does this machine work?

5 Who set up Microsoft / did set up Microsoft?

6 When set up Microsoft / did Microsoft set up?

7 Who did telephone me / telephoned me this morning?

8 Who you telephoned / did you telephone this morning?


Exercise 2 (A)

Expand the And you? questions to make full yes/no questions.


1 Ive seen the news today. And you? ..

2 I walk from home. And you? ..

3 I can understand German. And you? ..

4 Ive already had lunch. And you? ..

5 Ill be back in time for lunch. And you? ..

6 Im enjoying the conference. And you? ..

7 I agreed with her. And you? ..

8 Ive never spoken to Pierre. And you? ..


Exercise 3 (B)

Expand the And you? questions to make full question word questions.



I know him from university. And you?

How.. ?


Ive invited Mary. And you?

Who .. ?


Im going on Monday. And you?

When .. ?


I parked at the front. And you?

Where .. ?


Im here for the talk on optics. And you?

Why ..?

6 Ill have the steak. And you? What .. ?


Exercise 4 (B)

Write a question for each answer.


1 ..

2 ..

3 ..

4 ..

5 ..

6 ..

7 ..

8 ..



Get to work? At about 8.30 usually. Done! I havent done anything!

The report? I put it over there.

Here? I stay here because the pay is good. Yesterday? I was feeling awful.

Staying? Im staying at the Ritz.

Report to? I report to Bob Taylor. This bag? I think its Helens.



Exercise 5 (A, B)

Rearrange the words in each group from the list to make questions. Then match them to the answers below to make a complete dialogue.


you business here are on

you did do that what before

like whats it

arrive did when you

are for how you staying long

you what do do

staying you where are

to is first this Lyon your visit


been how have long there you working

involve travelling job does much your

1 A: ..

B: Yes, Im here on a sales trip.

2 A: ..

B: I work for a small biotech company.






About four years, I suppose.






I was in pharmaceutical.






Yes, quite a lot. I travel all over Europe, but especially in France.






No, Ive been here once before.







A couple of days ago.






Until Friday, then I go back to the UK.






At the Holiday Inn.


0 A:


B: Its very comfortable actually, and the restaurant is good.


Exercise 6 (B, C, E)

Complete the dialogue with question words and question phrases from the list below.


what kind of

how often

how far

how long

how many

how much

what (x2)

which (x2)



SAM So, tell me about your new job. (1) .. work is it?

JOE: Its in sales, like my last job, but its a bigger company.

SAM: Really? (2) .. people work there?

JOE: I suppose theres about 60 people in our office.

SAM: Oh, yeah. And (3) .. holiday can you take a year?

JOE: Twenty-four days a year plus public holidays.

SAM: Oh, thats much better than your last job. And (4) .. is it from your home?

JOE: Well, its really not that far and I dont have to catch the train to work every morning, which is great.


SAM: Oh, lucky you. So, (5) .. does it take you to get to work in the morning now?

JOE: About 20 minutes by car.

SAM: Wow. It sounds perfect. (6) .. time do you start work in the mornings?

JOE: About nine. But sometimes I have to go on sales trips at the weekends as well.

SAM: Oh? (7) .. idea was that?

JOE: I dont know, its just something you have to do.

SAM: And (8) .. do you have to do it?

JOE: About once a month I think. Theyre going to give me a company car.



Were trying to sort out the problem now.

(= put it right)

SAM: Really! (9) .. model are they going to give you?

JOE: A Golf, I think - and I can choose the colour.

SAM: Oh, and (10) .. colours are there?

JOE: Well, I can choose between black and dark blue.

SAM: Only two! So, (11) .. one do you prefer?

JOE: Well, dark blue sounds better than black.

SAM: Hmm, yeah. Well, congratulations, Im sure youll do really well.



She rolled up the magazines and pushed them into her bag.

(= make something made of paper, cloth etc into the shape of a tube)

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