Site Search:

Information Questions (#6): Answers for non-Subject Questions, by Dennis Oliver

 

Information Questions (#6):
Answers for Non-Subject Questions

 

There are are several different ways to answer "Wh-"
questions. One way is to give a complete answer. In
a complete answer for "Wh-" questions that are not
about the subject (or part of it), the sentence is often
repeated (just as it is for questions about the subject):

Q:
A:
Where's Bob?
Bob's in the kitchen.
   

Q:


A:

Which man is Bob with?
(With which man is Bob?)

Bob's with the tall man in the red jacket .

   
Q:
A:
When was Mei-Li's brother here?
Mei-Li's brother was here yesterday.
   
Q:
A:
What is Bill doing?
Bill's trying to fix his bicycle.
   
Q:
A:
Where will Zahra's party be?
Zahra's party will be at the community center.
   

Q:


A:

How much sugar did you use in
these cookies?

I used two cups of sugar in these cookies.

   

Q:

A:

Why did Masha buy a new car?

Masha bought a new car because she
wrecked her old one.

   
Q:



A:

Who did Mrs. Sato get angry with?
(Whom did Mrs. Sato get angry with? /
With whom did Mrs. Sato get angry?)

Mrs. Sato got angry with her students.

   
Q:
A:
How often has Shahnaz missed class?
Shahnaz has never missed class.
   

Q:


A:

What time does Marie-Claire
do her homework?

Marie-Claire does her homework
at 8:00 PM every single evening.

Note: Complete answers are correct, but short answers
(see below) are more common.

______________________________________________

 

Short answers are also common when "Wh-" questions
are
not about the subject (or part of it). One common
type of short answer consists of the
subject (usually
replaced by a pronoun)
+ verb + answer:

Q:
A:
Where's Bob?
He's in the kitchen.
   

Q:


A:

Which man is Bob with?
(With which man is Bob?)

He's with the tall man in the red jacket .

   
Q:
A:
When was Mei-Li's brother here?
He was here yesterday.
   
Q:
A:
What is Bill doing?
He's trying to fix his bicycle.
   
Q:
A:
Where will Zahra's party be?
It'll be at the community center.
   

Q:


A:

How much sugar did you use in
these cookies?

I used two cups.

   

Q:

A:

Why did Masha buy a new car?

She bought a new one because she
wrecked her old one.

   
Q:



A:

Who did Mrs. Sato get angry with?
(Whom did Mrs. Sato get angry with? /
With whom did Mrs. Sato get angry?)

She got angry with her students.

   
Q:
A:
How often has Shahnaz missed class?
She's never missed class.
   

Q:


A:

What time does Marie-Claire
do her homework?

She does it at 8:00 PM every single evening.

 

____________________________________________

 

An even more common way to answer is to say the
phrase in which the answer appears or only the answer
if it is not in a phrase:

Q:
A:
Where's Bob?
In the kitchen.
   

Q:


A:

Which man is Bob with?
(With which man is Bob?)

The tall man in the red jacket. /
With the tall man in the red jacket.

   
Q:
A:
When was Mei-Li's brother here?
Yesterday.
   
Q:
A:
What is Bill doing?
Trying to fix his bicycle.
   
Q:
A:
Where will Zahra's party be?
At the community center.
   

Q:


A:

How much sugar did you use in
these cookies?

Two cups.

   
Q:
A:
Why did Masha buy a new car?
Because she wrecked her old one.
   
Q:



A:

Who did Mrs. Sato get angry with?
(Whom did Mrs. Sato get angry with? /
With whom did Mrs. Sato get angry?)

With her students. / Her students.

   
Q:
A:
How often has Shahnaz missed class?
Never.
   

Q:


A:

What time does Marie-Claire
do her homework?

At 8:00 PM every single evening.

Dave's ESL Cafe is maintained by the one and only Dave Sperling.
Banner Advertising | Bookstore / Alta Books | FAQs | Articles | Interview with Dave
Copyright 1995-2007 Dave's ESL Cafe | All Rights Reserved | Contact Dave's ESL Cafe | Site Map