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Learn Declarative and Reply Questions in English - How to Ask English Questions

I will teach you declarative questions in English along with some declarative questions examples. I will also teach some reply questions in English and how to reply question with better fluency. You will learn declarative questions meaning and examples.


Today’s English lesson is about declarative questions and reply questions in English.

Hello students, welcome back. “I like cheese. You like cheese?” Today’s English lesson is about declarative questions and reply questions in English. First, let’s start with declarative questions in English. What are declarative questions? Declarative questions are yes / no questions that has the form of a declarative sentence with rising intonation at the end. Ok, ok, don’t worry, I’ll explain. Declarative questions can be used when the speaker thinks he / she knows or understands something but want to make sure or express surprise about something. Remember declarative questions have rising intonation at the end.

Here’s an example of a declarative statement: I like cheese. A simple statement. If I want to make a declarative question, I simply make that statement a question: You like cheese? As you can see, I turned the statement “I like cheese,” into a declarative question; “you like cheese?” Now obviously you can’t see the question mark when someone is speaking, so you have to listen for the rising intonation at the end. Listen, “you like cheese?” “You like cheese?” The intonation rises at the end which signals that it’s a declarative question. Remember we can use declarative questions to show that we understand something or to express surprise.

Let’s see some examples:

This is your house? (I guess this is your house, but I want to be sure)

Here’s another example:

A: We’re going to Thailand for vacation.

B: You’re going to Thailand?


Next, let’s learn about reply questions.

First, short reply questions. Often, we answer a question by asking for more information. Questions of this kind have a very simple structure in informal speaking - often just a question word (who, what, when, where, why, how), or short phrase beginning with a question word. Remember these short reply questions are used in informal speaking.

Here are some examples.

A: My mother is coming to visit.

B: When?


A: I’m going out to dinner.

B: Who with?


A: My friend wants to talk to you.

B: What about?


A: The trains aren’t running today.

B: Why not?

Another type of reply questions is echo questions.

Echo questions seek to confirm or clarify a speaker’s statement, by repeating it back as a question. With these questions rising intonation is common. For example:


A: My brother is getting married.

B: He’s getting married?


You can question one part of a sentence, by repeating the rest of the sentence, and putting a stressed question word for the part you are asking about.

A: Take a look at that.

B: Take a look at what?


A: I am going to Miami for vacation.

B: You’re going where?


A: I lost my wallet.

B: You lost your what?


You can see we can replace the part of the sentence we have a question about with a stressed question word. “You did what?”


If we want to question a verb, or the part of a sentence beginning with a verb, use “do what.”

A: I ate the whole chicken.

B: You did what?


A: She exercised for six hours yesterday.

B: She did what?

Now let’s learn about attention signals.

Attention signals are short questions used in conversations to show that the listener is interested and paying attention. Some common attention signals are: “Oh, yes?” And “Really?” Here’s an example:


A: It was a great party.

B: Was it?

A: Yes, it was so much fun.


Attention signal questions do not ask for information instead they show that the listener is reacting to what has been said. Here are some more examples:


A: We had a great vacation.

B: Did you?

A: Yes, we went to Bangkok Thailand.


A: I feel sick.

B: Do you? You should see a doctor.


A: I watched a movie last night.

B: Really?

A: Yes, the new James Bond movie.


Now you know a little about declarative questions and reply questions in English. Learn more English by clicking one of the videos on the screen. I’ll see you in the next video.

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