In English, there are five types of questions: general (general question), special (special question), separation (disjunctive / tag question), alternative (alernative question) issue to the subject and the question (question to the subject). To learn more about each of these questions, and you can see «Types of questions or interrogative sentences in the English language», which is located in the «Grammar» on our blog. In this article, we examine the alternative question in English.
What question is called the alternative?
This kind of question in English, which means a choice of two persons, objects, actions, qualities, etc. This question can be set to any member of the proposal. That is, the alternative question — a question which will be used in the Union or (or).
The beginning of an alternative question can be auxiliary or modal verb. For example, take the proposal to form questions: He sent a beautiful postcard to his mother two days ago. It is very warm outside at this time of the year. That is what could be the alternative to the first question saying:
Did he send a postcard or a letter two days ago? — He sent a postcard or a letter two days ago?
Did he send a postcard to his mother yesterday or two days ago? — He sent his mother a postcard yesterday or two days ago?
Did he send the postcard to his mother or his sister? — He sent a postcard to his mother or sister?
But the alternative questions to a proposal:
Is it cold or warm outside? — On the street heat or cold?
Is it warm inside or ouside? — Heat on the street or at home?
Is it often warm outside or only at this time of the year? — The street is often heat or only at this time of year?
If the alternative question contains not one auxiliary verb, but several, the first we put before the subject, and the rest just after it.
He has been studying for several years. — He is studying for several years.
Has he been studying or working for several years? — He is a student or working a few years?
Alternative question in English can also begin with a question word. Then this question is directly from the special issue, followed by the two homogeneous parts of the sentence, which are connected by a union or. For example:
When were you interrupted: at the beginning or in the middle of your speech? — When you are interrupted in the beginning or middle of a speech?
If the alternative question relates to the subject, the second subject is always preceded by an auxiliary or modal verb. For example: Did you tell her the truth, or did he?
How to answer this kind of question in English? Definitely yes / no answer, both in general matter, it will not turn. Answers must be complete and logical conclusion. For example:
Will he try to take part in this or next competitions? — He will try to take part in these competitions or the next?
Of all the types of questions in English alternative it is one of the easiest. Therefore, the study of an alternative question in English will not take much of your time.