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Polite Questions in English01/01/20131) EXPLANATIONIt is common in English to make a question (eg What time is it?) more p...
For Yes/No questions use "if" (normal) or "whether" (very formal).Direct question: Is the flight delayed?Polite question (...
5) Do you know if they were on time? / Do you know whether they were on time?6) Do you know why the conference was cancell...
5) Do you know if they spoke English?6) Do you know why they postponed the meeting?7) Do you know where he went?8) Can you...
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Polite questions in english2013

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Polite questions in english2013

  1. 1. Polite Questions in English01/01/20131) EXPLANATIONIt is common in English to make a question (eg What time is it?) more polite by adding anintroductory phrase to the question:Can you tell me ... ?Could you tell me ...?Do you know ... ?BUT .... when you do this you have to make changes to the original question!3 important observations:1) questions with "to be" (is/are/was/were etc): for polite questions there is NO INVERSION!Compare:Direct questions: What time is it?Polite question: Can you tell me what time it is?Direct question: Where are the toilets?Polite question: Do you know where the toilets are?2) Other verbs (go/speak/open/fly/get in etc): the auxiliary verb "do / does / did" is NOTNECESSARY!Compare:Direct question: What time do the banks open in England?Polite question: Could you tell me what time the banks open in England.Direct question: Where does he live?Polite question: Do you know where he lives? (Because there is no "does" the verbmust have an "....s"Direct question: What time did the plane get in?Polite question: Can you tell me what time the plane got in? (NB beause there is no "did"the verb must be in the past!)3) if / whether
  2. 2. For Yes/No questions use "if" (normal) or "whether" (very formal).Direct question: Is the flight delayed?Polite question (normal): Can you tell me if the flight is delayed?Polite question (very formal): Could you tell me whether the flight is delayed?NB dont confuse whether (= if) and weather (= sunny, rainy, cold, wet etc) even though thepronunciation is identical!Make the question more polite. Use the words in brackets.Exercise A: "to be" questions1) What nationality is Alex? (Do you know ...)2) Where is he from? (Can you tell me ...)3) Is insignia open on Saturdays? (Could you tell me ...)4) What time was the meeting? (Can you tell me ...)5) Were they on time? (Do you know ...)6) Why was the conference cancelled? (Do you know ...)7) When is the next lesson? (Do you know ...)8) Why are they so late? (Can you tell me ...)9) Whats the time? (Could you tell me ...)10) Where is Alex? (Do you know ...)1.2. Exercise A (answers)1) Do you know what nationality Alex is?2) Can you tell me where he is from?3) Could you tell me if insignia is open on Saturdays? / Could you tell me whether inlinguais open on Saturdays?4) Can you tell me what time the meeting was?
  3. 3. 5) Do you know if they were on time? / Do you know whether they were on time?6) Do you know why the conference was cancelled?7) When is the next lesson? Do you know when the next lesson is?8) Why are they so late? Can you tell me why they are so late?9) Whats the time? Could you tell me what the time is?10) Where is Alex? Do you know where Alex is?2.1. Exercise BExercise B: "other verbs" questions1) Where does he live? (Do you know ...)2) What time did the conference begin? (Can you tell me ...)3) Does insignia close for Easter? (Could you tell me ...)4) What time does the lesson start? (Can you tell me ...)5) Did they speak English? (Do you know ...)6) Why did they postpone the meeting? (Do you know ...)7) Where did he go? (Do you know ...)8) Did he write the report? (Can you tell me ...)9) Where does he normally have lunch? (Do you know ...)10) Where did he have lunch yesterday? (Do you know ...)2.2. Exercise B (answers)1) Do you know where he lives?2) Can you tell me what time the conference began?3) Could you tell me if insignia closes for Easter?4) Can you tell me what time the lesson starts?
  4. 4. 5) Do you know if they spoke English?6) Do you know why they postponed the meeting?7) Do you know where he went?8) Can you tell me if he wrote the report?9) Do you know where he normally has lunch?10) Do you know where he had lunch yesterday?THANK YOU

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