Updated: Sep 15, 2021
Do you have trouble making basic questions in English?
Making questions is an important part of conversation. Being able to make questions smoothly will help your confidence and help you make better conversations.
In this lesson I show you step-by-step how easy it is to make basic questions in English. In only 30 minutes you will have a much better understanding about how to make simple questions in English.
First, we start with Present Simple using:
‘to be’ (is/am/are)
and then look at:
‘ALL Other Verbs’ (play, eat, go, etc).
Then, step-by-step we change the Object and the Subject, and conjugate (change) the verb. Next, we add some question words (WHERE, WHEN, WHY, WHAT, WHICH, WHO ,HOW).
Second, we make questions in Past Simple. Again, starting with ‘to be’ and then all ‘Other Verbs’. In the next step, we add the question words.
Third, we look briefly at Future Simple (using will) and, finally, we finish with a Practice Quiz to check your learning progress.
You can find a full copy of the transcript below. Please use it in conjunction with the video to practice your listening, help your understanding, and to check vocabulary.
Simple Questions in English are EASY!!! Let's try!!
Write your examples in the comments.
The Personal English Trainer
to crash situation version
hospital matter (eg. What's the matter?) to share
greetings headache information
to identify toothache journey
polite hay fever take it easy pattern allergy catch you later
to complain hangover
EASY BASIC ENGLISH QUESTIONS
Hello again. Welcome back to The Channel!
I hope you're having a great day. My name is Chris. I am the personal English trainer. You can also find me on my website at personalenglishtraining.com. Now, today I have a very useful lesson for my lower level students. So I will speak slower in today's lesson because the target level is elementary and pre-intermediate. So many students say, Chris, I can make sentence, but I can't make a question. I understand, many students have the same problem. So in today's lesson, I'm going to show you step by step how easy it can be to make questions in English. You just have to understand the structure so that it's clear in your head and you'll be able to do it much more smoothly.
Okay, so let's get started. Take a look at the board. Not there over here. So our goal today is just to make questions with confidence. Confidence mean to not be shy, not be scared about something. We want to make questions with confidence. Okay.
Target level is lower level students, and the lesson will have four parts. First, I'm going to start by showing you how to make questions in the present simple. And then I will introduce some question words, and I've left one off there, 'who'. And then we'll move to the next step, which is making questions in past simple and also the future simple. Finally, we'll finish the lesson with some common mistakes that students make, and also with a little quiz to check if you learned everything I taught you.
Okay. So let's get started over here. We're going to start very basic. We're going to start with 'you'. So you are going to be our subject. And let's choose just a simple word like busy. "You busy?" Okay. So we're going to start with you busy.
Now, busy is an adjective. An adjective is describing word. It describes things such as nouns. These are grammar terms. They're grammar words, an adjective and a noun. But for low level students, you should understand. Okay. So pen is a noun and this is a blue pen. Blue is an adjective. It is describing the pen. Another example might be big. Tokyo is a city. It's a big city. Big is an adjective. City is a noun.
Okay. So this is just a little vocabulary with some of the words I might use during today's lesson. You can check it later. You can self study. Okay.
Back to here. So with adjectives, we often use 'be' verb. So we're going to start making questions with 'to be' and BE has the forms, is, am, are. So let's go ahead and put 'are' in here to make our first question. Are you busy? Are you busy today? I'm pretty busy today. Okay. Now let's identify the part of the question.
So here we have our verb over here. We have our subject, S for subject. And here we have our object. I'm.... for today's listen, I am going to call it the object. I know there are other things like compliments, but to keep it simple, I'm just gonna call this part the object.
Everybody knows English well... probably.... Everybody probably knows English is SVO right. Subject and verb and object. And that's different from some other languages which are subject object verb. For example here in Japan, Japanese is subject object verb.
Korean also is subject object verb. How about your language? Let me know in the comment section. So I'm going to call it the object for today's. lesson.
So now we have our first question. Are you busy?
Now to show you how easy it can be to make questions in English, I'm just going to change one part. I'm going to change this part. So for example, let's see, are you hungry?
Are you thirsty? Thirsty means I want to drink something. Are you Japanese? Or Chinese or French or Italian or Brazilian? These are all adjectives so far. Next I'm going to use a noun, student?
Are you a student? Or, are you a teacher? Or are you a tourist? A tourist is a person who goes traveling. So for example, if I take a vacation or a day trip to visit another town, another city, another country, I am a tourist. Okay. So we have made many questions just by changing this part of the question.
We've changed the object area of the question. So that's the first step. Now one of the problems is the verb changes it conjugates, it changes its form. So let's have a look at that now. Okay.
So let's go back to the original. That means like the beginning or first sent...question.
Okay, we're back to are you busy? Let's conjugate the verb. Okay. So we could say, are we busy? We could say, are they busy? We could say, Are I busy? No, we have to change it. We have to say, am I busy? Just squeeze it in there. So am I busy?
Are you busy? Are we busy? Are they busy? What's next? He but we have to change the verb becomes, is he? Is he busy? Let's add a ‘she’. Is she busy? And finally ‘it’… is it busy? Is your day busy today?
Is it busy? Is the shop busy? Is it busy? Okay. So you can see how he, she, and it use 'is', and we and they use 'are'. And I'll put it like that. Just in case you want to take a screenshot or a photo and it's clear. Okay. So let's go ahead and add back some information over here. Okay.
So we have, am I busy? We have are you busy? Let's change it. Are you hungry? Are we thirsty?
Are they Japanese? Is he a student? That's right. Is she a teacher? And for it, it is a little difficult.
So I'm gonna go with another adjective, is it hot? Alright. Let's put some question marks there. Okay. So now we have made many, many questions using 'BE' verb.
Okay. So the basic structure for BE verb is the verb and the subject and an object or some compliment over there. Great. Let's take a look at the other verbs. Okay.
Let's start again. Very basic. We're going to start with you. You are the subject. Let's put that in and we're going to use the verb study. That is our verb and study what? We're going to study English okay. Now, to make it a question, we need something else. We need something else. So do you know what we need? We need to put…do. Do you study English? Because.... this verb needs a helping verb. And we call that helping verb AV. What is AV? AV is an auxiliary verb, now, auxiliary is not an important word. It just means a secondary or assisting or helping verb.
Okay. So we have our auxiliary verb, 'Do', we have subject you? We have the verb, study and study English. Okay. So let's see how easy it can be to make questions. All I will do first is change the right side. Change the verb. Let's have a look. Okay. So we have do you study English? Let's try 'like', do you like sushi? I do. Do you play football or soccer? Do you listen to music? Do you watch movies or do you have bicycle, no a car, so do you have a car? Okay. So all I have done is change this part of the question structure.
I've changed the verb and of course, I need to change the verbs object. So we have, do you like sushi? Do you play football? Do you listen to music? Do you watch movies? Do you have a car? Okay. Now the auxiliary verb also conjugates just like BE verb. So let's have a look at that.
So if we use we, we get do we study English? They, do they study English? Even I is okay. Do I study English? No. Okay. But when we get to he and she and it, we have to change the verb form, it becomes does. You probably already knew that. So we use does for he, she and it, and we use do for you, we and I. So does he study English? Does she study English? Does it study English? Does your mother study English? Does your friend study English? Okay.
Now let's go ahead and put some more information in here to change the question a little. Do we like sushi? Do they play football? Do I listen to music? Does he watch movies? Does she have a car? Does it? Does it have a car? Does it watch movies? Does it listen to music? Let's just put does it hurt? Hurt means... hurt is a verb. It means you have some pain, for example. Ah. Oh, Chris, are you okay? Does it hurt? So, does it hurt? Okay. So did you see how simple it was to make questions?
Now let's move on to part two when we introduce some question words. Okay, so let's go back to our original verb, which was 'to be'.
And let's have a look at question words with 'to be'. Here we are with our original question. Are you busy? Now, we want to add some question words, so let's do that.
First question word. Where, where are you busy? It's a little strange. Number two, when, that's okay. When? When are you busy? I'm busy in the evening. I'm busy after lunch. I'm busy on the weekend. When are you busy? What? We can say, what time are you busy?
Why? That's a good one. Why? Chris, why are you busy? Which, we can say which days? Which month?
Which days are you busy? How?
We can say how often? How often are you busy? Who? Who is a little strange. Okay, okay, so now we have 1 2 3 4 5 question words with our original question, are you busy?
So this part does not change. The structure stays the same. Here we change the question word according to the situation.
So let's now have a look at the other verbs. So this was our original question.
Do you study English? Let's add some question words. Okay, so first question word, where.
Where? Where do you study English?
Number two. When? When do you study English?
Number three. What? What time do you study English?
Why? Why do you study English? What is the reason?
Which? Which day do you study English?
How we could say, how do you study English? That means what method do you use to study? How do you study? We can also say how often? How often do you study English? And who, we can do who. We can use who. Who do you study English? But we need one more word. Who is often with someone, who with, therefore, who do you study English with?
So in this case with this question, we could use almost all the question words. Basically, all the question words and the structure here did not change. Just like with be verb. The structure did not change. Are you busy? When are you busy? Why are you busy? Which date are you busy? Same here, do you study English? Where do you study English? When do you study English? Now, this is useful because in conversation we often ask people, for example. Hi, Chris. Do you play football? Yes, I do. Then we follow up with these types of questions. So when do you play football? And who do you play football with? And where do you play football? Which days do you play football? Can I join you? So the structure often does not change.
So now let's go one more step and let's introduce past simple and future simple. Okay, so let's go back to BE verb and our original question. Let's take a look at these questions again. Are you busy? Am I hungry? Are we thirsty? Are they Japanese? Is he a student? Is he a teacher? Is it hot? Okay, now to change it to past simple. Past simple. It's very easy. We only have to change the verb. We might need some more information, but we just change the verb.
So let's have a look. Are you busy? Let's change it to where? Were you busy? When? Yesterday. We need a past time. Were you busy yesterday? Am I hungry?
Was I hungry last night?
Are we thirsty? Becomes,, were we were we thirsty after running?
Are they Japanese? Were they Japanese? Hey, Chris, those people you met yesterday? Were they Japanese? Is he a student? Becomes, was he a student? That man you talked to this morning? Was he a student? That lady you talked to yesterday? Was she a teacher? Is it hot today? How about yesterday? Was it hot yesterday? So basically, you just have to change the verb and the structure doesn't really change.
Just watch out for the conjugation. Am becomes was. Are becomes were. Is becomes was. Okay, let's have a look at other verbs.
This was to be, so now let's have a look at the other verbs. These are some of the questions we had before. Now we want to make the question about the past. What do we do?
Okay. We change the auxiliary verb. We don't change the main verb. We change the auxiliary verb, so we get. Do you study English? Did you study English yesterday? Did you study English yesterday? Okay. Did. In fact, I can change all of these to did immediately.
I can just go. Did. Did. Did. Did. These are all did. The verb here doesn't change. Okay. So, did I like sushi when I was a child? No, I didn't.
Did we play football last week? Yes, we did. Did they listen to music yesterday?
Did he watch movies last week? Did she have a car in high school?
Does it hurt? Did it hurt when you fell over?
Okay, so with other verbs, do you study? Do you play? Do you like? Past Simple is just changing the auxiliary verb to did. Did you study? Did you play? Did you watch? Now let's have a look at questions with future simple.
The future simple is a little different. Okay, so starting with BE verb, are you busy? Present simple. Are you busy? Past Simple, were you busy yesterday? To make the future simple, we have to use will and so we get, will you be busy tomorrow? Will you be busy tomorrow? Now, this is a little different. The structure is a little different because will is not a main verb. It often operates as a helping verb. So in this question, we can't say, will you busy tomorrow? Will you busy tomorrow? We can't say that. We need another verb. We need a main verb. So we have to add, Will you be busy tomorrow? Will you be a teacher next year? Will you be a student next month? If we come down here to the other verbs where we have study. Do you study English in the present simple. Past Simple was, did you study English..for example, yesterday? To make the future simple, we use will and you. Now...we have a main verb, it's study, so we just bring it down. So the future simple is, Chris, will you study English tomorrow? We have our main verb. So with the BE verb, we have to add 'be' into the question. Will you be busy tomorrow?
Let's have a look at a few more using question words also. So we have, are you busy? Add a question word? Why are you busy? That's present simple, past simple, why were you busy yesterday? To make the future simple, we would just say, why... let's change the color. Why will you... don't forget to add in the be...so why will you be busy tomorrow? Why will you be busy next week?
Let's come down to the example with other verbs. Do you study English? When do you study English is the present simple. Past simple, when did you study English last week? To make the future simple, when will you study English tomorrow? Or next week?. Okay, so we don't have to add any extra verb. We have the main verb already.
Let's have a look at some common mistakes that students make. And we will also do a quiz. The first one says, does she has a car? So that is not correct. It is wrong. Can you see the mistake? It's here. Okay. It should be have. Does she have a car? And number two is the same. Does he likes sushi?
It should just be, does he like sushi? We have the s here. So we don't need the s over here. Now, this mistake happens because the regular sentence is, she has a car. He likes sushi. So students naturally say, Does she has a car? Does he likes sushi? That's why that mistake happens.
Number three, are you play tennis? It is wrong because with the main verb here, we need the auxiliary verb do. Do you play tennis? Chris, do you play tennis? Oh, this is the same kind of mistake, this time they have do, so do they Chinese? Do you Chinese? The mistake is it should be, are they Chinese? We need the BE verb. Okay.
I think these are the usual mistakes that students make. So let's take a look at our quiz to finish off. We have eight questions. The first six, you have to choose the correct word to fill in the space.
The last two, you have to find the mistake. Okay, good luck. Number one. Okay. Something they have a car. Is it? Do they have a car? Does they have a car, or did they have a car? Think about it for a moment. Okay. The answer is do, do they have a car?
Number two, something we study English tomorrow. Is it did, are or will? Think about it for a moment. Okay. I'll give you a little hint. The word tomorrow is future. Therefore it must be will. Will we study English tomorrow?
Okay. Number three, she study Spanish. Should it be is, does or do? Think about it. Got it. Okay. We have main verb study. So we should have an auxiliary verb, do or does. We have the third person she which goes with does. So the answer is, does she study Spanish?
Okay. Number four, something you play football. Is it are, is, or do? What do you think? Okay. The answer is do. Do you play football?
Okay. Number five, what time he eat breakfast? Is it is or does or do? Okay, we have the main verb. Therefore, we need an auxiliary verb. We've got he, so it's the same as the Spanish one. What time does he eat breakfast?
Number six. Where something you study? Is it do or are or is? Got it. That's right. Where do you study?
Okay, number seven, you have to find the mistake. It says, do you play football last weekend? Where's the mistake? I'll give you a hint. Last weekend is finished time. Do is not finished. Therefore, we got to change it to did. Did you play football last weekend?
Okay. And the last one. I hope you're doing well. Number eight, will you busy tomorrow? Okay. Be careful with this one. Where is the mistake? Have you found it? Okay. So for future simple, we must have will plus a main verb. Where is the main verb? There is no main verb. So we have to add the main verb, which in this case is 'be'. Because busy is adjective, it goes with the be verb. So will you be busy tomorrow? Another example, will you study English tomorrow? Will you play soccer tomorrow? Will you eat sushi tonight?
Okay. So I hope you got a good score and let me know your score in the comments section.
Thank you very much for watching today's video. I hope this lesson helped you. I hope it was useful for you. Remember, our goal was to make questions with more confidence. So I hope you are more confident now. Don't forget to check the vocabulary. Remember the vocabulary.
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Okay, great. See you next time. Catch you in the next video. Bye.