Interrogative Sentences - What Are They? Explore Meaning, Definition, Types, Uses and Examples

Among the four different types of sentences, interrogative sentences are used to ask a question to know about something. This article on interrogative sentences will teach you how to use them, their meaning and definition, their types and uses. Also, there are examples to show you how to use them correctly.

Table of Contents

What is an Interrogative Sentence?

An interrogative sentence is one which is generally used to ask a question in order to gather information about something. It can be questions about anything at all – casual or specific.

Take a look at the definitions given below to have a better understanding of what interrogative sentences are.

Definition of an Interrogative Sentence

An interrogative sentence, according to the Cambridge Dictionary, is defined as “a sentence that asks a question or makes a request for information.” According to the Collins Dictionary, an interrogative sentence is one “denoting a form or construction used in asking a question.” The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines an interrogative sentence as one “having the form or force of a question.”

Types of Interrogative Sentences with Examples

Interrogative sentences, normally used to ask someone about something, can be categorised into three different types namely,

  • Choice Questions
  • Yes/No Questions
  • Questions with ‘Wh’ Words

Now, let us look at each type of interrogative sentence in detail.

Choice Questions

This type of interrogative sentences can be used to find out about someone’s choice about their likes, dislikes and preferences.

For example:

  • Do you prefer coffee or tea along with breakfast?
  • What would you choose?
  • Do you like reading books or watching movies?

Yes/No Questions

This type of interrogative sentence, as the name suggests, only gets a yes or a no for an answer.

For example:

  • Will you come to the library with me?
  • Do you like ice cream?
  • Do you know the answer to this question?

Questions with ‘Wh’ Words

These types of interrogative sentences are used when you want to gather more information rather than just a yes or a no. These sentences begin with ‘Wh’ words like what, where, when, why, whom, which, whose and how.

For example:

  • What is your name?
  • Why are you late?
  • Where are you from?
  • When can you come?
  • Whose book is this?
  • Whom did you meet?
  • Which book is it?
  • How will you do it?

Points to Remember When Using Interrogative Sentences

Now that you know that there are different types of interrogative sentences, let us look at a few points to remember when forming interrogative sentences.

  • Start the interrogative sentence with an auxiliary verb, a modal verb or a ‘Wh’ question word starting with a capital letter.
  • End the interrogative sentence with a question mark. This is also the first thing that lets one identify an interrogative sentence.
  • The structure of an interrogative sentence is a slightly reversed structure of a declarative sentence. So the structure of an interrogative sentence can be said to be Auxiliary Verb/Main Verb/Modal Verb + Subject + Main Verb (in case there is more than one verb in the sentence) + the rest of the sentence.

Uses of Interrogative Sentences

Though the basic purpose of an interrogative sentence is to ask a question, there is a lot more that interrogative sentences can do. Given below are the uses or rather functions of interrogative sentences.

  • To ask a direct question
  • To request clarification
  • To confirm something
  • To gather information

Examples of Interrogative Sentences

Take a look at the following examples of interrogative sentences so that you can have a better idea of how to use them accurately.

Asking a direct question
  • What are your plans for the holidays?
  • Where are you going?
  • When is your father leaving for Turkey?
Requesting clarification
  • When you say ‘advancements in technology’, what did you exactly mean?
  • Are you sure you want to go ahead with this?
  • So, is it mandatory that we should wear a white shirt for the event?
Confirming something
  • Aren’t you the one who has been elected as the president of the Literary Club?
  • Could you please repeat it?
  • Is this the syllabus for the internal assessment?
Gathering information
  • What are the things that we will have to carry with us?
  • What are the documents that we should submit?
  • Can you tell me how to make these cookies?

Check Your Understanding of Interrogative Sentences

Change the following declarative sentences into interrogative sentences. Check out the example given below for clarification.

Example:

Declarative: She teaches English.

Interrogative: Does she teach English?

1. Cyril is on the way.

2. Rahul is the class leader.

3. Varun bought a new phone.

4. He is a fan of Marvel movies.

5. Tokyo is the capital of Japan.

6. Tharun was accused of cheating.

7. Valerie is a doctor.

8. All the new recruits have been asked to attend a training session.

9. They will be here in an hour.

10. Jenita speaks French.

Given below are the answers to the exercise.

1. Is Cyril on the way?

2. Is Rahul the class leader?

3. Did Varun buy a new phone?

4. Is he a fan of Marvel movies?

5. Is Tokyo the capital of Japan?

6. Was Tharun accused of cheating?

7. Is Valerie a doctor?

8. Have all the new recruits been asked to attend a training session?

9. Will they be here in an hour?

10. Does Jenita speak French?

Frequently Asked Questions on Interrogative Sentences in English

What is an interrogative sentence?

An interrogative sentence is one which is generally used to ask a question in order to gather information about something. It can be questions about anything at all – casual or specific.

What is the definition of an interrogative sentence?

An interrogative sentence, according to the Cambridge Dictionary, is defined as “a sentence that asks a question or makes a request for information.” According to the Collins Dictionary, an interrogative sentence is one “denoting a form or construction used in asking a question.” The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines an interrogative sentence as one “having the form or force of a question.”

What are the different types of interrogative sentences?

Interrogative sentences, normally used to ask someone about something, can be categorised into three different types namely,

  • Choice Questions
  • Yes/No Questions
  • Questions with ‘Wh’ Words

What are the uses of interrogative sentences?

Given below are the uses or rather functions of interrogative sentences.

  • To ask a direct question
  • To request clarification
  • To confirm something
  • To gather information

Give some examples of interrogative sentences.

Given below are a few examples of interrogative sentences.

  • What are the things that we will have to carry with us?
  • What are the documents that we should submit?
  • Aren’t you the one who has been elected as the president of the Literary Club?
  • Could you please repeat it?
  • When you say ‘advancements in technology’, what did you exactly mean?
  • Are you sure you want to go ahead with this?
  • Where are you going?
  • When is your father leaving for Turkey?

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