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What is an Interrogative Sentence? (Definition and Examples)

What is an interrogative sentence? Typically a sentence conveys statements, instructions, questions, or emotions. A sentence that asks questions is called an interrogative sentence. In other words, an interrogative sentence is a sentence that gathers information regarding something. It usually starts with an interrogative pronoun like which, who, or what, and ends with a question mark. It also begins with an auxiliary verb or a modal verb and ends with a question mark.


  • Where do you live?
  • Where is India located on the map?
  • Do you eat meat? (Starts with an auxiliary verb “do”)
  • Would you help me with washing the dishes? (Starts with a modal verb “would”)

How to structure an interrogative sentence?

The interrogative sentence is structured in the following manner:

If constructing the sentence with an auxiliary verb, the structure is “Auxiliary verb + Subject + Verb + Other words”.

On the other hand, when constructing the sentence with interrogative pronouns, the structure is “Interrogative Pronouns (Where, What, Who, Whom, etc.) + Auxiliary Verb + Subject + Main Verb + Other Words”.

Sentence structureRule
Sentence with auxiliary verbAuxiliary verb + Subject + Verb + Other words
Interrogative pronoun sentenceInterrogative Pronouns (Where, What, Who, Whom, etc.) + Auxiliary Verb + Subject + Main Verb + Other Words
What is an interrogative sentence?
What is an interrogative sentence?

What are the different types of interrogative sentences?

Interrogative sentences are divided into four types. These are:

  • Interrogative Pronoun Questions
  • Yes Or No Questions
  • Choice Question or Alternative Question
  • Tag Questions

Here is a detailed explanation of each one of them with examples.

Interrogative pronoun questions

These questions start with “Wh” words like what, which, where, why, whom, and who. Here is the structure to form interrogative pronoun questions.

Structure: Interrogative Pronoun + Auxiliary Verb + Subject + Main Verb + Other Words.


  • What is John doing in the kitchen?
  • Where is Amelie going?
  • Where did the bus stop?
  • Why was Shawn sitting alone in the classroom?
  • Who is James dancing with?

Yes or No questions

This type of interrogative sentence asks a question whose answer is yes or no. Here is the structure for forming yes or no questions.

Structure: Auxiliary verb + Subject + Verb + Other Words.


  • Can fish survive on land? Here, the answer is No.
  • Does a tiger eat meat? Here, the answer is Yes.
  • Do goats eat meat? Here, the answer is No.
  • Has she returned from school? Here, the answer could be either Yes or No.
  • Was he attending school at 2 P.M. yesterday? Here, the answer could be either Yes or No.

Choice questions

These types of questions are used to ask about a person’s likes, dislikes, or interests. These questions give a couple or more choices for the listener to pick from. Here is the structure for constructing choice questions.

Structure: Auxiliary Verb + Subject + Verb + Choice One Or Two + Other Words.


  • Do you like Football or Cricket?
  • Will you have sandwiches or cereal for breakfast?
  • Is James visiting New York or London?
  • Do you want to take the bus or train to visit the village?
  • Does he want a blue or black dress for the wedding?
  • Did Amy walk or jog in the morning?
  • Is he standing for presidential elections or prime ministerial elections?
  • Does she live in New York or San Francisco?
Interrogative sentence uses
Interrogative sentence uses

Tag questions

A tag question is a statement where at the end of the statement a question is asked. It is used in confirming if a piece of information is correct or wrong. Here is the typical structure of tag questions.

Structure: Subject + Auxiliary verb + Main Verb, Auxiliary Verb + Subject.

As it is segregated into two segments, if the first segment is a positive statement, then the second segment consists of a negative question tag. On the other hand, if the first segment is a negative statement, then the second segment consists of a positive tag. Here are a few examples to explain them.


  • You are eating lunch, aren’t you? Here, the first segment in the sentence is a positive statement, and the second segment has a negative tag.
  • John has finished his homework, hasn’t he?
  • Fishes have fins, don’t they?
  • It was raining yesterday, wasn’t it?
  • They were playing in the snow, weren’t they? 
  • They will not travel to Sydney from Melbourne by car, will they? Here the first segment is a negative statement. The second segment of the sentence is a positive question tag.
  • We have not received the cash, have we?
  • She is not singing for the concert, is she?
  • I can not enter her home without removing my shoes, can I?
  • She is not putting effort into her studies, is she?


Can interrogative negative sentences be formed?

Forming negative interrogative sentences is possible. Here are a few examples of negative interrogative sentences.


  • Why don’t you like eating vegetables?
  • Don’t you like drinking tea?
  • Why didn’t you practice Yoga yesterday?
  • Why don’t you like playing with your brother?
What are the different types of sentences?

In English grammar, there are four types of sentences. These are:

  • Declarative Sentence – Sentences that express statements.
  • Imperative Sentence – Sentences that give commands.
  • Interrogative Sentence – Sentences that ask questions.
  • Exclamatory Sentence – Sentences that express emotions.
What are some uses of an interrogative sentence?

Interrogative sentences are used:

  • For asking direct or indirect questions.
  • For confirming if something is true or not.
  • For getting clarification about something.
  • For collecting information.



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About the author

Dalia Y.: Dalia is an English Major and linguistics expert with an additional degree in Psychology. Dalia has featured articles on Forbes, Inc, Fast Company, Grammarly, and many more. She covers English, ESL, and all things grammar on GrammarBrain.

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