How To Answer Yes/No Questions In English (Answering Questions In English Correctly)

Lesson summary

In this English lesson you will learn how to answer yes/no questions correctly. (It's easy!)

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Video transcript

Did they go to the movies last night? Yes they are. No. Yes they were. No. Yes they did. No. Which answer is correct and why? Let’s find out.

 

Hi everyone. Today you are going to learn how to answer yes/no questions correctly. Yes/no questions are questions which are answered by either saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Many students think that these kind of questions are really difficult but they’re actually very easy because most of the time you just answer the question by using the word that is in the question.

 

So if you watch until the end of the video, you will think that answering these questions is very easy. If you’re ready to get started, let’s get it!

 

Part 1 – The Verb ‘To Be’

Let’s first talk about the verb ‘to be’. The verb ‘to be’ has three main forms in the present. They are ‘is’, ‘am’ and ‘are’. We say he/she/it ‘is’. I ‘am’. We/you/they ‘are’. It’s very important to remember this when answering questions because you always have to use the correct form of the verb ‘to be’ with each subject. Now let’s have a look at some examples. Is the movie good? We can answer this in two main ways. We can say ‘Yes.’ We can say ‘No.’ This is fine and this is correct. You can always yes or no questions by just saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

 

We can also say ‘Yes it is’ or we can say ‘No it isn’t.’ So how do we know which word to use in the answer? Well, it’s actually very easy. We just look at the question and use the auxiliary verb from the question. The auxiliary verb in this question is the word ‘is’. So to answer the question, we just use the word ‘is’. ‘Yes it is’ or ‘No it isn’t’.

 

Now let’s talk about ‘am’. A lot of the time you won’t really hear questions with the word ‘am’ in it because if you’re using the word ‘am’, that means you are asking a question about yourself. For example, ‘Am I hungry?’ We can answer by saying ‘Yes I am’ or ‘No I am not.’ How do we know which word to use in the answer? Again, we take it from the question. Am I? Yes I am. Or ‘No I am not.’

 

Now let’s talk about ‘are’. For example, ‘Are they going to the party?’ We can say ‘Yes they are’ or we can say ‘No they are not.’ When we are answering yes or no questions with the word ‘are’, we always need to think about the subject and use the correct form of the verb ‘to be’. In this sentence, the subject is ‘they’ and the correct form of the verb ‘to be’ which goes with ‘they’ is ‘are’. That’s why we say ‘Yes they are’ or ‘No they are not.’

 

Now if the question was ‘Are you going to the party’, we would need to change the answer because if I ask you a question, then you need to answer by saying ‘I’. That means ‘I’ is the subject and which form of the verb ‘to be’ do we use with ‘I’? It’s ‘am’. So you could say ‘Yes I am’ or ‘No I am not.’

 

Part 2 – Was/Were

Now let’s talk about the past tense of the verb ‘to be’ which is ‘was’ or ‘were’. We say he/she/it/I ‘was’. We say you/we/they ‘were’. For example, ‘Was he a teacher?’ We can say ‘Yes he was’ or ‘No he was not.’ Again, we use the ‘was’ from the question in the answer. Another example could be ‘Were they at the park?’ The answer is either ‘Yes they were’ or ‘No they were not.’ Again, we just use ‘were’ from the question in the answer.

 

But what about if the question was ‘Were you at the park’? What is the answer? Well the answer is ‘Yes I was’ or ‘No I was not.’ Why? Because I am asking you a question and when you answer, you need to use ‘I’ and ‘I’ is the subject so that means you need to use ‘was’ with ‘I’. Yes I was. No I wasn’t.

 

Part 3 – Has/Have/Had

Now let’s talk about ‘has’, ‘have’ and ‘had’. We say he/she/it ‘has’. We say I/you/we/they ‘have’. When we use the word ‘had’, we can use that with any subject. I had. You had. They had. He had. For example, ‘Has he got a phone?’ The answer is either ‘Yes he has’ or ‘No he has not.’ We simply use the ‘has’ from the question in the answer. Another example could be ‘Have they been to America?’ The answer is either ‘Yes they have’ or ‘No they have not.’ Again, the question uses ‘have’ so in the answer we also must use ‘have’.

 

What about if the question was ‘Had you ever seen her before’? What is the answer? Well, the answer is either ‘Yes I had’ or ‘No I had not.’ Remember. When using the word ‘had’, we can use it with any subject.

 

Part 4 – Do/Does/Did

Now let’s talk about ‘do’, ‘does’ and ‘did’. We use ‘do’ with I/you/we and they. We use ‘does’ with he/she and it. We can use ‘did’ with any subject. For example, ‘He did.’ She did. They did. I did. You did. For example, ‘Do they like sport?’ The answer is either ‘Yes they do’ or ‘No they don’t.’ We have used ‘do’ in the question so we need to use ‘do’ in the answer.

 

Another example could be ‘Does he like learning English?’ The answer is either ‘Yes he does’ or ‘No he does not.’ We have used ‘does’ in the question so again, we need to use ‘does’ in the answer. Easy, right?

 

Now let’s look at ‘did’. For example, ‘Did he want a pizza?’ The answer is either ‘Yes he did’ or ‘No he didn’t.’ Remember. ‘Did’ has been used in the question so we need to use ‘did’ in the answer. Also, we can use ‘did’ with any subject.

 

Part 5 – Will

Now let’s talk about ‘will’. ‘Will’ is really easy because you can use ‘will’ with any subject. I will. She will. He will. It will. You will. They will. For example, ‘Will you be going to China next year?’ The answer is either ‘Yes I will’ or ‘No I won’t.’ We have used ‘will’ in the question so again, we need to use ‘will’ in the answer.

 

Another example could be ‘Will they get a drink?’ The answer is either ‘Yes they will’ or ‘No they won’t.’ ‘Will’ is in the question so again, ‘will’ must be in the answer.

 

Part 6 – Modal Verbs

Now let’s talk about modal verbs. Modal verbs are words like ‘can’, ‘could’, ‘should’, ‘would’ and ‘may’. When you’re using modal verbs, you can use them with any subject. For example, ‘He can.’ She can. It can. They can. You can. I can. This is all correct.

 

An example question could be ‘Would you like to go to the beach?’ The answer is either ‘Yes I would’ or ‘No I would not.’ ‘Would’ is in the question so we need to use ‘would’ in the answer.

 

Another example could be ‘May I go to the bathroom?’ The answer is either ‘Yes you may’ or ‘No you may not.’ ‘May’ is in the question so again, we need to use ‘may’ in the answer.

 

You see guys? Answering questions in English is very easy if you know how.

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