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  1. #1
    TashaBo is offline Newbie
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    Default Question word order

    Hello
    I have a pre intermediate course book which teaches question forms and word order. The rules are very simple and it basically says that the verb 'to do' or the auxilliary verb must go before the subject. This works with their examples but the very first item on the practise questions where students have to rearrange words to form questions is:
    ' How many people are there in your family?'
    Don't know if I am getting very confused (I'm relatively new to teaching) but is the subject in this question 'people', if so, the verb 'to be' quite clearly goes after the subject. Is this an irregular or is there a rule for this? I don't want my students to fall at the first hurdle.
    There is another 'how many' question that does seem to follow the rule 'how many glasses of water do you drink a day?' but I'm really struggling with the first. Can anyone help?
    Many thanks

  2. #2
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    Bennevis is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Question word order

    What your students have to understand is the difference between the subject and the object.

    How many people are there in your family?
    "people" is the subject here. It is self-sufficient. "What is there?" is the question.

    How many glasses of water do you drink a day?
    "glasses of water" is the object here. We do something with it. "What do we drink?"

    By comparison,
    How many glasses of water are consumed by you daily?
    Here again we don't need "do", since "glasses of water" is the subject.

    One way of solidifying these concepts in the mind of the student is by teaching them the major speech patterns occurring in questioning. At least, that's the way I do it.

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    TheParser is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Question word order

    [QUOTE=TashaBo;798756]Hello
    . Is this an irregular or is there a rule for this?


    ATTENTION: NOT A TEACHER


    (1) Teacher Bennevis has already given you an excellent answer.

    (2) May I most respectfully add two points?

    (a) It does seem that "how many" and "how much" are often exceptions to the

    rule when it comes to the verb "to be."

    (b) I found an excellent one-page summary of the "rules" for so-called

    question words, such as what, why, where, how, etc.

    (i) I do not know how to link, so please google (exactly) these words:


    adverbs kinds of adverbs interrogative adverbs edufind.com

    (The one-page explanation would be a great handout for your students.)

  4. #4
    TashaBo is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Question word order

    Many thanks to both of you. That really helps.

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