Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1
    chance22 is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    216
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default How to answer the questions beginning with "don't you"

    If someone asked, "Don't you love me?", is it right to say "Yes, I do" to express the idea of "yes, I love you"?

  2. #2
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    15,645
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: How to answer the questions beginning with "don't you"

    But a safer answer is a look of horror: 'But darling, how could you possibly doubt it?' (
    Lawyers will recognizze this as a cop-out...)

    b

  3. #3
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    23,513
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: How to answer the questions beginning with "don't you"

    I must remember never to ask BobK a potentially contentious question like that!

    As a general rule, questions which start "Do you" or "Don't you" attract either "Yes, I do" or "No, I don't" in one form or another as part of the response. There can be ambiguity if you don't clarify with "I do" or "I don't" though.

    - Don't you want pizza for dinner?
    - Yes.

    Does the response mean "Actually, yes, I do want pizza for dinner" or does it mean "Yes, you're right, I don't want pizza for dinner"?

  4. #4
    chance22 is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    216
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: How to answer the questions beginning with "don't you"

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    I must remember never to ask BobK a potentially contentious question like that!

    As a general rule, questions which start "Do you" or "Don't you" attract either "Yes, I do" or "No, I don't" in one form or another as part of the response. There can be ambiguity if you don't clarify with "I do" or "I don't" though.

    - Don't you want pizza for dinner?
    - Yes.

    Does the response mean "Actually, yes, I do want pizza for dinner" or does it mean "Yes, you're right, I don't want pizza for dinner"?
    Is it more likely to be interpreted as "Yes, I want pizza", just as the answer to those tag questions: "You don't want pizza, do you?" "Yes" means "Yes I do want it" while "No" means "No I don't want it"

  5. #5
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    22,656
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: How to answer the questions beginning with "don't you"

    Quote Originally Posted by chance22 View Post
    Is it more likely to be interpreted as "Yes, I want pizza", just as the answer to those tag questions: "You don't want pizza, do you?" "Yes" means "Yes I do want it" while "No" means "No I don't want it"
    I find "Don't you want pizza for dinner?" an odd question, unless there is some earlier discussion behind it.

  6. #6
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    23,513
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: How to answer the questions beginning with "don't you"

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    I find "Don't you want pizza for dinner?" an odd question, unless there is some earlier discussion behind it.
    Oh, absolutely, as a standalone question it would be very odd but if it cropped up in a discussion about dinner, there would still be the possibility of some ambiguity if the response were simply "Yes" or "No".

Similar Threads

  1. How do we answer "how" questions?
    By LeTyan in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 23-Feb-2012, 08:25
  2. How to answer questions which start with "do/does" ?
    By ph2004 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 01-Dec-2009, 12:27
  3. Replies: 3
    Last Post: 05-Mar-2009, 12:43
  4. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 06-Dec-2008, 18:47
  5. Replies: 4
    Last Post: 29-Jul-2007, 03:05

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •