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Thread: question form

  1. #1
    Unregistered Guest

    Default question form

    Hi there,
    I read several quiz questions and find them different from written questions. Are they used in spoken situation?If so, what are their usual written forms?


    1. The winner of which golf tournament is presented with the Green Jacket?
    2. John Jumphries is the scourge of politicians on which daily programme?
    3. In 2001, Benicio del Torro won the Ocsar for Best Supporting Actor in which film?

    Thanks
    pete

  2. #2
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Default Re: question form

    They are designed to be said aloud - possibly in a pub quiz.

    As quiz questions, they would always take a similar form since the answer required is usually a name or something of that kind.

  3. #3
    peter123 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: question form

    Hi there,
    How can we put all these questions into their usual written form? For example, 3. In 2001, in which film did Benicio del Torro win the Ocsar for Best Supporting Actor?

    thanks

  4. #4
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    Default Re: question form

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    1. The winner of which golf tournament is presented with the Green Jacket?
    I think that's actually the only way to formulate this question. An alternative would need a slight change to the sentence: "In which golf tournament is the winner presented with the Green Jacket?"

    2. John Jumphries is the scourge of politicians on which daily programme?
    3. In 2001, Benicio del Torro won the Ocsar for Best Supporting Actor in which film?
    If you look at these questions, you'll notice that they have the structure of a normal sentence, but with the question word in the place the missing information would normally be:

    John Humphrys is the scourge of politicians on which daily programme?
    John Humphrys is the scourge of politicians on The Today Programme.

    This seems to be the usual format for quizzes, especially quick-fire quizzes like Mastermind (another show, incidentally, presented by John Humphrys). I think this is because quiz questions often have a lot more information in them than the sort of question we normally need to ask when we're speaking. Putting the question word first in this sentence would result in a very unnatural construction:

    Which daily programme is John Humphrys the scourge of politicians on?
    Which film did Benicio del Torro win the Oscar for best supporting actor in in 2001. (Notice the repetition of "in"; there are alternative constructions which avoid this, but they're not much better.)

    Somebody taking part in a quiz has enough to do trying to come up with the answer to the question without also having to disentangle the grammar.

    In real life speech, we normally ask questions more like this:

    What show is John Humphrys on? You know, the one where he interviews politicians.
    You know Benicio del Torro? What's the name of that film he won an Oscar for? It was for best supporting actor. I think it was in 2001.

    In normal speech, though, there is a time where we might use the normal sentence order for asking questions. Consider this:

    A: I just gave Pete the day off.
    B: What did you give Pete?
    A: The day off.

    Here, B didn't quite hear or understand what A was saying. Maybe B was distracted, or A was speaking too quietly.

    Compare it with this:

    A: I just gave Pete the day off.
    B: You gave Pete the what?
    A: But... but... I thought he needed it...

    Here, B is annoyed with A; he cannot believe that A gave Pete the day off, and expresses both his anger and his disbelief with this construction.

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