making questions

Status
Not open for further replies.

Offroad

Key Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2008
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
Brazilian Portuguese
Home Country
Brazil
Current Location
Brazil
Please teachers, I am kinda confused about asking questions, these are the points:

a) There was a ball?
I guess this one only appears in everyday conversation, not in newspapers and magazines, right?
b) Was there a ball?

I mean, how to know when use both of them?

and... What are the differences between...

1) What are you doing?
It seems someone asking someone else, right?
2) What you are doing?
It seems someone asking himself/herself about someone else's question.

Could you explain this for me?

Many thanks
 

riverkid

Banned
Joined
Aug 17, 2006
Member Type
English Teacher
Please teachers, I am kinda confused about asking questions, these are the points:

a) There was a ball?
I guess this one only appears in everyday conversation, not in newspapers and magazines, right?
b) Was there a ball?

I mean, how to know when use both of them?

You could use the first one, Marcio, when you want to express incredulousness, when you don't really believe something is true.

There was WMD in Iraq!

I'd say that the structure could be found in newspapers or magazines though it certainly would not be as common as in speech.


and... What are the differences between...

1) What are you doing?
It seems someone asking someone else, right?
2) What you are doing?
It seems someone asking himself/herself about someone else's question.

Could you explain this for me?

Many thanks

I suppose that there's an outside chance that it could see some use, given the right context but right now I see the difference as, number 2 is not English. It sounds like a question from a young child that hasn't yet had the word order set straight in their mind.
 

Barb_D

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 12, 2007
Member Type
Other
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
"What are you doing?" can be directed at someone else or can be self-talk directed to yourself.

"What you are doing?" as a question is not standard. I can't think of when you'd use it.

Using a statement but with a rising inflection to make it a question is common in spoken language to express surprise or to get confirmation.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top