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"Don't you like to watch videos?" "Yes." "Aren't you Ronnie?" "No. Yes. I don't know." Today,
I'm going to teach you about something -- it's really been bothering me for the last -- I
don't know, six years? It is negative questions in English. The reason why this bothers me
is because it's taken me so long to figure out how to teach it to you properly, and how
we as native speakers actually handle these questions. First of all, let's go through
some examples of negative questions.
First one, "Don't you like pizza?" So you can ask someone, "Don't you like pizza?" "Yes."
"Yes, you don't like pizza, or yes you like pizza?" "Yes, I like pizza." "So why didn't
you say, 'No. No, I don't like pizza'?" But you don't like pizza. Do you see my confusion?
You must be confused.
Let's look at this question, "Aren't you hungry?" "No. No I'm not hungry." "Oh, okay. Good."
"Yes." "Aren't you hungry?" "Yes." "Aren't you hungry?" "Yes." "Aren't you hungry?" "Yes."
I don't know if you're hungry or not.
"Can't you play football?" "No." "No, you can't play football, or yes, you can play
football?" I am still baffled -- which means confused -- about if someone asks me a negative
question, if I give them a yes or no answer, the answer is still unclear. So why would
someone ask you a negative question? Why would you ask someone a negative question? This
answer I can do for you.
Most people like pizza. "Do you like pizza?" "Yes, I like pizza." "Do you like pizza?"
"No." "[Gasps] You don't like pizza?" I am surprised by your "no" answer. So the easiest
way and the best way -- maybe the only way -- that I can help you with this is we would
only ask a negative question if at first you asked a positive question and were surprised
by the answer. Let's write this down. Positive question. "Do you like pizza?" "No." You've
got to do the face, too. "You don't like pizza?" Surprise. "No. I don't like pizza because
I don't like red things." "Okay, whatever."
To help you with this negative answer, what you have to do is you have to give the person
more than a yes or a no.
Example 2. If I asked you like this, "Are you hungry?" And you said, "No." "You have
not eaten breakfast or lunch. Aren't you hungry?" "No, I'm not hungry." Again, you're going
to say the rest of the sentence. "No, I'm not hungry." We would only use this negative
question if our first question is a "no" and if the answer is a surprise to you.
If you're from Brazil -- hi. "Can't you play football? You're from Brazil. Every person
in Brazil can play football." "No, they can't. That's not true." But someone can ask you,
"You're from Brazil? You can't play football?" And you say, "Yes. No." You can say, "Yes,
I can play football", or you can say, "No, I can't play football." There is a way to
answer this. And unfortunately, you are going to have to use more than a "yes" or "no" answer.
So maybe the best advice I can give you when you're beginning or when you're practicing
English is don't ask negative questions. Only ask a negative question if you are surprised
by the person's answer. Okay? If someone asks you a negative question, and you definitely
know your opinion, to get the answer out clearly, what you have to do is justify. If you want
to say "no", you have to repeat, "No, I do like it. No, I don't like it. Yes, I like
it. Yes, I don't like it, which doesn't make sense." So what you have to do is either say
"yes" or "no", and then give the positive or the negative answer. Don't you want to
take a quiz? "Of course, I want to take a quiz, Ronnie." Perfect answer. "Don't you
want to get 100 percent on the quiz?" "No." "What?" "No, I do want to get 100 percent."
Go to www.engvid.com. Take the quiz. Bye.
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Negative Questions in English

2738 Folder Collection
Chris published on May 24, 2014
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