5 ways to ask questions in simple English

7 minutes reading time (1329 words)

Communicating in English is a very important aspect of studying abroad. While it might be difficult or uncomfortable to express oneself in a foreign language, English is the most convenient and widespread language across the globe. Learning to express yourself in English is highly beneficial. Life in a foreign land could mean a variety of new experiences and learnings. One of the key learnings is the ability to pick up new languages, understand new cultures and make new relationships. Without effective communication, we are limiting ourselves from many beautiful experiences. Read on to know more about on how to ask questions in English.

TIPS TO SPEAK and how to ask questions in English better

 Learning to speak and how to asking questions in English need not necessarily be a daunting experience.

  1. Do not let it Intimidate You
    Remember that English is another language to communicate . It is okay to learn it at your pace. Making mistakes and grammatical errors or pronunciation mixups are part of your learning experience. Have a laugh at your embarrassments and move on. Progress is what matters when it comes to learning. Start with basic sentences and improve organically. Do not beat yourself over shortcomings.
  2. Listen
    Learning happens when you listen. Accents vary across countries and regions. While a lot of us might be embarrassed about our accents or fear that we might not be understood, remembering the prevalence of accents can help boost your confidence. Listen to native speakers when they talk, observe their accents, and their non-verbal gestures. Listen to pop culture music. Watch movies, series and documentaries from various countries and observe the difference in their accents. Observe conservation between people. Listen to the many differences and similarities in their speech patterns. Listening intently will help mould yourselves better. Hear yourself talk. It is very important to understand how you sound, so you realise what areas you need to work on, in-terms of your accent or grammar or confidence.
  3. Practice
    Use what you've learned immediately. Learn a new word and try using it that day in your conversations. Write more often. Habits like journaling, notes taking are all very helpful in grooming your language skills. If you are into singing, learning to sing English songs can also benefit you in-terms of speaking fluently. Imitating someone else can also help groom your accent . Try not to learn word by word though. Imitating someone could help with bettering your intonations, choice of words, understanding emotional undertones and so on.
  4. Get Feedback
    Try finding yourself a mentor who could give you feedback on your speaking. It would be ideal if the mentor is a native English speaker. Feedbacks from multiple sources like teachers, well wishers, friends, tutors can all be extremely beneficial in grooming your understanding and use of the language.
  5. Get Personal
    Try communicating about your life in English. Communicating your emotions through a foreign language is hard. But when you do it, the search for words that convey the meaning exactly could be hard to find, yet fruitful in-terms of improving your speaking skills. Make your learning process personal.

Living in a foreign country requires everyday survival. You still have your grocery shopping to do, medical visits to take, organising multiple aspects of your life, through numerous conversations with a vibrant range of people. Apart from your education, learning how to communicate on a day-to-day basis can benefit your vocabulary to a great extent too. It is in fact the first step and the most efficient way to learn any new language. Interact with people on everyday chores and find yourself holding a stronger grasp of the language in no time.

Since you are new to the place, you might be the one with more questions to ask, as you are constantly trying to make sense of the new space and people. 

How to form questions in English

There are nine WH question words:what, when, where, which, who, why, whom, whose, and how.

WH Question Meaning of use For example: Questions at a Restaurant
(Nature/ character)
Used when asking questions about nature of things
– Animals,
– Things, events
– Actions, situations
What is the menu for the day?
Used when asking questions about timeWhen will the rest of the table arrive?
Used when asking questions about places, placesWhere can I find the restroom?
Used when asking a question about the person who does somethingWho is the chef who made the dish?
Used when asking a question about whyWhy has the food not arrived yet?
Used when asking questions about characteristics and propertiesHow spicy would the dish be?
How much
(how much)
Used when asking questions with uncountable nounsHow much is a bottle of water?
How many
(how many)
Used when asking questions with countable nounsHow many portions would be right for a table of 4?
How often
(how often)
Used when asking questions about frequencyHow often does the menu change?

Questions are also formed with adverbs. Adverbs describe a verb or an adjective. These ask for information about time, place, reason, or manner. When, where, why, and how are the four words that serve as adverbs.. Think about this example: where did you eat that? In this sentence, where is asking about the source of the dish. With pronouns, further questions are created. These enquire about individuals or objects. The pronouns what, which, who, whom, and whose are the five words that make up this list.

You can appropriately compose questions for the majority of them by using the following format.The first question structure in english is for the verb + 'to be.' The second question structure is for all other verbs.Some common questions you might ask at your place of study are given as examples. 

Questions using 'to be' Questions using other verbs
Question word + to be + subject + complement (optional) Question word + auxiliary verb + subject + base verb + complement
Where is your house?Where do you live?
How is college?How do you like college?
Who is the author?Who do you recommend?
When is your birthday?When do you work?

Incase of questions with pronouns, the WH word functions as a subject. Think of the question 'who wrote that book?' The subject is 'who' and 'write' is the verb. 'That book' is the object. This is important because occasionally, questions that start with a pronoun will not use an auxiliary verb. Look at this example: 

Most of us are clueless about the geography of the place when we shift to a different country. Simple questions can help you navigate through the new place and help yourself familiarise with the changed landscape.

Eg: You want to find a grocery store near your apartment

  • Where can I find the grocery store?
  • How do I get to the grocery store?
  • What is the best grocery store around here?
  • When will the grocery store be open/ shut?
  • How far is the store from the apartment?
  • Who wants to join me in going to the grocery store?
  • Which is the better store of the two?

Simple ways of communication can be the first step in becoming more fluent and confident with the language. Practice it everyday and communicating in English will become habitual sooner than we think. Speaking and asking questions in English could be a lot of fun when you learn it through your experiences, so go on and speak your heart out.

Planning to study abroad in of the top study destinations in 2023? Connect with AECC Vietnam today to kickstart your study abroad plans! 


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