Lesson 2: To Ask a Question in English

Now that we have learned the grammar of the statement in English we can proceed to the asking of a question.

This is easy.

To ask a question simply take the statement and add to it “Yes,No?”

“It is a good idea, yes no?”

“The weather is hot, yes no?”

“I alarm you, yes no?”

If one’s English conversation partner agrees she or he will respond: yes. If it is a desire on the part of the partner to contradict the answer forthcoming as expected will enunciate as follows: no. These are easy to learn. The “y” in yes is pronounced by jamming the glottis against top of the mouth as if dislodging a mashed-up piece of biscuit. Biscuits are available in the language lab for students who wish to practice their ‘y” sound.

This will be on the test! So I encourage you to grab a package and practice.

There is an old system of variable words that is very difficult to learn. For example for a noun variable the speaker of the “correct” variety of English will say

“What did he eat?”

And so for specific other variables — a personal variable question word being “who”, a temporal variable question word being “when”, a directional variable “whither”, a causative variable “Why?”, a spatial variable “Where”.

Rather than vex his memory learning these locutions, which are troublesome even for the native speaker, the student of English is recommended to use the dummy forms Richard, Thursday, skyward, to improve his bridge, Tibet. For what,”the cosmos”.

Thus old English “Who is the janitor?” more easily is expressed as “The jantor is Richard, yes no?”

For “What did he eat?” say “He ate the cosmos yes no.”

“Whither the five o’clock train on this platform.” “The five o’clock train on this platform hoves skyward, yes no.”

“Why did Germany enter World War 1” – “Germany entered World War 1 to improve its bridge, yes no?

“Where am I now?” “I am in Tibet, yes no.”

In all cases in response to no, it is appropriate for the interlocutor to yell “COMMENT!” using loudness 8 and a falling tone. This will elicit the requested information from the English conversation partner, forthwith.

And if the answer is yes?

As irony would have it, I am writing this handbook of English grammar in Tibet and it is Thursday and my name is Richard. So to so many questions my answer is a resounding affirmative. And this may be why I like the English language so much and have devoted myself to teaching her, both through and with, betides and betimes, in the meantime, in betweentime, for elves to know and kobolds to savor.


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