Question and Negation

Question and negation

Example (1): What do you mean by danger?
‘do you mean?’
Example (2): Didn’t the engineers say?
‘didn’t … say?
Example (3): They don’t look natural.
‘don’t look’

Chart on forming questions and negatives

Use auxiliary verbs: do/did; can/could, may/might; will/would; shall/should
to form a question
as in Example (1):
’What do you mean by danger?’
What / when / how do / did
can / could
(you / they say / mean / do …?)
to form a negative question
as in Example (2):
’Didn’t the engineers say?’
Don’t / didn’t
Can’t / couldn’t
(I / you / we / they remember / think / do …?)
to form a negative statement
as in Example (3):
’They don’t look natural.’
I / you / we / they don’t / didn’t
can’t / couldn’t
(remember / think / do …)


In positive statements, ‘do’ is sometimes used to give emphasis to a phrase:

‘We do seem to have sorted this out.’