Negative questions are of two kinds; contracted and uncontracted. They have different word order, as in:
Auxiliary verb + n’t + s(ubject)
|a) Didn’t the children read their textbooks?|
b) Isn’t Polly Dee your friend?
c) Weren’t you there when the accident happened?
|Auxiliary verb + s(ubject) + not|
|a) Did the children not read their textbooks?|
b) Is Polly Dee not your friend?
c) Were you not there when the accident happened?
|Non-auxiliary verb ‘have’ and ‘be’ go in the same position as the auxiliary verbs in negative questions.|
|Form: contracted has/have + n’t + s(ubject)|
|a) Haven’t they given the award after the ceremony?|
b) Hasn’t Lea Salonga sung that song before?
c) Isn’t she the former champion in “The Voice”?
d) Weren’t you studying Medicine at UP-Manila?
|Form: uncontracted has/have + s(ubject) + not|
|a) Have they not given the award after the ceremony?|
b) Has Lea Salonga not sung that song before?
c) Is she not the former champion in “The Voice”?
d) Were you not there when the accident happened?
|2 two meanings:|
|Negative questions can have two different kinds of meaning.It's usually clear from the situation and context which kind of question is asked.|
|a. It’s true that.......isn’t it?|
|A negative question can ask for confirmation of a positive belief; or confirmation of something you believe to be true. it expects a "yes."|
|a) Didn’t you talk with the dean of college yesterday? How did it go?|
Means= (I believe that you talked with the dean of college.}
|b) Haven’t the committee agreed to charge that fellow?|
Means=(I believe that the committee agreed .....)
|You may also express your opinions in a more polite way by changing them into|
|a) Wouldn’t it be better if we open those windows?|
b) Can’t we ask for a longer break for the kids ?
|Negative questions of this kind (expressions of opinions) are common in exclamations and theoretical questions.|
|a) Typhoon Hayaian! Wasn’t that the most destructive typhoon we ever had?|
b) Goodness! Hasn’t she really grown?
c) Isn’t this life forever?
d) Haven’t we a purpose in this life?
|b Is it true that...........not?|
|A negative question can also ask for confirmation of a negative belief. In this case, the question expects the answer 'No.'|
|a) Hasn’t he done his homework ? It’s now ten o’clock!|
means= (I believe he has not done his homework.)
b) Isn’t she doing her research? She’s been paid her grant a month ago.
means= (I believe she’s not doing her research.)
|3 polite requests, invitations, offers|
|Pressing offers and invitations often assume the form of negative questions. They usually begin begin with 'Won't you;...'Wouldn't you'...'Why don't you'?...|
|a) Wouldn’t you tell us exactly how it happened?|
b) Won’t you join us at our table by the window?
c) Why don’t you dance with her?
|In other cases, we don’t usually use a negative question to ask people to do things. This is done with ordinary questions,or with negative statements +question tags:|
|a) Can you help me with my homework? (ordinary question used as a request)|
b) Could you please close the door?
c) You can’t bake that chocolate cake for me, can you?(negative statement + question tag)
|Negative questions may be understood as complaints or criticisms:|
|a) Don’t you ever clean the bathtub?|
b) Can’t you share your bedroom with that poor child?
|4 yes and no|
|In a reply to a negative question, the answer ‘Yes’ suggests an affirmative verb.|
Example: a) You don’t know of any good jobs, do you? Yes. I do know.
There’s a vacancy in my company.
b)Didn’t the doctor allow you to go home today? Yes. He did allow me.
|...a “No” suggests a negative verb:|
|a) You don’t know of any good jobs , do you?|
No , I don’t know.
b) Didn’t the doctor allow you to go home today?
No, He didn’t allow me to go home.