Types of questions. Questions of closed and open type. Examples

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Types of questions. Questions of closed and open type. Examples
Types of questions. Questions of closed and open type. Examples

It would seem that it could be easier than asking a question? However, there are many rules and varieties of questions in both English and Russian. In addition, their use in conversation always depends on the speech situation. And as we will see, the situations in both English and Russian conversations are very similar to each other. We will analyze the types of questions in more detail in this article.

What questions are there in Russian?

question types

In this work we will consider 5 types of questions. There are a number of other classifications, the number of questions in which may vary, but today we will focus on this one.

So, according to our classification, there are five types of questions: closed, open, critical, rhetorical, questions for reflection. Note that open and closed questions are distinguished in almost all types of classifications. This fact makes them essential.

Now let's look at each type in more detail, and also give examples.

Open question

Open questions are questions that require a detailed answer and some explanation. They cannot be answered either "yes" or "no". Such questions begin with the following interrogative words: "how", "who", "what", "why", "how much", "what", etc.

These questions allow your interlocutor to choose the information to answer at their own discretion. On the one hand, this can lead to the fact that the interlocutor will hide what he does not want to disclose. But on the other hand, if you ask a question in a suitable emotional situation, the interlocutor can open up and tell much more than the question you asked required.

Open-ended questions allow you to turn your monologue into a conversation. However, there is a risk that you will lose control of the conversation, and it will not be easy to regain control.

Here are examples of such questions:

  • Why do you want to study at our university?
  • When did you decide to agree to this conversation?
  • How much do you earn per month?
  • Who cleans your house?
  • What do you usually do in the evenings?
types of questions in English with examples

Closed question

Closed-type questions are questions that can be answered with either "yes" or "no". Often in closed questions, the particle “li” is used. They limit the interlocutor's freedom as much as possible, leading him to a monosyllabic answer.

You can keep the conversation under control by asking these kinds of questions. However, the interlocutor cannotgive your opinion or share ideas.

In addition, closed questions have a number of negative features:

  • the information received when answering them will be superficial;
  • two answers create an impression of coercion, so the interlocutor will gradually feel more and more uncomfortable, which ultimately hello to the fact that he wants to end the conversation as soon as possible;
  • they lead to the reluctance of the interlocutor to open up and provide more information.

Closed questions are recommended to be used in cases where it is necessary to collect a lot of information in a short time. For example, when conducting various studies. If you plan to get to know the interlocutor better and assume that your acquaintance will continue, closed questions must be alternated with open ones, allowing the partner to speak.

open questions


  • Do you like running?
  • Would you like to learn how to swim?
  • Do you play musical instruments?

Rhetorical question

We continue to consider the types of questions. Next in line is a rhetorical question, which serves for a deep and detailed consideration of the subject of conversation. It is impossible to give an unambiguous and unbiased answer to such questions. Their purpose is to point out unresolved issues and raise new questions, or to elicit support for your opinion by the participants in the discussion by tacit agreement. When composing such questions, the “whether” particle is also often used.


  • Are we all of the same opinion on this issue?
  • Can we accept this behavior as normal?

Tipping point

closed questions

Another basic type of question is the tipping question. These are questions that help keep the discussion in a certain direction. They can also serve to raise new issues. They are set in those situations when you have received comprehensive information on the problem under consideration and would like to switch the attention of the audience to another, or when there is resistance from your opponent and you want to overcome it.

The interlocutor's answers to such questions allow us to find out the vulnerable points in his judgments.


  • Tell me, do you think it is necessary?..
  • How are you really doing?..
  • Do you think?..
  • What do you see in the future?..

Think Question

These types of questions encourage the interlocutor to reflect and carefully consider what was said earlier and prepare comments. In such a speech situation, the interlocutor gets the opportunity to make his own changes to the position already stated by someone. This allows you to look at the problem from several angles.

Examples of such questions:

  • Do you think that?..
  • Did we understand your judgment about what?..
  • Do you agree that?..

Thus, we have looked at the meaning and examples of the types of questions used in Russian.

How many kinds of questions are there in English?

main question type

There are also several types of questions in English. There are five of them, as in Russian. The use of questions will depend on the situation, the context, and the purpose for which you ask them. So, let's look at the types of questions in English with examples.

General question

General questions are identical to closed ones in Russian, that is, they require a one-word answer: "yes" or "no". Serve for general information only.

Such questions are composed without interrogative words, but begin with auxiliary verbs. And as you remember, in English, certain auxiliary verbs are provided for each tense.

Word order when composing a question: auxiliary verb - subject - semantic verb - object - definition.


  • Is he a good driver?
  • Did he go to the disco today?
  • Do you play basketball every day?

Dividing question

We continue to consider types of questions in English with examples. This type is called separating because it consists of two parts, which are separated by a comma:

  • 1st part is the statement;
  • 2nd part - "spine", a question regarding this statement.

"Spine" is usually the opposite of a statement. That is, the purpose of the question is to verify the authenticity of the statement made.


  • You play basketball every day, don't you?
  • Steven is a famous artist, isn't he?
question type examples

Special issue

Question types can also serve as additional information. For example, a special question. It always starts with question words. The following are commonly used: when, why, where, which, how, etc. These words do not include what and who when they act as subjects.

Thus, the question has the following structure: interrogative word - auxiliary verb - subject - semantic verb - object.


  • What is your name?
  • When did you go to England last time?

Questions with or ("or")

These questions involve choosing between two different answers. The word order here is the same as in the general question, but it is imperative to suggest an alternative possibility.


  • Do you like tea or coffee?
  • Will you go to Moscow by plane or by train?
  • Does your father or your mother help you with your homework?
5 types of questions

Question with who (what)

This type is used when it is necessary to ask a question to the subject in a sentence. It will start with what or who. The main feature of this type of questions is that the word order in its composition remains the same as in the statement. That is, the word order will be as follows: who / what - semantic verb - addition.

Here are some examples:

  • Who is this man?
  • What was that?

So, we have considered possible types of questions both in Russian and in English. As you can see, in both languages, despite the huge difference in origin and grammar between them, questions perform approximately the same functions. This tells us that the conversation in any language is conducted with certain goals. Moreover, the reasoning control mechanisms governed by questions also appear to be similar.

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