How to Turn Questions Into Statements

In a standard English yes-or-no question, the verb precedes the subject, often a helping verb like “is,” “must” or “can.” If the question is not yes-or-no, it begins with a question word, like “who,” “what,” “when” or “where.” To turn a question into a statement, remove the question word and put the sentence into standard subject-verb-object order.

Stating Instead of Asking

The question, “Are you wearing purple?” shows the inverted order, with the helping verb “are” at the beginning, followed by the subject, “you.” A question-word version might ask, “What color are you wearing?” Here, the object, “color,” is first, and then the helping verb and the subject, “you.” Both questions can be turned into statements by putting the subject first, followed by the verb: “You are wearing purple.” The same principle applies to more complex sentences; look for the basic elements: subject, verb and object. For instance, “On Tuesdays, don’t you usually wear purple?” begins with an adverb phrase, “on Tuesdays,” and takes a negative. But the basic statement is formed the same way: “You usually wear purple on Tuesdays” or, in the negative, “You don’t usually wear purple on Tuesdays.”

About the Author

Jennifer Spirko has been writing professionally for more than 20 years, starting at "The Knoxville Journal." She has written for "MetroPulse," "Maryville-Alcoa Daily Times" and "Some" monthly. She has taught writing at North Carolina State University and the University of Tennessee. Spirko holds a Master of Arts from the Shakespeare Institute, Stratford-on-Avon, England.

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