Changing imperative into interrogative

November 22, 2011pdf

An interrogative form is a milder or more polite form of the imperative. However, the addition of ‘or not’ adds a touch of threat to the command.

Study the following examples.

  • Imperative: Stop talking.

This sentence can be changed into an interrogative which is milder and hence more polite.

  • Interrogative: Will you stop talking?

We can make it even more polite by adding ‘please’.

  • Will you, please, stop talking?

Change the following imperative sentences into interrogative sentences.

1. Open the door.

2. Get me a glass of coffee.

3. Get out of here.

4. Sit down.

5. Ask John to come here.

6. Wait here.

Answers

1. Will you, please, open the door?

2. Will you, please, get me a glass of coffee?

3. Will you get out of here?

4. Will you, please, sit down?

5. Will you ask John to come here?

6. Will you, please, come here?

We have already seen that although the interrogative is more polite than the imperative, the addition of ‘or not’ will add a touch of threat to the question.

Compare:

Get out of here. (Imperative)

Will you get out of here? (Polite question)

Will you get out of here or not? (Threat – the addition of ‘or not’ adds a touch of threat to the question.)

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