Interrogative is a term used in grammar to refer to features that form questions.
interrogative sentenceinterrogative moodQuestionsinterrogativityinterrogativesdeclarative questioninterrogative modalityinterrogative formspecialquestion formation
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Interrogative is a term used in grammar to refer to features that form questions.
Questions are often conflated with interrogatives, which are the grammatical forms typically used to achieve them.

Grammatical mood

Such sentences may exhibit an interrogative grammatical mood. This applies particularly to languages that use different inflected verb forms to make questions.
Some examples of moods are indicative, interrogative, imperative, subjunctive, injunctive, optative, and potential.

Tag question

tag questionsquestion tagtag-question
Tag questions are questions "tagged" onto the end of sentences to invite confirmation, as in "She left earlier, didn't she?"
A tag question (also known as tail question) is a grammatical structure in which a declarative or an imperative statement is turned into an interrogative fragment (the "tag").

Content clause

indirect questiondeclarative content clausedirect question
Indirect questions (or interrogative content clauses) are subordinate clauses used within sentences to refer to a question (as opposed to direct questions, which are interrogative sentences themselves).
There are two main kinds of content clauses: declarative content clauses (or that-clauses), which correspond to declarative sentences, and interrogative content clauses, which correspond to interrogative sentences.

Interrogative word

interrogative pronouninterrogativeinterrogatives
Interrogative sentences can serve as yes–no questions or as wh-questions, the latter being formed using an interrogative word such as who, which, where or how to specify the information required.
For more information about the grammatical rules for forming questions in various languages, see Interrogative.


However, in terms of word order, the interrogative word (or the phrase it is part of) is brought to the start of the sentence (an example of wh-fronting) in many languages.
In linguistics, wh-movement (also known as wh-fronting or wh-extraction or long-distance dependency) concerns special rules of syntax, observed in many languages around the world, involving the placement of interrogative words.

Question mark

????interrogation point
In languages written in Latin or Cyrillic, as well as certain other scripts, a question mark at the end of the sentence identifies it as a question.
The question mark [ ? ] (also known as interrogation point, query, or eroteme in journalism) is a punctuation mark that indicates an interrogative clause or phrase in many languages.

List of glossing abbreviations

abbreviatedglossing abbreviationglossing abbreviations
Interrogative mood or other interrogative forms may be denoted by the glossing abbreviation.


do''-supportauxiliary ''doinserted
In sentences where no such verb is otherwise present, the auxiliary do (does, did) is introduced to enable the inversion (for details see do-support, and.
The presence of an auxiliary (or copular) verb allows subject–auxiliary inversion to take place, as is required in most interrogative sentences in English.

Word order

free word orderconstituent orderword-order
Different languages have various ways of forming questions, such as word order or the insertion of interrogative particles.
However, most languages are generally assumed to have a basic word order, called the unmarked word order; other, marked word orders can then be used to emphasize a sentence element, to indicate modality (such as an interrogative modality), or for other purposes.

Greenlandic language

GreenlandicKalaallisutGreenlandic Inuit
Languages with some degree of this feature include Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, Greenlandic, Nenets, Central Alaskan Yup'ik, Turkish, Korean and Venetian.
The four independent moods are: indicative, interrogative, imperative, optative.

Irish language

IrishGaelicIrish Gaelic
Languages with some degree of this feature include Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, Greenlandic, Nenets, Central Alaskan Yup'ik, Turkish, Korean and Venetian.
There are a number of preverbal particles marking the negative, interrogative, subjunctive, relative clauses, etc. There is a verbal noun, and verbal adjective.

Modern English

EnglishModernmodern spoken English
In the case of Modern English, inversion is used, but can only take place with a limited group of verbs (called auxiliaries or "special verbs").
use of auxiliary verbs becomes mandatory in interrogative sentences.

A-not-A question

Another way of forming yes–no questions is the A-not-A construction, found for example in Chinese, which offers explicit yes or no alternatives:


105Surah CVThe Elephant
The surah is written in the interrogative form.

English clause syntax

Sentences can be classified according to the purpose or function of the sentence into declarative (making a statement), interrogative (asking a question), exclamatory sentence or imperative (giving an order).


The word order of a sentence is “subject-verb-object/complement.” This word order is always kept, regardless of a declarative sentence or an interrogative sentence.

English language

Modern English relies more on auxiliary verbs and word order for the expression of complex tenses, aspect and mood, as well as passive constructions, interrogatives and some negation.

Grammatical conjugation

Conjugation may be affected by person, number, gender, tense, aspect, mood, voice, case, and other grammatical categories such as possession, definiteness, politeness, causativity, clusivity, interrogativity, transitivity, valency, polarity, telicity, volition, mirativity, evidentiality, animacy, associativity, pluractionality, reciprocity, agreement, polypersonal agreement, incorporation, noun class, noun classifiers, and verb classifiers in some languages.

Transformational grammar

transformationaltransformational generative grammartransformations
A transformational-generative (or simply transformational) grammar thus involved two types of productive rules: phrase structure rules, such as "S → NP VP" (a sentence may consist of a noun phrase followed by a verb phrase) etc., which could be used to generate grammatical sentences with associated parse trees (phrase markers, or P markers); and transformational rules, such as rules for converting statements to questions or active to passive voice, which acted on the phrase markers to produce other grammatically-correct sentences.

Performative utterance

performativeperformativesperformative utterances
After mentioning several examples of sentences which are not so used, and not truth-evaluable (among them nonsensical sentences, interrogatives, directives and "ethical" propositions), he introduces "performative" sentences or illocutionary act as another instance.

Affect (linguistics)

affectaffectedspeaker affect
Affects such as sarcasm, contempt, dismissal, distaste, disgust, disbelief, exasperation, boredom, anger, joy, respect or disrespect, sympathy, pity, gratitude, wonder, admiration, humility, and awe are frequently conveyed through paralinguistic mechanisms such as intonation, facial expression, and gesture, and thus require recourse to punctuation or emoticons when reduced to writing, but there are grammatical and lexical expressions of affect as well, such as pejorative and approbative or laudative expressions or inflections, adversative forms, honorific and deferential language, interrogatives and tag questions, and some types of evidentiality.

Realis mood

indicativeindicative moodrealis
For example, many languages use indicative verb forms to ask questions (this is sometimes called interrogative mood) and in various other situations where the meaning is in fact of the irrealis type (as in the English "I hope it works", where the indicative works is used even though it refers to a desired rather than real state of affairs).

Hokkien pronouns

The Hokkien language use a variety of differing demonstrative and interrogative pronouns, and many of them are only with slightly different meanings.