Interrogative Sentences: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Shelley Vessels

Shelley has taught at the middle school level for 10 years and has a master's degree in teaching English.

In this lesson, we'll discuss interrogative sentences. You'll learn the definition of an interrogative sentence, the rules to writing an interrogative sentence, and an exception to the rules.

What Are Interrogative Sentences?

What is origami?

Who is your best friend?

Why are some cheeses stinky?

What do the above sentences have in common? Besides being pretty random, what they have in common is that they are interrogative sentences, which are sentences that ask a question. You can remember the purpose of interrogative sentence by pulling out the word 'interrogate.' Have you ever watched a crime drama on TV? If so, you've probably watched a police officer question--or interrogate--a suspect in an empty room.

You'll also notice that all of the above sentences start with one of the Five Ws (who, what, when, where and why). While many open-ended interrogative sentences contain one of the Five Ws, questions do not have to have a Five W word. (Interrogative sentences that do not contain a Five W word are typically 'yes' or 'no' questions.)

The Parts of an Interrogative Sentence

The rules for interrogative sentences are pretty simple. You need to remember to capitalize the first letter of the sentence, as you would with any other sentence. Also, all interrogative sentences need to end with a question mark to indicate to the reader that you're asking a question.

As you may know, a complete sentence must have both a subject (who or what the sentence is about) and a predicate (which talks about the subject or what the subject is doing). The same goes with interrogative sentences! Without both, it is an incomplete sentence, or fragment.

It can be a little difficult to find the subject of a question, because it often comes after or mixed into the predicate. So, one trick to finding the subject is to turn the question into a declarative sentence (a sentence that declares a statement and ends in a period). Let's look at a few examples of interrogative sentences to find the subject and predicate.

Where is the cake?

Let's turn this into a declarative sentence: The cake is _____. The subject here is 'cake,' and the predicate is 'is.'

Do you like cotton candy?

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