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Dear teachers,

When / For what purpose do we ask a question in the affirmative form? What difference does it make with the interrogative form?

It seems that when we ask a question in the interrogative negative form, we expect a positive answer.

Thank you for your help.

Hela
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Hi Hela,

It's good to provide examples. Do you mean these kinds of questions?

When / For what purpose do we ask a question in the affirmative form? What difference does it make with the interrogative form?

"You like Tom, don't you?" Here, I'm expecting 'Yes, I do'.

It seems that when we ask a question in the interrogative negative form, we expect a positive answer.

"You don't like Tom, do you?' Here , I'm expecting 'No, I don't like him'.

Best wishes, Clive
Good afternoon, Clive

Not quite, but maybe when we use the affirmative form we have to use a tag in English (unlike French).

eg. a) Do you forget your old friends now? You never call up.

b) You forget your old friends now? You never call up.

c) Don't you remember your old friends now? (You never call up. ?)

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The negative can go both ways in terms of expectations. I think if it's stated as more of a statement: You don't like Tom, do you? without much of an upward inflection, then you are expecting a negative.

But if you ask it with a real upward inflection: You're not dating him, are you??, then you expect that, in fact, she is dating him.
Hi,

You can also make what I would call positive and negative questions in the following way.

Do you like Tom?

Do you not like Tom?

Very generally speaking, we temd to avoid negative questions. as the answer can sometimes be a little confusing. eg For #2 above, what does the answer 'No' mean? It's not intuitively obvious.

Best wishes, Clive
Dear,
You are right that we use negative interrogative when we expect that we will be answered "Yes" but sometimes we use negative interrogative for other purposes;as follows:
Why don't you speak in English? (a suggestion.)
Can't you play football somewhere else? ( a criticism )
Wouldn't it be better to write a paragraph ? (persuading someone/offer.)
Didn't you tell the policeman who you are? (anger.)

Note..... Why don't ??? shows a suggestion but why didn't you ?? shows anger.
Why didn't he go to school yesterday ?

I hope My message might be helpful for you..
This is Nadir Ali Mugheri From Pakistan...As a student of English language....
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Dear Nadir Ali Mugheri from Pakistan,

Your advice is given more than 9 years after the question was posed. Probably the poster has moved on and learned these types of questions in English.
Thank you Nadir for your answer, even if it has come 9 years after my initial question.
Actually, I find it rather nice and interesting to get answers or comments for a question raised many years before.

Wish you and AlpheccaStars all the best. Emotion: smile

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