Short answers in English: Examples and exercises

short answers in english exercises quiz

Forming short answers in English: A practical guide

In English, short answers are an important component of communication, especially in spoken language. They allow us to quickly and clearly respond to questions, confirm or deny statements, as well as express agreement or disagreement with others. In this article, we will examine various grammatical structures for formulating short answers in English. The main goal of the article is to provide practical skills in formulating short answers (e.g. with so/neither) and correctly using negative constructions with neither/nor according to the context of the sentence. To begin, we will briefly review more grammatical constructions and rules, and then move on to practice.

What are short answers used for?

Short answers are most often used to confirm, deny, or agree with similarity.

Affirmative Responses

Affirmative responses confirm what was said in the question or statement.

Examples:

  • “Do you like ice cream?” – “Yes, I do.”
  • “Have you seen that movie?” – “Yes, I have.”

Negative Responses

Negative responses indicate the absence of an action or state.

Examples:

  • “Are you tired?” – “No, I’m not.”
  • “Have you finished your homework?” – “No, I haven’t.”

Agreement Responses

These responses show that you agree with the similarity to another person or state of affairs.

Examples:

  • “She loves chocolate.” – “So do I.”
  • “He can speak Spanish.” – “So can I.”

Structures of short answers in English

Short answers with an auxiliary verb

In many cases, a short answer is formed using an auxiliary verb (do, does, did, am, is, are, have, has, had), which is used in the question sentence to confirm or deny interrogative sentences.

General structure with an auxiliary verb:

  • Affirmative answer: “Yes, + auxiliary verb + subject.”
  • Negative answer: “No, + auxiliary verb + subject.”
  • Affirmative Answer (Yes):
    • Question: “Do you like coffee?”
      • Answer: “Yes, I do.”
    • Question: “Is she coming to the party?”
      • Answer: “Yes, she is.”
    • Question: “Have you finished your homework?”
      • Answer: “Yes, I have.”
  • Negative Answer (No):
    • Question: “Did you see that movie?”
      • Answer: “No, I didn’t.”
    • Question: “Are they going on vacation?”
      • Answer: “No, they aren’t.”
    • Question: “Have you met him before?”
      • Answer: “No, I haven’t.”

Short answers without an auxiliary verb

Some questions can have simple short answers without an auxiliary verb, based on confirmation or denial.

General structure without an auxiliary verb

  • Affirmative answer: “Yes, + subject.”
  • Negative answer: “No, + subject.”
  • Affirmative Answer (Yes):
    • Question: “Is she a doctor?”
      • Answer: “Yes, she is.”
    • Question: “You speak French, don’t you?”
      • Answer: “Yes, I do.”
    • Question: “She likes pizza, doesn’t she?”
      • Answer: “Yes, she does.”
  • Negative Answer (No):
    • Question: “Are they students?”
      • Answer: “No, they’re not.”
    • Question: “Does he play guitar?”
      • Answer: “No, he doesn’t.”
    • Question: “She enjoys swimming, doesn’t she?”
      • Answer: “No, she doesn’t.”

Short answers (Agreement Responses) using “so” or “neither” to confirm or deny similarity

To confirm that you do the same action or have the same state as another person, short answers using “so” or “neither” are used.

  • General structure with “so” or “neither”:
    • Agreeing with previous statement: “So + auxiliary verb + subject.”
    • Denying similarity: “Neither + auxiliary verb + subject.”
  • Examples with “so”:
    • Question: “She can swim.”
      • Answer: “So can I.” (I can too.)
    • Question: “I have been to Paris.”
      • Answer: “So have I.” (I have too.)
  • Examples with “neither”:
    • Question: “He doesn’t like spicy food.”
      • Answer: “Neither do I.” (I don’t either.)

“Similarly structured” questions

In such questions, the answer is constructed in a similar structure to confirm similarity to another person or state.

  • Examples:
    • Question: “She is studying French, and you?”
      • Answer: “So am I.” (I am too.)
    • Question: “He likes hiking, doesn’t he?”
      • Answer: “Yes, he does.” (Yes, he does.)

These rules and examples will help you better understand the grammar of short answers in English. Be sure to practice these constructions in various situations to increase your confidence in communication and prepare for tests.

Practice exercise for using short answers

To improve your skills in formulating short answers, it is recommended to regularly practice exercises and communicate in English. Use these rules and examples for practice. Check how well you understand this material.

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short answers in english exercises quiz

Practice. Short answers. Additions to remarks (quiz, test)

- I don’t like football.
- ___ .

- He has no money.
- ___ .

-Have you got any hobbies?
-Yes, I have. I like English.
-___ .

The guide would like the tourists to see the centre of the city.

- Her hopes were realized.
- ___ .

The thief had to run out of the shop when the policeman began shooting.

A: George is a student, and you ?
B: ___ .

-I don’t like horror films, and you?
-___ . I can’t sleep after seeing such films. I like fantastic films.
-___ . I’ve got some at home.

- Alex had to stay in bed for 5 days.
- ___ .

My friend doesn’t like detective stories.

- I had to help my mother about the house.
- ___ .

You mustn’t stay on the beach in hot weather.

- He was hardly upset when he heard the news.
- ___ .

She never liked to wear clothes in bright colors.

Betsy always goes to the country for weekends.

- Douglas can’t cope with the task.
- ___ .

A: I’ll not go back with my car, and you?
B: ___ .

- She has lived in Moscow for 20 years.
- ___ .

- It’s raining and I have to stay at home.
- ___ .

- Albert is seldom in time for his classes.
- ___ .

My sister has graduated from the University.

- I have never been to England.
- ___ .

- Brian had English yesterday.
- ___ .

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