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Short answer Exercises

( Free Online English Grammar Lessons )

Read time : 3 minutes

Form : ( Yes, pronoun + auxiliary verb / No, pronoun + auxiliary verb + not )

In English, we don't use only yes or no to answer a question. This is not considered polite. We use short answers. Short answers are often grammatically incomplete because we do not usually repeat the words that have just been said. 

Examples short answers :

  • "Can you speak English?" "Yes, I can."
  • "Is he coming with us?" "Yes, he is."
  • "Is she interested in the offer?" "No, she isn't."
  • "Is it raining?" "Yes, it is."
  • "Has it stopped raining?" "No, it hasn't."
  • "Have you finished the job?" "Yes, I have."
  • "Do you want this?" "No, I don't."
  • "Will you come with me?" "Yes, I will."
  • "Will she help us?" "No, she won't."
  • "Did you phone him yesterday?" "Yes, I did."
  • "Are you married?" "Yes, I am."
  • "Do you have children?" "Yes, I do."
  • "Is she running a temperature?" "Yes, she is."
  • "Do you like cricket?" "No, I don't."
  • "Do you have a hobby?" "Yes, I do."
  • "Do you know how to use a computer?" "Yes, I do."
  • "Do you want to talk to the manager?" "Yes, I do."
  • "Are you tired?" "No, I'm not."
  • "May I come in, Sir?" "Yes, you may."
  • "Can I go now?" "No, you can't."
  • "Am I supposed to wait?" "No, you aren't."
  • "Were you not listening?" "No, I wasn't."

Sometimes a statement about one person also applies to another person. When this is the case, you can use a short answer with 'so' for positive statements, and with 'neither' or 'nor' for negative statements using the same verb that was used in the statement.

You use 'so,' 'neither,' or 'nor' with an auxiliary, modal, or the main verb 'be.' The verb comes before the subject.

  • "You were different then." "So were you."
  • "I don't normally drink at lunch." "Neither do I."
  • "I can't do it." "Nor can I."

You can use 'not either' instead of 'neither,' in which case the verb comes after the subject.

  • "He doesn't understand." "We don't either."

You often use 'so' in short answers after verbs such as 'think,' 'hope,' 'expect,' 'imagine,' and 'suppose,' when you think that the answer to the question is 'yes.'

  • "You'll be home at six?" "I hope so."
  • "So it was worth doing?" "I suppose so."

You use 'I'm afraid so' when you are sorry that the answer is 'yes.'

  • "Is it raining?" "I'm afraid so."

With 'suppose,' 'think,' 'imagine,' or 'expect' in short answers, you also form negatives with 'so.'

  • "Will I see you again?" "I don't suppose so."
  • "Is Barry Knight a golfer?" "No, I don't think so."

However, you say 'I hope not' and 'I'm afraid not.'

  • "It isn't empty, is it?" "I hope not."
Short answer example sentences
Yes, I do.
No, thank you.
Oh that one... I don't know... Sh*t my pants, maybe?
Yes, why don't we?
According to you, yes!
Yes, he is!
Unfortunately, no, I haven't.
Yes, sure.
Okay, I do.
No, no, not early at all.
Not often, really.
Yes, a couple of times.


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Be going to
Be going to passive
Be used to / Get used to
Defining relative clause
Echo tag
First conditional
Future continuous
Future perfect continuous
Future perfect passive
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Have/Get something done
Implied conditional
Indirect question
Infinitive of purpose
Mixed conditional
Modal passive
Non-defining relative clause
Past continuous
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Polite request / offer / suggestion
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Second conditional
Short answer
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Zero conditional