From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A question is what someone asks, usually when there is something that he or she does not know. In writing, a question mark ("?") comes at the end of a question. However, just because a question is asked does not mean there is an answer.

Paul Gaugin's Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?

Types of question[change | change source]

Sometimes a question has a simple answer like "Yes" or "No". Sometimes a question has a more complicated answer like "Maybe", or "I don't know". There are so many types of questions and so many ways of answering questions.

Examples of these questions[change | change source]

People may give a short answer. People may give a long answer. It depends on the question.

  • "Guess what?"
  • Who
  • "Can I help you?"
  • "Do you speak English?"
  • "Is this your bag?"
  • "What time is it?"
  • "Where are you from?"
  • "Why are you doing that?"
  • "Who do you want to see?"
  • "When will tea be ready?"
  • "What did you say?"
  • "How old are you?"
  • "What time is the football game?"
  • "Why do you look so funny?"
  • "Why did the chicken cross the road?"
  • "Where can I find the nearest subway station?"
  • "Why do you allow people to change an online encyclopedia?"

Types[change | change source]

Different kinds of why questions need different kinds of answers. A question like "Why did you do that?" clearly asks for an explanation. What that explanation might be depends on context. This kind of explanation is not right or wrong: it all depends on circumstance. The question and answer may also have to do with "who", "what", "when" and "where".

There are types or forms of explanations,[1] including:

  • explanations which are based on a principle or theory.[2]
Who should I listen to? Answer: Mother knows best.
  • explanations which rely on a model or pattern.
Where does this part go? Answer: The pocket is on the left side of the shirt.
When did you do that? Answer: I ran away after the dog barked.
Why are you doing that? Answer: Because I'm going to build a boat.

Many kinds of explanations are made up of more than one type.

An explanation can be valid or invalid or a combination of both. Some explanations may appear reasonable, but they turn out to be misleading or wrong.[3]

References[change | change source]

  1. Keil, Frank C. and Wilson, Robert Andrew. 2000. Explanation and cognition. p6
  2. 2.0 2.1 Elman, Colin. (2001). Bridges and boundaries: historians, political scientists, and the study of international relations, p. 71 "It is often said that a key difference between historians and political scientists is that historians tend to construct narrative-based explanations while political scientists ... tend to construct theory-based explanations".
  3. Blakesley, David and Hoogeveen, Jeffrey L. 2007. The Thomson Handbook. Blackwell, Oxford, p209. ISBN 9781428205031