closed questions (questions fermées)

Closed questions are questions that can only be answered by “yes” or “no” (or “maybe”!). In English, it is more polite to use the appropriate auxiliary verb in your answer. If the verb is “to be”, there is no auxiliary, so you use “be” in your answer:

(être: I am, you are, he is, she is, we are, they are)
Are you French? —> yes, I am

If “be” is the auxiliary (progressive forms), use it in your answer:

Are you going to the party tonight? —> yes I am

Was he listening to you? —> yes, he was

Other verbs take the auxiliary “do” in the present simple:

Do you want to come? —> yes, I do / no, I don’t

Does she work here? —> yes, she does / no, she doesn’t

Conseil: on emploie toujours l’auxiliaire dans la question pour la réponse.

Have you been to Italy? —> yes, I have

Can you drive? —> no, I can’t

Would you do it? —> yes, I would

Exercise: choose the appropriate short answer for the following questions:

  1. Do you want to go out?
  2. Are you cold?
  3. Does he live near here?
  4. Was she at the party last night?
  5. Is he your brother?
  6. Should I talk to her?
  7. Are you leaving now?
  8. Can you swim?
  9. Did you post the letter?
  10. Have you read this book?


1, yes, I do 2, yes, I am 3, yes he does 4, yes, she was 5, yes, he is 6, yes, you should, 7 yes, I am 8, yes I can 9, yes I did 10, yes, I have