In part 1 of this unit, you learned how to ask (and answer) negative questions about things in the present. When talking about actions, we often use negative questions in past or present perfect tenses.
In the dialogue, you heard the question “Weren’t you supposed to clean the bathroom last night?” When a question is asked this way in the past, it is often used to point out an action that someone didn’t do or to remind someone of what was said or done in the past.
A. Look at the examples from the dialogue. What does each person mean based on the question?
In the past tense, these questions have three basic forms. However, they always begin with the negative contraction of the verbs “to be”, “to do” or “to have”*. Look at the following structures.
Again, when answering these types of questions, you should respond as if the person asked the question without the negative. So a “yes” answer to “Wasn’t I sick last week?” means “Yes, you were
sick.” However, when people ask negative questions in the past, they often don’t expect a response, unless you’re going to explain yourself. So a “no” answer usually requires an explanation. For example, a “no” answer to “Didn’t we agree not to have parties during the week?” might be “No, we agreed not to have parties on a school night, but neither of us has school on Tuesday.” Similarly, a “No” answer to “Haven’t I always kept my door closed?” might be “No, it was open last night.”
B. Write the answer to the following questions based on whether you should agree or disagree.
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