Echo Question – Echo what??

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Echo question is a type of direct question that repeats part or all of something which someone else has just said. We use echo question either because we did not fully hear or understand what was said, or because its content is too surprising to be believed.

 

Echo questions are usually spoken with a rising intonation, and with a strong emphasis on the WH-question word (what, who, how, and so on). The listener makes a short question using the auxiliary or helping verb of the statement the speaker has just said.

Examples:

• She is visiting relatives at this moment. – Is she?

• They bought a new car last week. – Did they?

• I live in Jakarta. – Do you?

• Alan´s got a job as a lifeguard. – Has he?

 

Or by adding a preposition after the WH-question word:

• I’m going on vacation.

 Where to? – Bali.

 Who with? – My kids.

 How long for? (OR: For how long?) – A week.

 

Or by adding “that” after the WH-question word:

• I went to Sanur beach on vacation.

– Where’s that? – in Bali.

• Are you coming to Graham’s farewell party?

– When’s that? – On Saturday night.

 

Watch this hilarious video! In the video, the character Peter interviewed Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark from Shakespeare’s play. He used the echo questions to keep the conversation going.

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