Functions of Elaborate Please Questions

Because intonation is so important in forming questions in English, some example questions in this entry are accompanied by diagrams that show their intonation patterns. The diagram is a line that traces the pitch movement throughout the question.

Elaborate please questions are used when the asker has already been told something but needs more information regarding what was said.

A question is then posed about someone, something, or somewhere mentioned by the speaker.

In 4), Kim is trying to sell his car, and Fred has found a prospective buyer. He tells Kim that this person will come and look at the car tomorrow.

Kim wants more information about the time that has been arranged for the inspection.

In 5), the police officer needs more precise information about the person before he or she can act.

Elaborate please questions can either consist of a longer sentence such as 6a) or a shorter answer such as 6b).

The wh- word is always stressed, and questions consisting of two or more words carry up-fall intonation.