Short Answers

Saying ‘Yes, I do. / No, I don’t’ in English is more polite than just saying ‘Yes. / No.’ That’s why short answers are very commonly used.
To form the short answer, you use the first word from the question. (This is either an auxiliary verb or a form of ‘be’.)
Use the long form (he does) in affirmative answers (yes).
Use the short form (he doesn’t) in negative answers (no).
Question Affirmative Negative
Do we know him? Yes, we do. No, we don’t.
Can she see me? Yes, she can. No, she can’t.
Have they read the book? Yes, they have. No, they haven’t.
Is he hungry? Yes, he is. No, he isn’t.

Note: If ‘you’ is the subject of the question, ‘you’ must be replaced by ‘I’ or ‘we’.
Question Affirmative Negative
Do you know him? Yes, I / we do. No, I / we don’t.

If the question starts with ‘are you’, ‘are’ must sometimes be replaced by ‘am’.
Question Affirmative Negative
Are you hungry? Yes, I am. No, I’m not.
But: ? Yes, we are. No, we aren’t.

  1. Are you from Kerala? - Yes, I am. / No, I'm not.
  2. Are Swathi and Suresh your friends? - Yes, they are. / No, they aren't.
  3. Has your sister got a car? - Yes, she has. / No, she hasn't.
  4. Do you speak English? - Yes, I do. / No, I don't.
  5. Can he play football? - Yes, he can. / No, he can't.
  6. Had they lived in Chennai before they moved to Bangalore? - Yes, they had. / No, they hadn't.
  7. Is she going by bus? - Yes, she is. / No, she isn't.
  8. Did you talk to him? - Yes, I did. / No, I didn't.
  9. Have you been waiting for long? - Yes, I have. / No, I haven't.
  10. Will she send us a mail? - Yes, she will. / No, she won't.
Published on 9/11/2010 4:18:00 PM

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