Short Answers

Chris and Amy are two students talking about taking a break from studying.

Chris: Hey Amy. Have you finished studying for those tests yet?

Amy: Actually, I have. How about you? Did you study for them?

Chris: Well. Erm. Not enough. But, I don't want to think about it... So, let's forget study. Say, how about we go out to the beach now? I fancy a swim. Oh, I forgot to ask. Can you swim?

Amy: No, I can’t. Embarrassing isn't it? But, hey, you’ll be able to go in the sea while I relax on the beach. I could do with a little time on my own to be honest.

Chris: Well, OK. But, I bet you’ll take that iPad with you, and just play games while I swim.

Amy: No, I won't. Not this time. I'm going to read a book for a change. I haven't done that in a while. Hey! Here's a thought. Do you want to take some food and have a picnic on the beach? We can make a day of it.

Chris: Yeah, lets. It's a good idea. We can spend the rest of the day there. It'll be fun.

Amy: Yes, it will. I am going to grab the food. Are you ready now?

Chris: Yeah, sure. Come on let's get that food and go.

Grammar Notes

Point 1: In conversation answers are often not grammatically complete. We do not repeat words or information that has just been said.
  1. Have you finished studying for those tests yet? I have/I haven’t.
  2. Do you want to go to the party with me? Yes, I do/No, I don’t.
Point 2: The usual short answer is subject plus auxiliary or modal verb.
  1. Did you telephone your mother? I did/I didn’t.
  2. Can you play the guitar? Yes, I can/No, I can’t.
Point 3: 'Let’s' can be used as a short answer meaning let’s do that. It is rarely used in a negative.
  1. Do you want to go up the mountain? Yes, let’s/No, I don’t.
  2. Shall we have a party? Let’s/No.
Point 4: 'Have' and 'be' as regular verbs are also used in short answers.
  1. Have you a cigarette? Yes I have/No, I haven’t.
  2. Is she coming? Yes, she is/No she isn’t.
Answer these questions about the interview.

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Vocabulary Challenge

Complete the sentences with the words below.
Yes, I do • I can • Let's
No, I haven't • I did
  1. Can you play guitar? .
  2. Do you have a car? .
  3. Have you got a pen? .
  4. Did you finish that work? .
  5. Shall we have a party? .