Asking and answering questions



Tour guide faces new challenges every day. One of the hardest parts of this job is answering questions. Unlike a speech that you can memorize, you won't always know what questions people will ask. However, you can anticipate certain types of questions and certain ways that questions will be asked.

Finally, it is important to know how to explain politely that you don't understand a question.

Language Focus

Guide Questions:

Do you have a question, Sir?

Yes? (if you see a hand raised)
Is there something I can help you with?
I'll try my best to answer your questions.
I'm afraid I don't have the answer to that.
Sorry I don't know.
That's an interesting question.
I wish I knew the answer.
Hmm. That's a tough (difficult) question.
I'll have to look into that further.
I'll have to ask someone about that.
Hmm. I've never been asked that before.
Pardon my English; I don't quite understand your question.
I'm not sure, but I can find out for you.

Tourist Questions:

Is that the __________you were talking about?
Are we going to pass the ________________?
Are we going to see any ________________?
Is it on the right or the left?
I don't see it. Can you point it out again?
Did I miss it? Will we see it on the way back?
Where is the _________________ from here?
How long has ________________ been here?
Where are we headed (going) now?
What time does __________ stay open until?
What else is there to do here?
Which _________________ do you recommend?
What's that over there?
Where's the best place to buy _____________?
My son wants to know if ________________?
Do you know where the nearest _________ is?
Could you tell us where the nearest _______ is?
You don't happen to have a first-aid kit, do you?
Are we allowed to take pictures?

Other Expressions:

Imagine, if you can, ...
… without doubt, …
…so the story goes …

iDevice icon Listening: Dialogue



You are going to listen to the dialogue between a tour guide and tourists. Fill in the blanks.

Click here.






Guide: If you have any while we're going along, please don't to ask .

Tourist 1: I have a question .

Guide: , what's ?

Tourist 1: the best place to have dinner here?

Guide: Well, that's a question. There are so many good restaurants. My personal is Black Beauty.

Tourist 1: do we there?

Guide: I'll it when we it. It's going to come up on your in a minutes.

Tourist 2: My daughter wants to know we're going to be any castles today?

Guide: Castles. No I'm all of the castles are further into the city. We're going to be staying near the today. I can

give you a map of the city, though. It where all of the castles are.

Tourist 1: Sorry, I have another question.

Guide: No problem. what I'm here for.

Tourist 1: Are we to take pictures we get inside the museum?

Guide: Oh, I'm glad you asked that. I forgot to mention that taking photographs inside the art gallery and the museum is

. , you can take pictures of the and the outside of the buildings. The is beautiful.

Tourist 2: Oh, and what will we be for lunch?

Guide: We'll around and back at the bus at 12:45 .



Read the dialogue, act it with your deskmate.





It's about a three minute ride up to the top of the mountain. As we pass the two towers the gondolla may sway a little.

Tourist 1:
This thing is safe, right?

Yes, you don't have anything to worry about. We do about 100 trips a day up the mountain, and these tours have been going on for over ten years without any accidents. Keep your eyes open for wildlife as we ascend. It isn't uncommon to see deer and even bears.

Tourist 2:
What's that mountain to the left called?

That's Mount Suur Karu. And to the right of that with the three small points is Mount Roheline.
Now, if you look up straight ahead, you should be able to see a large eagle's nest. Does everyone see it there?

Tourist 1:
Are there any baby birds?

That's a good
question. I haven't seen any yet, but we usually see them around this time of year.

Tourist 2:
What's that lake down there, to the right of the green meadow?

I'm glad you asked. That's Johannes Lake. It's actually a man made pond that was built as part of a conservation effort over twenty years ago. During the 70's there was a lot of clearcutting of forests in the area, and much of the wildlife was lost. Since Johannes Lake was built, ducks, swans, and geese have returned to the area.

Tourist 1:
Is this the highest mountain in this region?

No, actually, Mount Pikk, which you we will be able to see in just a minute or so has the highest peak. But, this is the highest mountain for recreational purposes like skiing and guided tours.

Tourist 2:
Can you ski throughout the year?

No, it warms up enough to actually suntan up there in the summer. Oh, look everyone. There are two deer feeding in the clearing right below us.

Tourist 1:
Thanks, that should be a great photo. So... what is there to do besides ski at the top of the hill at this time of year?

Oh, there's plenty to do. We have horseback riding, snowmobile tours, and a petting zoo for children. If you look to your left you'll see the snowmobile trail going through the mountain.


Work in group of 3. Make your own dialogue and act it.

IDevice Icon READING: Asking Questions

One of the students is working as a tour guide. Now he is giving an explanation to some tourists about a castle. At the back row, there are some friends who were talking during the explanation, so they didn´t pick up everything that the guide said. So they start asking questions. Ask not less 10 questions.

Excursion to the Episcopal castle of Haapsalu.




The episcopal castle of Haapsalu was built to be the main residence of the Bishop of Saare-Lääne bishopric and dates back to the 13th century. The castle was expanded into its current shape in the 16th century. The walls reached a height of 10 metres and were over 1 metre thick. The inside of the walls was equipped with moats and bastions housing cannons. During the Livonian War in the 16th century the castle was badly damaged. In the 17th century the castle was no longer used as a defence building by the Swedes who now ruled the Province of Estonia. The walls were partially demolished during the Northern War in 1710 at the command of the Russian Czar Peter who took over the rule of Estonia in the 18th century, turning the castle in effect into ruins. The western side of the castle houses a picturesque 29-metre Watchtower dating from the 13th century, later used as a bell tower. The Dome church attached to the castle was probably built in the 1260-s. The round baptism chapel on the eastern side of the church was built in the 14th or 15th century and is the site of a famous legend.


On moonlit August nights the shape of a Lady in White appears on the inside wall of the chapel. This Lady is said to have been a woman who was in love with the abbot and entered the castle against his orders, therefore having been walled in there alive as a punishment. The builders left a cavity into the wall and the poor girl with a piece of bread and a mug of water was walled in. For some time her cries for help were heard. Yet her soul could not find the peace and, as a result, she appears on the Baptistery’s window to grieve for her beloved man already for centuries, and also to prove the immortality of love.

The first drop –off is around 3 pm.