By Edward C. Baig, Bob LeVitus

Siri, the intelligent, voice-activated virtual personal assistant who has been living like a genie inside the iPad since the third-generation model, not only hears what you have to say but also attempts to figure out the intent of your words.

She — yes, it’s a female voice (at least until you change it) — can help you dictate and send a message, get directions, discover who won the ballgame, tell you when a movie is playing, arrange a wake-up call, search the web, find a decent place to eat, and lots more.

To call Siri into action, press and hold down the Home button until you hear a tone. Or if your iPad is plugged in to a USB port or power adapter, you can get Siri’s attention by saying, “Hey Siri.” To enable this feature, tap Settings→General→Siri.

The beauty of Siri is that there’s no designated protocol you must follow when talking to her. Asking, “Will I need an umbrella tomorrow?” produces the same result as “What is the weather forecast around here?”

For fun, you can ask Siri questions such as, “What are you wearing?” or “What do you look like?” Iron Man fans will get a kick out of asking, “Can I call you “Jarvis?” (This question doesn’t work all the time — if you get a list of Google searches instead of a clever response, try again.)

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Here are some suggestions to get you started.

Siri questions regarding contacts

“What’s Michael’s address?”

“What is Susan Pink’s phone number?”

“When is my wife’s birthday?”

“Show Jennifer’s home email address.”

“Show Jason Jones.”

“Find people named LeVitus.”

“Who is Michael Schwartz?”

Questions for Siri regarding relationships

“My mom is Susan Pink.”

“Jodie Francisco is my sister.”

“Call my brother at work.”

Siri queries about calendars

“Set up a meeting at 9.”

“Set up a meeting with Michael at 9.”

“Meet with Lisa at noon.”

“Set up a meeting about hiring tomorrow at 9 a.m.”

“New appointment with Susan Park Friday at 3.”

“Schedule a planning meeting at 8:30 today in the boardroom.”

Change events

“Move my 3 p.m. meeting to 4:30.”

“Reschedule my appointment with Dr. Schwartz to next Monday at 9 a.m.”

“Add Lisa to my meeting with Jason.”

“Cancel the budget review meeting.”

About your events

“What does the rest of my day look like?”

“What’s on my calendar for Friday?”

“When is my next appointment?”

“When am I meeting with Michael?”

“Where is my next meeting?”

Responding to email messages with Siri

“Reply Dear Susan sorry about the late payment.”

“Call him at work.”

Sending email messages through Siri

“Email Lisa about the trip.”

“Email Jennifer about the change in plans.”

“New email to Susan Park.”

“Mail Dad about the rent check.”

“Email Dr. Schwartz and say I got the forms, thanks.”

“Mail Lisa and Jacob about the party and say I had a great time.”

Checking email messages through Siri

“Check email.”

“Any new email from Carole today?”

“Show new mail about the lease.”

“Show the email from Lisa yesterday.”

“Do I have any new messages?”

“Read my notifications.”

Locating friends and family with Siri’s help

“Where’s Jason?”

“Where is my sister?”

“Is my wife at home?”

“Where are all my friends?”

“Who is here?”

“Who is near me?”

Siri questions regarding maps and directions

“How do I get home?”

“Show 1 Infinite Loop Cupertino California.”

“Directions to my dad’s work.”

“Show my current location.”

“Show me the Statue of Liberty.”

“Show me directions from Washington DC to Philadelphia Pennsylvania.”

Siri questions about local businesses

“Find coffee near me.”

“Where is Starbucks?”

“Find some burger joints in Baltimore.”

“Find a gas station within walking distance.”

“Good Mexican restaurants around here.”

Sending and replying to text messages (SMS) with Siri

“Tell Susan I’ll be right there.”

“Send a message to Heywood Jabuzzoff.”

“Send a message to Lisa saying how about tomorrow.”

“Tell Paulie the show was great.”

“Send a message to Susan on her mobile saying I’ll be late.”

“Send a message to 408 555 1212.”

“Text Jason and Lisa where are you?”

Reading text messages (SMS) with Siri’s help

“Read my new messages.”

“Read it again.”

“Reply that’s great news.”

“Tell him I’ll be there in 10 minutes.”

“Call her.”

Playing music and videos through Siri

“Play One of My Turns.”

“Play Listen to Her Heart.”

“Play The Beatles shuffled.”

“Play Rolling Stones.”

“Play some blues.”

“Play my party mix.”

“Shuffle my road trip playlist.”

“Play”

“Pause”

“Skip”

Creating and finding notes through Siri

“Note that I spent $12 on lunch.”

“Note: check out that new Roger Waters album.”

“Find my restaurant note.”

“Create a reading list note.”

“Add The Stand to my reading list note.”

Setting a reminder with Siri

“Remind me to call mom.”

“Remind me to call my mom when I get home.”

“Remember to take an umbrella.”

“Remind me take my medicine at 6 am tomorrow.”

“Remind me to pick up flowers when I leave here.”

“Remind me when I leave to call Jason.”

“Remind me to finish the report by 6.”

Checking stocks through Siri

“What’s Apple’s stock price?”

“What is Apple’s PE ratio?”

“What did Yahoo close at today?”

“How is the Nikkei doing?”

“How are the markets doing?”

“What is the Dow at?”

Making a FaceTime call with Siri

“Make a FaceTime call to Dirk.”

“FaceTime Mom.”

Having Siri search the web

“Search the web for Bora Bora.”

“Search for vegetarian pasta recipes.”

“Search the web for best cable plans.”

“Google the War of 1812.”

“Search Wikipedia for Abraham Lincoln.”

“Search for news about the World Cup.”

“Bing Todd Rundgren.”

Checking the weather through Siri

“What’s the weather for today?”

“What’s the weather for tomorrow?”

“Will it rain in Cupertino this week?”

“Check next week’s forecast for Burlington.”

“What’s the forecast for this evening?”

“How’s the weather in Boca Raton right now?”

“How hot will it be in Palm Springs this weekend?”

“What’s the high for Anchorage on Thursday?”

“What’s the temperature outside?”

“How windy is it out there?”

“When is sunrise in Paris?”

Launching an app with Siri

“Play Angry Birds.”

“Open Music.”

Posting to Facebook via Siri

“Post on Facebook ‘On my way to the beach.’”

“Write on my timeline ‘Having a great time in Florida.’”

Posting to Twitter via Siri

“Post to Twitter Windows Tablet PC Blog is too funny!”

“Tweet Who are you voting for this election hashtag politics.”

“Tweet my location Having fun at the beach!”

Siri questions regarding movies and theaters

“What movies are coming out this weekend?”

“What movies are playing near me?”

“Find movie theaters near my office.”

“What are the best movies playing right now?”

“What R-rated movies are playing?”

“What action movies are playing?”

“Show me reviews of the movie Finding Nemo.”

“When was the movie Pulp Fiction released?”

“Who starred in the movie Pulp Fiction?”

“What movie won best picture in 1998?”

Questions regarding restaurants

“Show me reviews for Cheesecake Factory in Arlington.”

“Show me good seafood restaurants near me.”

“Table for four in Washington DC Friday Night.”

Siri questions about sports

“Show me football scores from Sunday.”

“When do the Chicago Cubs play next?”

“Which NFL team has the most yards?”

“Show me the roster of the New York Mets.”

“Show me career statistics for Peyton Manning.”

More things you can ask Siri

“How many calories in a bagel?”

“What is an 18% tip on $86.74 for four people?”

“Who’s buried in Grant’s tomb?”

“How long do dogs live?”

“What is the Gossamer Condor?”

“What’s the square root of 128?”

“How many dollars is €45?”

“What was the Best Picture of 1983?”

“How many days until Christmas?”

“How far away is the sun?”

“When is the next solar eclipse?”

“Show me the Orion constellation”

“What’s the population of Jamaica?”

“How high is Mt. Everest?”

“How deep is the Atlantic ocean?”

“What’s the price of gasoline in Austin, Texas?”