question forms


We make questions by:


1: moving an auxiliary to the front of the clause:

Everybody is watching >> Is everybody watching?
They had worked hard >> Had they worked hard?
He's finished work >> Has he finished work?
Everybody had been working hard >> Had everybody been working hard?
He has been singing >> Has he been singing?
English is spoken all over the world >> Is English spoken all over the world?
The windows have been cleaned >> Have the windows been cleaned?

2: … or by moving a modal to the front of the clause:

They will come >> Will they come?
He might come >> Might he come?
They will have arrived by now >> Will they have arrived by now?
She would have been listening >> Would she have been listening?
The work will be finished soon >> Will the work be finished soon?
They might have been invited to the party >> Might they have been invited to the party?

3: The present simple and the past simple have no auxiliary. We make questions by adding the auxillary do/does for the present simple or did for the past simple:

They live here >> Do they live here?
John lives here >> Does John live here?
Everybody laughed >> Did everybody laugh?




Hi there!
I found these questions:
'How many people used the subway in 2004?
How many people cycle in NY?'
and I was wondering why you don't use the auxillary did/do to make the questions.
Is it perhaps because 'How many people' is the subject and you use the same rule as with who/what/which as subject in questions? I mean questions like: 'What happened?', where 'what' is the subject.
Thank you very much for a reply

Hello Monica,

Yes, that's correct - when the question word refers to the subject, the auxiliary verb 'do/does/did' is not used. Good work!

Best regards,
The LearnEnglish Team

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best regards

Hi glovicx,

It's great that you want to do a language exchange online to practice your English, but I'm afraid our House Rules prohibit the sharing of personal information such as Skype account names.

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

hi, i'm a new student and now i'm studyng the verbs...i have difficult to understand past perfect simple and past peferct continuos :-) my english not good :-)

Hello davide32,

These two forms are some of the trickiest in English, so it's no surprise that you find them challenging. We have a page devoted to this topic, however, so hopefully that will help to clarify it for you.

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

The windows are cleaned isn't a right one, why do you prefer The windows have been cleaned?

twe cannot disappoint Grandma and Grandpa Smith, and that is what family is all about! Do you understand?!

According to me it should have been did u understand instead of do you understand?
Plz clear my doubt sir..

Even in movies people use do you understand instead of did u understand?why is it so.