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 auxiliary 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?

 

Exercise

Section: 

Comments

Hi English Team,
I'm a Self-learner, so I have learned English mostly through reading/writing/listening and never have any formal English class. Thus sometimes I get confused with some English constructs like between the Present Perfect and other Past Forms. I also have problems with questions using Did and Have. They often "sound" both correct to "my ears" like:
- Did you meet him? and
- Have you met him?

But now through your page, I deducted that when I form the "normal"/non-question sentences, I can determine which one is correct or would be better to use. For the above examples, if I intend to ask if my friend just met the third person (not long ago), I should use the past simple question "Did you meet him". But if I intend to ask whether my friend has ever met/knew the third person, I should use the second form. Is that correct?
And otherwise, do you have any suggestion to tackle my English problems more effectively?

Thanks for the awesome website and patiently answering reader's questions.

BTW: IMO the test is not very helpful because the first word was always properly capitalised thus giving the reader a too obvious clue.

Hello sinuhe69,

Yes, it sounds like you understand that correctly. The difference between the past simple ('did you meet') and present perfect ('have you met') is explained on our talking about the past page and the videos on this and this Word on the Street pages if you want to practise them a bit more.

If you've learned all this just from studying on your own, I'd encourage you to continue with the method you're using, as it seems to be working!

Thanks for your comment about the exercise. You're right of course, but we feel that capitalisation is important enough that it should be that way.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello, I'm new on the form, I'm enjoying my experience already. I can speak fluently but my biggest wickness is to write and read. I can read silently and understand .But in the class I get nervous and tend not to read well . I'm now focussing on my grammar and vocabulary . How can I improve in these two areas?

Hello Meque,

Welcome! There's some general advice on improving different aspects of English on our Frequently asked questions page. Many people find that reading a text out loud in class makes it more difficult to understand. I'd recommend asking your teacher for help with this skill, as it is one that's difficult to advise you about without knowing you. But you might want to read the texts silently to yourself after class so that you understand them better.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

hello, how can i start learning english.

Hello mlktr,

Welcome to LearnEnglish! We have a section called 'Getting started' which is designed to answer exactly this question - you can find it here. Please also take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions page, which has a lot of advice on how best to learn.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello, again!
Alex: "What subject do you like the most?"
Mark: "I like English best."
Why do we use "the most" and then we use "best" in this dialogue? What is the difference between the most and best?
Thank you for all the help?

Hello Sash,

In this context both can be used with the same meaning - there is no difference between 'like the best' and 'like the most'.

The second speaker chooses 'best' in order to avoid repetition; if the first speaker had said 'best' then the second speaker could have said 'the most' for the same reason.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

"The price for a pack of brown sugar is high." How do I analyze this sentence? Is there a lesson or material you can refer me to, please? Why is everything a subject

Hello Sash,

Can you please be more specific? What is it about the sentence that you don't understand? I'm afraid I don't understand what you mean when you say 'Why is everything a subject', as I don't see the word 'everything' in the sentence, and the subject of that sentence seems to be the price of a pack of sugar.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

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