1. Yes/No questions

Yes/No questions are questions to which the answer is Yes or No

Look at these statements:

They are working hard.
They will be working hard.
They had worked hard.
They have been working hard.
They might have been working hard.

We make Yes/No questions by putting the subject, they, after the first part of the verb:

Are they working hard?
Will they be working hard?
Had they worked hard?
Have they been working hard?
Might they have been working hard?

2. Negatives

We make negatives by putting not after the first part of the verb:

They are not working hard
They will not be working hard
They had not worked hard
They have not been working hard
They might not have been working hard

In spoken English we often reduce not to n’t:

They aren’t working hard.
They won’t be working hard
They hadn’t been working hard

Reorder the words to make questions and negative statements.

3. Questions and negatives with present simple and past simple forms:

For all verbs except be and have we use do/does and did with the base form of the verb to make Yes/No questions for the present simple and past simple forms:

They work hard >>> Do they work hard?
He works hard >>> Does he work hard?
They worked hard >>> Did they work hard?

For all verbs except be and have we make negatives by putting not after do/does and did for the present simple and past simple forms:

They work hard >>> They do not (don’t) work hard
He works hard >>> He does not (doesn’t) work hard
They worked hard >>> They did not (didn’t) work hard.

Here are the question forms and negative forms for the verb be in the present simple and past simple:

I am (I’m) Am I? I am not (I’m not)
He is (he’s) Is he? He is not (He’s not/He isn’t)
She is (she’s) Is she She is not (She’s not/She isn’t)
It is (it’s) Is it It is not (It’s not/It isn’t)
You are (you’re) Are you You are not (You’re not/You aren’t)
They are (they’re) Are they They are not (They’re not/They aren’t)


The verb have:

We make questions and negatives with have in two ways:

  • normally we use do/does or did for questions :

Do you have plenty of time?
Does she have enough money?
Did they have any useful advice?

  • and negatives:

I don’t have much time.
She doesn’t have any money.
They didn’t have any advice to offer.

  •  … but we can make questions by putting have, has or had in front of the subject:

Have you plenty of time?
Had they any useful advice?

  • … and we can make negatives by putting not or n’t after have, has or had:

We haven’t much time.
She hadn’t any money.
He hasn’t a sister called Liz, has he?

4.  Wh-questions

Wh-questions are questions which start with a question-asking word, either a Wh- word (what, when, where, which, who, whose, why) or questions with the word how.

Questions with: when, where, why:

We form wh-questions with these words by putting the question word in front of a Yes/No question:

Where are they working?
Why have they been working hard?
Where does he work?
Where will you go?
When did they arrive?

Questions with who, which and what (see Pronouns):

  • Sometimes who or what takes the place of the subject (see Clauses, Sentences and Phrases) of the clause:

Who gave you the chocolates? >>> Barbara gave me the chocolates.
Who is looking after the children? >>> My mother is looking after the children
Who mended the window? >>> My brother mended the window
Who could have done this? >>> Anybody could have done this.

  • We use what in the same way:

What will happen?
What caused the accident?
What frightened the children?

When we ask who, which and what about the object of the verb (see Clauses, Sentences and Phrases), we make questions in the way described in 1 and 3 above with who, which or what at the beginning of the clause:

He is seeing Joe tomorrow >>> Who is he seeing tomorrow?
I want a computer for my birthday >>> What do you want for your birthday?
She has brought some fruit for the picnic >>> What has she brought for the picnic?
They need a new car >>> What do they need?

We sometimes use which or what with a noun:

What subjects did you study at school?
What newspaper do you read?
Which newspaper do you read – the Times or the Guardian?
Which book do you want?

Questions with how:

We use how for many different questions:

How are you?
How do you make questions in English?
How long have you lived here?
How often do you go to the cinema?
How much is this dress?
How old are you?
How many people came to the meeting?

Match the questions words with the questions.

5. Questions with verbs and prepositions:

When we have a question with a verb and a preposition the preposition usually comes at the end of the clause:

I gave the money to my brother >>> Who did you give the money to?
She comes from Madrid >>> Where does she come from?
They were waiting for more than an hour >>> How long were they waiting for?

Reorder the words to make questions.

6. Other ways of asking questions:

We use phrases like these in front of a statement to ask questions:

Do you know…? I wonder... Can you tell me …?

  • We use these phrases with if for Yes/No questions:

This is the right house >>> Do you know if this is the right house?
Mr. Brown lives here >>> Do you know if Mr. Brown lives here?
Everyone will have read the book >>> I wonder if everyone will have read the book.

… or with wh-words:

I wonder how much this dress is.
Can you tell me where she comes from?
Do you know who lives here?

  • We often use do you think…? after wh-words:

How much do you think this dress is?
Where do you think she comes from?
Who do you think lives here?

7. Negatives with the to-infinitive:

When we make a negative with the to-infinitive we put not in front of the to-infinitive:

He told us not to make so much noise.
They were asked not to park in front of the house.


Reorder the words to make questions and statements.


Hello Delta,

Both meanings are possible. The context should make it clear which is needed. For example, if two people are waiting for their friends to arrive then 'How long' would refer to time, meaning 'How much time'. On the other hand, if two people are waiting to see something physical, where length is an important aspect, such as cables, bandages or similar, then 'How long' might refer to the physical length.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you Peter. Now I get it.

Hello Dear Learn English Team,

Thanks for your help & information.

I have a question that ... which option is correct? with its explanation.
1. You havent said why ........................... to come.
a. dont you want
b. you dont want
c. you didnt want
d. you hadnt wanted

Hello Golden Eyes,

I'm afraid we don't provide answers to questions like this. We're happy to explain language use and help our users with their learning but we can't provide answerst to questions from tests or homework or from exercises from elsewhere.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Kirk
I have a question about negative sentences. some sentences were negatived by an auxiliary verb (do, does, and did) when there isn't any '' to be verb ''. but some sentences were negatived with using ''not'' lonely. for instance, I suggested that he not buy that coat.
All the best

Hello amirali,

That's a good observation! There are two things to consider here. First, of all the different verb tenses that main verbs have forms in, only the present simple and past simple use 'do/does' (or 'did') to make a negative form (as is explained in section 3 above). All the other tenses use the auxiliary verb 'be' or 'have' or a modal verb, and to make them negative we simply add 'not' to form the negative.

The second thing to consider is that there is no main verb in 'that he not buy that coat'. This is a clause used after the main verb 'suggested'. After the verb 'suggest' you can use a gerund form (e.g. 'buying', 'I suggested not buying that coat') or a 'that' clause with a bare infinitive ('I suggested that he not buy that coat'). To make a gerund or bare infinitive negative, we simply put 'not' before them.

That's a long answer, but I hope that helps you understand it. If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team



Hi, what is the grammar rule to use for this question and any notes for that? Thanks
Daniel seldom fell ill last year, ____ he?
1. did
2. does
3. didn't
4. doesn't

Hello Preetimaha,

Which answer do you think is correct, and why? This kind of question is called a question tag, and you can read more about it on our Question tags page, but I'd also encourage you to ask your teacher about this.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Good day.
I have a question about Section 6.
In a book... From a direct question " Do you want to come?"..it was changed to an indirect one. " I was wondering if you wanted to come."
Is it wrong if I say " I was wondering if you want to come?"

Thank you .

Hello Reyjel,

Both 'want' and 'wanted' are possible here. There is a slight difference: if we say 'want' then the invitation refers to an event which has not yet happened, while if we say 'wanted' then it could be an event which has finished or one which has not yet happened.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team