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.


Dear LearnEnglish Team,

Thanks for such useful information.

I have a question about section 7:

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

Question: what does "IB" stand for? Infinitive......?

Thank you,


Hello cmbonnar,

That was an error, so thank you very much for asking! I've just fixed it (now it says 'the to-infinitive' instead of 'IB') and it should be visible on the page within the next few hours.

Thanks again for taking the time to tell us about this!

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

good evening

First,I want to ask about (There is and There are in Question case),
e.g: there is a student in the class,
Is Questions correct ?
What in the class is there ?
Where student is there ?

Second, If the sentence like this (My key in the car), where are the Subject and verb in this sentence?

All the sentences above in lesson have verb and subject, but in English so much sentences doesn't have verb or subject.

I have a problem with them, Please help me

Hello Ahmad.1989,

Those two questions are not quite correct. I'm not sure because I don't know exactly what you want to say, but the first should probably be 'What is there in the class?' and the second should probably be 'Where is the student?' or maybe 'Where is there a student?' You might want to look at our it and there page for more on 'there is'/'there are' in general.

The other sentence you ask about is not correct because it doesn't have a verb. It should probably be 'My key is in the car'. In theory, all English sentences should have a subject and verb in them, as those are the minimum requirements for a series of words to be a sentence. When we speak, or when you read conversations in novels, we often leave out words, for example, the subjects of verbs, but that is a different case than normal writing. If you spot a sentence without a subject and verb that you want to ask us about to help you understand this, please feel free.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

hi peter

i have a question about that "verb- question & negative" task last question.

why it has been coming "have & had " together already came "may".pls clarify the question. i have little bit confuse about that.

Hello taj25,

Modal verbs can be followed by 'have' + the past participle form of a verb, and that is the case here. See our modals + have and may and may have pages for more.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello again The LearnEnglish Team,
I guess in this sentence the word 'phrase' must be plural: 'We use these phrase with if for Yes/No questions:' (6. Other ways of asking questions; the second one)
Best regards,

Hello Dima,

Once again, many thanks!


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Hello The LearnEnglish Team,
I guess there's a misprint in this sentence where the placement of the definite article seems incorrect: 'We use a phrases like these in front of a statement to ask questions:'
(6. Other ways of asking questions; the first one)
With gratitude,

Hello Dima,

Once again, thank you! You certainly have a great eye for catching typos and it's very helpful to us!


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team