You are here

Question forms

Do you know how to make questions?

Look at these examples to see how questions are made.

Is he a teacher?
Does she eat meat?
When did you get here?
How much does a train ticket cost?

Try this exercise to test your grammar.

Grammar test 1

Question forms: Grammar test 1

Read the explanation to learn more.

Grammar explanation

To make questions, we often put the verb before the subject. This is called inversion.

Affirmative Question
I am late. Am I late?
I can help. Can I help?
She is sleeping. Is she sleeping?
We have met before. Have we met before?

If there is a question word (why, what, where, how, etc.), it goes before the verb.

Question Question with question word
Are you late? Why are you late?
Was she there? When was she there?
Can I help? How can I help?
Have we met before? Where have we met before?

This is true for sentences with be, sentences that have auxiliary verbs (e.g. They are waiting. She has finished.) and sentences with modal verbs (can, will, should, might, etc.).

Questions in the present simple and past simple

For other verbs in the present simple, we use the auxiliary verb do/does in the question.

Affirmative Question Question with question word
You work at home.   Do you work at home? Where do you work?
It costs £10.  Does it cost £10? How much does it cost?

We use the auxiliary verb did in the past simple.

Affirmative Question Question with question word
She went home.  Did she go home? Where did she go?
They went to the cinema.  Did they go to the cinema? Where did they go?

Subject questions

In some questions, who or what is the subject of the verb. There is no inversion of subject and verb in these questions.

Who broke the window?
Who is knocking on the door?

Do this exercise to test your grammar again.

Grammar test 2

Question forms: Grammar test 2

Language level

Beginner: A1
Pre-intermediate: A2

Comments

Hello !
I am not understand the Subject questions.
What is different between first and second question?

Hello Masas

In the sentence 'Who broke the window?', the subject of the verb 'broke' is 'Who'. Since the question word 'who' is also the subject of the verb, the verb goes in the regular past simple form ('broke'). This is a subject question.

In the sentence 'What did you break?', the subject of the verb is not 'What' but instead 'you'. Since the question word 'What' is not the subject, the verb goes in the question form 'did break': 'What did you break?'. This is not a subject question, since the question word and the subject of the verb are different.

I hope this helps.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks!! it's always good to remember some things :)

thanks the english team. it is very helpful after that, i understand how to make questions with auxiliary verbs.

I have a question please :
which question from the following is correct and why?
1. When you were in France?
2. When were you in France?

Hello Ammar Abu Dayei

The second sentence is correct and the first one is not. In this sentence, the verb is 'be' in the past simple tense. Other verbs in the past simple tense would need 'did' to make a question, but 'be' does not need 'did'. Instead, we simply invert (change the order of) the subject ('you') and the verb ('were').

Hope this helps.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

It's helpful.

What is the difference between:
Who broke the window?
and
Who did break the window?

Hello chinoune

The first one is the correct way to ask this question. 'Who did break the window?' could be used in a very specific situation, for example one in which you've been debating who broke the window, but most of the time, the first one is the correct one.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks

Pages