Question forms

Question forms

Do you know how to make questions? Test what you know with interactive exercises and read the explanation to help you.

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

Average: 4.2 (55 votes)
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Submitted by Ammar Abu Dayei on Sun, 12/04/2020 - 10:46

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?
I think the second question is the correct question form. You can see in the example of question with question above

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


The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Ammar Abu Dayel,

The second sentence in correct. To make questions with the verb be we use inversion and put the subject after the verb.



The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by chinoune on Sun, 22/03/2020 - 10:39

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


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Cham on Mon, 24/02/2020 - 11:23

I absolutely have to do excices to improve my grammar in english. Thank you so much for your help

Submitted by OLGA RAMIREZ on Fri, 14/02/2020 - 16:19

We should practice a lot this part of the grammar. Thank you for help us.