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

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Submitted by Saamongo on Sun, 26/07/2020 - 15:47

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Very intretesting but I use to give the following structures: WH questions: a)- wh+ aux+ s+ v + (c)? Used with the auxiliaries HAVE - BE and modals. b)- WH+do/does+s+v+(c)? When the verb is in the present tense. C)- WH+DID+S+V+(C)? When the main verb is in the past. YES/NO QUESTIONS: a)- aux+ S + V+ (c)? For the present, past, or future. b)- DO/Does+S+V+(c)? When the verb is in the present. C)- Did+S+V+(c)? When the verb is in the past.

Hello Oumou,

I've had a quick glance and what you wrote looks correct to me and seems to be what is taught on this page. Do you see a discrepancy between your formulas and what is on this page?

All the best,

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Teams

Submitted by Allate on Sun, 26/07/2020 - 00:46

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I'd like to know if there is a problem with these questions: When did you get home? I got home yesterday. Did the children go to the park? Yes, they went there after school.

Submitted by a1990 on Sat, 25/07/2020 - 18:50

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where do you live? Do you have kids? Does she work? How much does it coast? present simple: Do, Does He, she, it - Does I , you, we, they. -Do Past simple --- Did Did you visit Paris?

Submitted by EnglishIsChildsPlay on Wed, 17/06/2020 - 00:35

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Can you explain to me how to use whom in a question?

Hello EnglishIsChildsPlay,

In modern English whom is very rare and is used mainly when it directly follows a preposition (when who cannot be used). This is also true in question forms:

To whom did you give it? [not To who...]

 

The equivalent question using who would put the preposition at the end:

Who did you give it to?

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Dilnoza Sulaymonova on Fri, 12/06/2020 - 11:58

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Hello. Thanks for helpful information

Submitted by Masas on Wed, 06/05/2020 - 22:28

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Hello ! I am not understand the Subject questions. What is different between first and second question?
Profile picture for user Kirk

Submitted by Kirk on Thu, 07/05/2020 - 06:53

In reply to by Masas

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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

Submitted by Dimas wicaksono on Sun, 17/05/2020 - 10:12

In reply to by Masas

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First question, the word "broke" shows us that an action was in the past, not in the present. Second question, "is knocking" shows us that an action is happening.
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Submitted by Peter M. on Mon, 18/05/2020 - 07:28

In reply to by Masas

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Hello Masas,

Subject and object questions ask about different things. Subject questions ask abotu the subject (the doer of the action) and object questions ask about the object (the thing the action is done to).

 

For example, look at this sentence:

Paul bought a car.

In this sentence the subject is Paul and the object is a car.

> A subject question asks about Paul: Who bought a car?

> An object question asks about the car: What did Paul buy?

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Epardolez on Sat, 02/05/2020 - 22:41

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Thanks!! it's always good to remember some things :)
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Submitted by zabiullah on Sun, 12/04/2020 - 17:56

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

Submitted by Ammar Abu Dayei on Sun, 12/04/2020 - 10:46

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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

Kirk

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.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

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

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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

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

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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

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

Submitted by Vincent_MARTIN… on Mon, 10/02/2020 - 14:32

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Hello, That's a nice practice. Thanks