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)
Do you need to improve your English grammar?
Join thousands of learners from around the world who are improving their English grammar with our online courses.
Profile picture for user Peter M.

Submitted by Peter M. on Mon, 25/01/2021 - 08:11

In reply to by Praneet Dixit


Hello Praneet Dixit,

Both forms are grammatically possible, but the second is the one we use in almost all contexts.

The first form sounds very formal and rather archaic. Unless you are aiming for this kind of rhetorical effect, for example while giving a political speech or a religious sermon, it would not be appropriate.



The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Luis Fernando … on Wed, 02/12/2020 - 22:28

Oh yeaH!!

Submitted by Josef Stalin on Tue, 10/11/2020 - 13:49

for the Motherland!!!

Submitted by MPhayTp on Sat, 24/10/2020 - 14:38

Dear Team, What is the difference between these two? Do you have a pen? Or Do you have any pens? I'll glad if you explain when to use 'articles' and when to use 'any'. Thanks.

Submitted by AnaGallupi on Thu, 15/10/2020 - 21:09

Very good exercise.

Submitted by Rubin Jahé on Wed, 14/10/2020 - 13:26

Hi sir, I want to ask something. Which sentence has the correct form? 1. Why is the ball so round? 2. Why the ball is so round? Thank you, sir

Hello Rubin Jahé,

The first sentence is correct. To make a question with the verb be, we use inversion, so the verb (is) comes before the subject (the ball).



The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Via on Wed, 14/10/2020 - 05:32

Hello, When should I use are, do, does, or did to ask a question?
Profile picture for user Kirk Moore

Submitted by Kirk Moore on Wed, 14/10/2020 - 08:08

In reply to by Via


Hello Via,

This is explained above. 'do' and 'does' are used to ask questions with many verbs in the present simple and 'did' is used in the same way, but to speak about the past.

If there's a specific part of the explanation you have a question about, please let us know.

All the best,


The LearnEnglish Team