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Questions and negatives

Level: beginner

Yes/No questions

Yes/No questions are questions which we answer with 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 first part of the verb in front of the subject:

Are they working hard? 
Will they be working hard?
Had they worked hard?
Have they been working hard?
Might they have been working hard?

Yes/No questions 1
Yes/No questions 2


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.
They haven't been working hard.
They mightn't have been working hard.

Negatives 1


Negatives 2


Present simple and past simple questions and negatives

For all verbs except be and have, we use do/does or did to make Yes/No questions in the present simple and past simple:

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 use do/does + not or did + not to make negatives in the present simple and past simple:

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 be in the present simple and past simple:

Positives Questions Negatives
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)
Positives Questions Negatives
I was Was I? I was not (I wasn't)
He was Was he? He was not (He wasn't)
She was Was she? She was not (She wasn't)
It was Was it? It was not (It wasn't)
You were Were you? You were not (You weren't)
They were Were they? They were not (They weren't)

We make questions and negatives with have in two ways. Usually we use do/does or did:

Do you have plenty of time?
Does she have enough money?
Did they have any useful advice?

don't have much time.
She doesn't have any money.
They didn't have any advice to offer.

but we can also make questions by putting have/has or had in front of the subject:

Have you plenty of time?
Has she enough money?
Had they any useful advice?

and make negatives by putting not or n't after have/has or had:

haven't much time.
She hasn't any money.
He hadn't any advice to offer.

Present simple and past simple questions and negatives 1


Present simple and past simple questions and negatives 2



Wh-questions are questions which start with a word like what, when, where, which, who, whose, why and how.

Question words


Questions with when, where, why

We form wh-questions with these words by putting the question word in front of a Yes/No question:

They are working in a shop. > Where are they working?
They have been working hard for their exams. > Why have they been working hard?
They arrived at six. > When did they arrive?

Questions with who, what, which

When we ask whowhat and which about the object of the verb, we put the question word in front of a Yes/No question:

He is seeing Joe tomorrow. > Who is he seeing tomorrow?
I want a computer for my birthday. > What do you want for your birthday?
I'd prefer some tea. > Which would you prefer, tea or coffee?
Wh-questions 1


When we ask whowhat and which about the subject of the verb, the question word takes the place of the subject:

Barbara gave me the chocolates. > Who gave you the chocolates?
Something funny happened. > What happened?
The dog frightened the children. > Which dog frightened the children?

We sometimes use what or which with a noun:

What subjects did you study at school?
Which English newspaper started in 1986?
What subjects does everyone have to study?
Which newspaper do you prefer, The Times or the Guardian?

Wh-questions 2


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?

Questions with how 1


Questions with how 2


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 question:

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 an hour. > How long were they waiting for?
Questions with verbs and prepositions 1


Questions with verbs and prepositions 2


Level: intermediate

Other ways of asking questions

We sometimes use phrases like these in front of a statement to ask questions:

Do you know …?    
I wonder …    
Can you tell me …?

For Yes/No questions, we use the phrases with if:

This is the right house. > Do you know if this is the right house?
Everyone will agree. > I wonder if everyone will agree.
Mr Brown lives here. > Can you tell me if Mr Brown lives here?

For wh-questions, we use the phrases with a question word:

Do you know who lives here?
I wonder how much this dress is.
Can you tell me where she comes from?

We often use do you think …? after question words:

How much do you think this dress is?
Where do you think she comes from?
Who do you think lives here?

Indirect questions 1


Indirect questions 2


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.
We were asked not to park in front of the house.


Good day
I have 2 questiona
First question is, can I use negative with wh questions.?
For example
What don't you eat?
Where don't you go?
How don't you answer the question?

Second question
Can I use theis phrase ( what to do or what I know) in a place of subject.
For example
I can say ( that is what I know) (he knows how to work) in place of object
But in place of subject ( what I know is he can not go)
How to play football depends on your desire to learn.

Hello Munir1405,

The answer to your first question is 'yes'. All of the questions you wrote are correctly formed.

The answer to your second question is also 'yes'. 'I don't know what to do' or 'She doesn't know what I know' are both correctly formed and so are the three other examples in brackets. In the last sentence, I'd suggest 'How you play football' instead of what you wrote.

All the best,


The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks a lot for your quick reply, regarding the negative wh question. You said, they are formed correctly, but the main question
Are they used commonly in the English communities?

Hello Munir1405,

That's a difficult question to answer, really. I can say that they are less common than affirmative wh-questions, but I'm afraid it's difficult to say much more than that.

All the best,


The LearnEnglish Team

Really helpful. Thanks.

Hello Sir,
use the correct form of the interrogative pronoun in the following and explain
1.-------------do men say that i am ?
2.-------------do you believe did this?
Thanks in advance!

Hello Syed Faisal Khalil,

In terms of standard use, both who and whom are possible in these sentences. Whom sounds rather more formal and possible old-fashioned, while who sounds more contemporary and a little less formal. Obviously, the context and intended style is key here.


There is some discussion amongst grammarians about whether a subject or object pronoun is required in these kinds of sentences. In my view, an object pronoun is the better option. For example, if we use the same structure in an affirmative sentence (rather than a question) thenwe use an object pronoun (me) rather a subject pronoun (I):

Some say that the author of the anonymous book is me, but it's not true.


Since we can use who as an object pronoun as well as a subject pronoun in most contexts, I would tend towards who rather than whom unless my aim was for an archaic style.



The LearnEnglish Team

Hello sir.

Please read the sentence below.

)Having finished the work,he has gone to the market.)

I know the meaning of this sentence but sir,pls tell me how having works here,I mean to ask,is it auxiliary verb? o is it adjective?or what is this?,if it is auxiliary,auxiliary doesnt take the ing form.
Please explain in detail.

And also tell me the difference between..Iam done and I have done.

Hello Riyaz Shiekh,

This is an example of a participle clause. Present participles are verb forms created with -ing, so the present participle of the verb finish is finishing. When we add perfect aspect we have what is sometimes called a perfect participle: having finished.


Participle clauses have various uses. You can read about them on this page:


In your example, the participle clause gives us information about what the person did before he went to the market, and suggests that the two actions were connected in some way.


Please post your questions on one page only rather than on multiple pages. We answer questions as soon as we can, and if the same question is posted more than once we have to delete the duplicates first, which only means that it takes longer for us to answer the question.



The LearnEnglish Team

Sir..Iam not clear still,kindly tell me,whether having here is an adjective or present participle of have or what is this?.

Having finished the work,he has gone out.