Question forms & subject/object questions


Question forms & subject/object questions

Review of question forms

Yes/No questions

  • Is he a teacher? Yes he is.
  • Can you swim? No, I can’t.
  • Have they got a car? Yes they have.

To form yes/no questions where there is an auxiliary verb or a modal verb, we invert the word order of a positive sentence. (He is a teacher > Is he a teacher?)

  • Do you eat fish? No I don’t.
  • Does she know you. Yes she does.

When there is no auxiliary verb we use ‘do’ to form the question.

With question words

The same rules apply when there is a question word (‘what’, ‘where’, ‘when’, ‘why’, ‘who’, ‘which’, ‘how’, ‘how much’, ‘how many’)

  • Where is the hotel?
  • What can you smell?
  • Who has just arrived?

Where there is an auxiliary or modal verb, that verb is used to form the question.

  • How did you get here?
  • When do your parents get back?
  • How much does it cost?

Where there is no auxiliary verb, we use do.

Subject/Object questions

Sometimes you might see questions like this.

  • Who broke the window?
  • What happened next?
  • Who told you that?

There is no auxiliary verb and the word order is not inverted.

These are called subject questions – because the question word is the subject of the sentence.

Look at these two questions.

  • Who does Romeo love? Romeo loves Juliet.
  • Who loves Romeo? Juliet loves Romeo.

In the first question, Romeo is the subject of the verb.

In the second question ‘who’ is the subject and Romeo is the object.