In questions we usually put the subject after the first verb:
|Subject + Verb||Verb + Subject|
|Tom will||->||will Tom?|
|you have||->||have you?|
|the house was||->||was the house?|
- Will Tom be here tomorrow?
- Have you been working hard?
- When was the house built?
Remember that the subject comes after the first verb:
– Is Catherine working today? (not Is working Catherine)
In simple present questions, we use do / does:
you live -> do you live?
the film begins -> does the film begin?
- Do you live near here?
- What time does the film begin?
In simple past questions, we use did:
you sold -> did you sell?
the train stopped -> did the train stop?
- Did you sell your car?
- Why did the train stop?
But do not use do/does/did if who/what, etc., is the subject of the sentence. Compare:
Sarah called somebody
somebody – object
Who – object
Who did Sarah call?
Somebody called Sarah.
Somebody – subject
Who – subject
Who called Sarah?
In these examples, who/what, etc., is the subject:
– Who wants something to eat? (not Who does want)
– What happened to you last night? (not What did happen)
– How many people came to the meaning? (not did come)
– Which bus goes downtown? (not does go)
Note the position of prepositions in questions beginning Who/What/Which/Where …?
– Who do you want to speak to?
– What was the weather like yesterday?
– Which job has Ann applied for?
– Where are you from?
You can use preposition + whom in formal style:
– To whom do you wish to speak?
Isn’t it …? / Didn’t you …?, etc. (negative questions)
We use negative questions especially to show surprise:
– Didn’t you hear the doorbell? I rang it three times.
or when we expect the listener to agree with us:
– “Haven’t we met somewhere before?” “Yes, I think we have.”
Note the meaning of yes and no in answers to negative questions:
– Don’t you want to go to the party?
– Yes. (= Yes, I want to go)
– No. (= No, I don’t want to go)
Note the word order in negative questions beginning Why …?:
– Why don’t we go out for a meal tonight? (not Why we don’t go)
– Why wasn’t Mary at work yesterday? (not Why Mary wasn’t)