UNIT 47. Questions 1

Australia-10 grammar


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:


who object

Sarah called somebody

somebody – object
Who – object

Who did Sarah call?

who subject

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)