Forming questions

Structures of questions
If there is an auxiliary (helping) verb (be, have, can, will, etc), we put it before the subject (he, she, I, etc). Is anybody in the office?
Have you ever visited London?
What time will they be here?
If there is no auxiliary (helping) verb, we put do, does or did before the subject. Do you know my older brother? Did he come in time?
We put wh- words (when, where, why, who, how, etc.) at the beginning of the question. How long have you been waiting for me?
Where is their office?
Which colour do you like best?
We don't use do, does or did when we use what, which, who or whose as the subject. What happened to you?
What did happen?

Who told you about it?
Who did tell you?
Questions – common mistakes
Common mistakes Correct version Why?
What meant you by that?
You like this film?
What did you mean by that?
Do you like this film?
If there is no auxiliary (helping) verb, we put do, does or did before the subject.
Where you are going this afternoon?
You did read the letter?
Where are you going this afternoon?
Did you read the letter?
We put an auxiliary verb (is, are, did, does, etc) before the subject.
Who did give you the information? Who gave you the information? We don't use do, does or did when we use what, which, who or whose as the subject.
Does he knows your sister?
Where will she studies?
Does he know your sister?
Where will she study?
When there is an auxiliary verb, the main verb is in the infinitive form.
Can you tell me where can I buy a good camera? Can you tell me where I can buy a good camera? Word order in indirect question is the same as in a normal sentence: subject + verb

3 Comments

  1. Eliane Cavalher - January 26, 2017, 11:32 am Reply

    I have a doubt on questions with OR. Which one is correct?
    1. At 10 were you sleeping or had you got up yet?
    2. At 10, were you sleeping or you had already got up?
    I don´t know if the second question, after “or” should have a question order or an affirmative order…
    Another simpler example: Does she work or she is looking for a job? Does she work or is she looking for a job?

  2. anitha bolimela - July 6, 2017, 4:08 pm Reply

    which sentence grammatically correct.

    a) What kind of a job are you interested in?
    b) What kind of a job you are interested in?

    • igor - August 3, 2017, 5:54 pm Reply

      Question a is correct due to the right word order – auxiliary verb goes before the pronoun, but I am not sure, whether it should be “What kind of a job”. It seems the right variant is What kind of job

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