1. Questions without question words and be

Subject and verb change their position in statement and question.

We always use the short answer, not only Yes or No. That's why questions without question words are also called YES/NO-questions.

2. Questions with question words and be

Question word Verb Subject Rest Answer
Where are you from? I am from Stuttgart.
I'm from Stuttgart.
What is your name?   My name is Peter.
How are Pat and Sue?   They are fine.
They're fine.

Questions with question words are also called WH-questions.

3. Questions without question words and have

Auxiliary Subject Verb Rest Yes/No Subject Auxiliary (+ n't)
Have you got a cat? Yes, I have.
Have you got a new car? No, we haven't.
Has your brother got a bike? Yes, he has.
Do you have a cat? Yes, I do.
Do you have a new car? No, we don't.
Does your brother have a bike? Yes, he does.

4. Questions with question words and have

Question word Auxiliary Subject Verb Rest Answer
Where have you got your ruler? I've got it in my pencil case.
Where do you have your ruler? I have it in my pencil case.

5. Questions without question words in the Simple Present

Auxiliary Subject Verb Rest Yes/No Subject Auxiliary (+ n't)
Do you read books? Yes,
No,
I
I
do.
don't.
Does Peter play football? Yes, he does.

6. Questions with question words in the Simple Present

Question word Auxiliary Subject Verb Rest Answer
What do you play on your computer? I play games on my computer.
When does your mother go to work? She goes to work at 6 o'clock.

7. Questions without question words in the Simple Past

Auxiliary Subject Verb Rest Yes/No Subject Auxiliary (+ n't)
Did Max play football? Yes,
No,
he
he
did.
didn't.

BUT:

to be Subject Rest Yes/No Subject Auxiliary (+ n't)
Were you in Leipzig last week? Yes,
No,
I
I
was.
wasn't.

8. Questions with question words in the Simple Past

Question word Auxiliary Subject Verb Rest Answer
What did you play yesterday evening? I played computer games.

BUT:

Question word to be Subject Rest Answer
Where were you yesterday? I was at the cinema.

9. Subject question

Question word Verb Rest Subject Verb Rest
Who runs to the shop? Peter runs to the shop.

10. Object question

Question word Auxiliary Subject Verb Rest Answer
Who did Mandy phone last Monday? Mandy phoned her uncle.

NOTE!

Subject question Object question
Who phoned John? Who did John phone?

How do we form questions in Passive voice?

Questions in Passive are formed with to be and the past participle *.

1. Questions without questions words in Passive (Simple Present)

Form of be Subject past participle Rest Yes/No Subject Auxiliary (+ n't)
Is the test written in room 311? Yes,
No,
No,
it
it
it
is.
is not.
isn't.
Are grapes grown in California? Yes,
No,
No,
they
they
they
are.
are not.
aren't.

II. Questions with questions words in Passive (Simple Present)

Question word Form of be Subject past participle Rest Answer
Where is the test written?   The test is written in room 311.
Why are grapes grown in California? Grapes are grown in California
because it's warm and sunny.

3. Questions without questions words in Passive (Simple Past)

Form of be Subject past participle Rest Yes/No Subject Auxiliary (+ n't)
Was the book taken to the classroom? Yes,
No,
No,
it
it
it
was.
was not.
wasn't.
Were the students taught at home? Yes,
No,
No,
they
they
they
were.
were not.
weren't.

4. Questions with question words in Passive (Simple Past)

Question word Form of be Subject past participle Rest Answer
Where was the book taken?   The book was taken to the classroom.
Why were the students taught at home? The students were taught at home
because the school was closed.

5. Other tenses

Here are some more examples in other tenses. Let's start with the simple forms:

Tense Auxiliary Subject Verb
Present Perfect Has the house been built?
Past Perfect Had the house been built?
will-future Will the house be built?
going to-future Is the house going to be built?
Future Perfect Will the house have been built?
Conditional Would the house be built?
Conditional Perfect Would the house have been built?

And here are two progessive forms:

Tense Auxiliary Subject Verb
Present Progressive Is the house being built?
Past Progressive Was the house being built?

1. Questions without question words in the going to-future

Auxiliary Subject going to Verb Rest Yes/No Subject Auxiliary
(+ n't)
Are you going to watch TV tonight? Yes,
No,
I
I
am.
am not.
Is Hillary going to read a book over the weekend? Yes,
No,
No,
she
she
she
is.
is not.
isn't.

2. Questions with question words in the going to-future

Question word Auxiliary Subject going to Verb Rest Answer
Where are you going to spend your holidays? I am going to spend my holidays in Italy.
What is Frank going to have for dinner? He is going to have a pizza.

► Use is with the 3rd person singular (he, she, it), am with the 1st person singular (I) and in all other persons are.

Use going to and the infinitive after the subject in all persons.


1. Questions without question words in the Past Progressive

Auxiliary Subject Verb Rest Yes/No Subject Auxiliary (+ n't)
Were you reading books? Yes,
No,
No,
I
I
I
was.
was not.
wasn't.
Was Peter playing football? Yes,
No,
No,
he
he
he
was.
was not.
wasn't.
Were they singing a song? Yes,
No,
No,
they
they
they
were.
were not.
weren't.

2. Questions with question words in the Past Progressive

Question word Auxiliary Subject Verb Rest Answer
What were you doing yesterday evening? I was working on my computer.
Where was Diana going at ten last night? She was going to a concert.
Why were they carrying the buckets? They were carrying the buckets
because they wanted to clean the car.

► Use was with the 1st and 3rd person singular (I, he, she, it) and in all other persons were.

Add -ing to the infinitive.


Questions in the Present Perfect

1. Questions without question words in the Present Perfect

Auxiliary Subject Verb Rest Yes/No Subject Auxiliary (+ n't)
Have you done the shopping? Yes,
No,
No,
I
I
I
have.
have not.
haven't.
Has Jane played basketball? Yes,
No,
No,
she
she
she
has.
has not.
hasn't.
Have they been to Canada? Yes,
No,
No,
they
they
they
have.
have not.
haven't.

2. Questions with question words in the Present Perfect

Question word Auxiliary Subject Verb Rest Answer
How often have you tried to download the file? I have tried to download the file three times.
How long have they lived in Ottawa? They have lived in Ottawa since 2009.
Where has he been?   He has been at home.

► Use has with the 3rd person singular (he, she, it) and in all other persons have.

Use the verb in the past participle:


1. Questions without question words in the Present Progressive

Auxiliary Subject Verb Rest Yes/No Subject Auxiliary (+ n't)
Are they writing e-mails? Yes,
No,
No,
they
they
they
are.
are not.
aren't.
Is Peter playing football? Yes,
No,
No,
he
he
he
is.
is not.
isn't.
Are they singing a song? Yes,
No,
No,
they
they
they
are.
are not.
aren't.

2 Questions with question words in the Present Progressive

Question word Auxiliary Subject Verb Rest Answer
What are you doing right now? I am working on my computer.
Where is Tyler going?   He is going to the pet shop.
Why are they carrying the buckets? They are carrying the buckets
because they want to clean their bikes.

► Use is with the 3rd person singular (he, she, it), am with the 1st person singular (I) and in all other persons are.

Add -ing to the infinitive.


1 Questions without question words in the will-future

Auxiliary Subject Verb Rest Yes/No Subject Auxiliary (+ n't)
Will you lend him the book? Yes,
No,
No,
I
I
I
will.
will not.
won't.
Will Jane arrive on time? Yes,
No,
No,
she
she
she
will.
will not.
won't.

2. Questions with question words in the will-future

Question word Auxiliary Subject Verb Rest Answer
When will you send me the e-mail? I will send you the e-mail tonight.
What will we need for the party? We will need cola, sandwiches and crisps.

► Use will every time regardless the subject.

The verb is used in the infinitive.


Question tags in English

1. Use

frequently used in spoken English when you want someone to agree or disagree

2. Form

3. Examples

3.1. with auxiliaries

3.2. without auxiliaries (don't, doesn't, didn't)

Questions tags are used to keep a conversation going. You can agree or refuse to a sentence with a question tag.

Possible answers are Yes or No. If you use Yes, do not use contracted forms. If you use No, contracted form are possible.


4. Special points

4.1. Although the negative word not is not in the sentence, the sentence can be negative. Then we use the positive question tag.

4.2. If have is a main verb in the sentence and refers to states, there are two possible sentences – We have a car, _____?

4.3. Use will/would with imperatives (Simple Present).

4.4. We use won't with a polite request.

4.5. We use shall after Let's.

4.6. Auxiliary must

We must be at home at 8 pm, mustn't we?

4.7. Personal pronoun I

I am late, aren't I?

This form is commonly used (mostly informal). It is because there is no contracted form for am + not (amn't). Grammatically correct would be: am I not. This is only used in formal situations.


Questions with question words and the verb be

Questions with question words – be (am, are, is)

Question word Verb Subject Rest Answer
Where are you from? I am from Stuttgart.
I'm from Stuttgart.
What is your name?   My name is Peter.
How are Pat and Sue?   They are fine.
They're fine.

Questions with can

Use can every time regardless the subject.

Auxiliary Subject Verb Rest Short answer
Can you speak English? Yes, I can.
Can you climb a tree? No,
No,
I
I
can't.
cannot.
Can he play rugby? Yes, he can.
Can Mandy read poems? Yes, she can.
Can they sing nice songs? No,
No,
they
they
can't.
cannot.

In WH-questions (questions with question words) can goes after the question word.

Question word Auxiliary Subject Verb Rest Answer
What can they ride?   They can ride skateboards.
Where can Frank play the trumpet? Frank can play the trumpet in his room.
When can she see her friends? She can see her friends after school.

Questions with have and have got

1. Yes/No Questions and short answers

1.1. have as a main verb

Auxiliary Subject Verb Rest Yes/No Subject Auxiliary (+ n't)
Do you have a cat? Yes, I do.
Do you have a new car? No, we don't.
Does your brother have a bike? Yes, he does.

1.2. have as auxiliary (have got)

Auxiliary Subject Verb Rest Yes/No Subject Auxiliary (+ n't)
Have you got a cat? Yes, I have.
Have you got a new car? No, we haven't.
Has your brother got a bike? Yes, he has.

2. Questions with question words (Wh-questions)

2.1. have as a main verb

Questions word Auxiliary Subject Verb Rest Answer
Where do you have your ruler? I have it in my pencil case.

2.2. have as auxiliary (have got)

Questions word Auxiliary Subject Verb Rest Answer
Where have you got your ruler? I've got it in my pencil case.

NOTE:


Questions in the Simple Past, Questions with did

1. Questions without question words in Simple Past

Auxiliary Subject Verb Rest Yes/No Subject Auxiliary (+ n't)
Did Max play football? Yes,
No,
he
he
did.
didn't.
Did you watch the film yesterday? Yes,
No,
I
I
did.
didn't.
BUT:
to be Subject Rest Yes/No Subject Auxiliary (+ n't)
Were you in Leipzig last week? Yes,
No,
I
I
was.
wasn't.

2. Questions with question words in Simple Past

Question word Auxiliary Subject Verb Rest Answer
What did you play yesterday evening? I played computer games.
When did she meet her boyfriend? She met him yesterday.
Where did they go after the match? They went to a café.
BUT:
Question word to be Subject Rest Answer
Where were you yesterday? I was at the cinema.

Questions in the Simple Present, Questions with do, does

1. Questions without question words in Simple Present

Auxiliary Subject Verb Rest Yes/No Subject Auxiliary
(+ n't)
Do you read books? Yes,
No,
I
I
do.
don't.
Does Peter play football? Yes,
No,
he
he
does.
doesn't.

2. Questions with question words in Simple Present

Question word Auxiliary Subject Verb Rest Answer
What do you play on your computer? I play games on my computer.
When does your mother go to work? She goes to work at 6 o'clock.
Where do you meet your friends? I meet them at the bus stop.

Questions with who and what – Subject – Object

1. Subject questions

Question word Verb Rest Subject Verb Rest
Who runs to the shop? Peter runs to the shop.
What happened yesterday? A tragedy happened yesterday.

2. Object questions

Question word Auxiliary Subject Verb Rest Answer
Who do you like?   I like my mum.
Who did Mandy phone last Monday? Mandy phoned her uncle.
What does he read?   He reads detective stories.

Mind the difference in meaning in the following two questions:

Subject question Object question
Who phoned John? Who did John phone?

Question words in English

Question words with examples

Nearly all question words in English start with the same two letters – WH. That's why questions with question words are also called WH-questions.

Question word Example
where Where do you live?
who Who are you?*
Who did you phone?**
when When do you get up?
what What is this?*
What are you doing?**
why Why do you smoke?
whose Whose book is this?
which Which bus do you take to school?
how How old are you?

* This is a subject question.

** This is an object question.

For more information see: Questions with who and what – Subject – Object


Short answers in English

Why do use short answers?

We do not use only Yes or No to answer a question. This is not polite. We use short answers. Here are some examples:

Yes/No question Short answer
Is he   from London? Yes,
No,
he
he
is.
isn't. *
Are the boys   at your school? Yes,
No,
they
they
are.
aren't. *
Can you play ice-hockey? Yes,
No,
I
I
can.
can't. *
Have we got ketchup? Yes,
No,
we
we
have.
haven't. *
Has she got a mobile phone? Yes,
No,
she
she
has.
hasn't. *
Do they live in a flat? Yes,
No,
they
they
do.
don't. *
Does he work in an office? Yes,
No,
he
he
does.
doesn't. *
Did it rain yesterday? Yes,
No,
it
it
did.
didn't. *
Are they writing a test now? Yes,
No,
they
they
are.
aren't. *
Have you been to Scotland? Yes,
No,
I
I
have.
haven't. *
Has she been waiting for long? Yes,
No,,
she
she
has.
hasn't. *
Is he going to see his sister? Yes,
No,
he
he
is.
isn't. *
Will we arrive on time? Yes,
No,
we
we
will.
won't. *

* Use long forms instead of contracted forms to emphasize your answer.

Do you like fish? – No, I do not.


Word order in English questions – Summary

1. Questions without question words and be

Subject and verb change their position in statement and question.

We always use the short answer, not only Yes or No. That's why questions without question words are also called YES/NO-questions.

2. Questions with question words and be

Question word Verb Subject Rest Answer
Where are you from? I am from Stuttgart.
I'm from Stuttgart.
What is your name?   My name is Peter.
How are Pat and Sue?   They are fine.
They're fine.

Questions with question words are also called WH-questions.

3. Questions without question words and have

Auxiliary Subject Verb Rest Yes/No Subject Auxiliary (+ n't)
Have you got a cat? Yes, I have.
Have you got a new car? No, we haven't.
Has your brother got a bike? Yes, he has.
Do you have a cat? Yes, I do.
Do you have a new car? No, we don't.
Does your brother have a bike? Yes, he does.

4. Questions with question words and have

Question word Auxiliary Subject Verb Rest Answer
Where have you got your ruler? I've got it in my pencil case.
Where do you have your ruler? I have it in my pencil case.

5. Questions without question words in the Simple Present

Auxiliary Subject Verb Rest Yes/No Subject Auxiliary (+ n't)
Do you read books? Yes,
No,
I
I
do.
don't.
Does Peter play football? Yes, he does.

6. Questions with question words in the Simple Present

Question word Auxiliary Subject Verb Rest Answer
What do you play on your computer? I play games on my computer.
When does your mother go to work? She goes to work at 6 o'clock.

7. Questions without question words in the Simple Past

Auxiliary Subject Verb Rest Yes/No Subject Auxiliary (+ n't)
Did Max play football? Yes,
No,
he
he
did.
didn't.

BUT:

to be Subject Rest Yes/No Subject Auxiliary (+ n't)
Were you in Leipzig last week? Yes,
No,
I
I
was.
wasn't.

8. Questions with question words in the Simple Past

Question word Auxiliary Subject Verb Rest Answer
What did you play yesterday evening? I played computer games.

BUT:

Question word to be Subject Rest Answer
Where were you yesterday? I was at the cinema.

9. Subject question

Question word Verb Rest Subject Verb Rest
Who runs to the shop? Peter runs to the shop.

10. Object question

Question word Auxiliary Subject Verb Rest Answer
Who did Mandy phone last Monday? Mandy phoned her uncle.

NOTE!

Subject question Object question
Who phoned John? Who did John phone?

Yes/No questions and short answers with the verb be

Yes/No questions – be (am, are, is)

Subject and verb change their position in statement and question.

We always use the short answer, not only Yes or No.

NOTE:

If the answer is Yes, we always use the long form. → Example: Yes, I am.

If the answer is No, we either use the long or the contracted form (short form). → Example: No, I am not → No, I'm not.

Verb Subject Rest Yes/No Subject Verb
Are you from Germany? Yes, I am.
Are you from Germany? No, I am not
'm not.
Is he your friend? Yes, he is.
Are Peter and John from England? Yes, they are.

© http://www.Englisch-hilfen.de – Learning English Online