Questions for beginners

In English, there are different types of questions. In this lesson, you will get to know them briefly and see some examples for each type. Are you ready?

"Questions" in the English Grammar

What Are Questions?

Questions are sentences that are used when we need an answer or are asking for information. In writing, questions are usually followed by a question mark.

Questions: Types

We have two major types of questions in English:

Yes/No Questions

Yes/no questions are those that need either a 'yes' or a 'no' as the answer.

Yes/No Questions: Formation

If we have verbs like 'be', 'do', and 'have' as auxiliary verbs, we form yes/no questions using the structure below:

'Be'/'Have'/'Do' + Subject + Main Verb

Are you leaving?

Has he called?

Does it look okay?

If there is a modal verb in the sentence, we form yes/no questions using the structure below:

Modal verb + Subject + Main Verb

Can you swim?

Should I go?

If we have no auxiliary or modal verbs, we add the auxiliary verb 'do', 'does', or 'did' to form questions:

Do you usually exercise?

Did you forget your keys?

If 'be' is used as the main verb of the sentence, we just need to change the place of the subject with the verb 'be'. We do not need an auxiliary verb. For example:

Is her name Sarah?

Is he your brother?

Wh-Questions

We form 'wh-questions' with 'wh-words', like 'what', 'when', 'where', 'who', etc. We use them to ask for information. We cannot answer them with 'yes' or 'no'.

How to Form Wh-Questions

If the sentence has an auxiliary verb ('be', 'do' or 'have') or a modal verb, we form wh- questions using the structure below:

Wh- word + 'be', 'do' or 'have' + subject + main verb
or
Wh- word + modal verb + subject + main verb

Where do you live?

What can I do for you?

If the sentence has no auxiliary verbs, and 'what', 'who', 'which', or 'whose' is the subject of the sentence, we do not use an auxiliary.
The word order is subject + verb.

Who called last night?

What dropped from the tree?

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