There are many different ways to form questions. We will look at two kinds of questions. One is called a yes / no question and the other is called a WH- question.
Yes / No Questions
A yes / no question is a question that can be answered with yes or no. Yes / no questions can be formed using the words is / are or do / does.
The most common type of yes / no question is formed by putting a to be verb (for example, is or are) at the beginning of a question.
Making a Question with a “To Be” Verb
Example (be-verb: IS)
|Elliot is reading a book.||Is Elliot reading a book?||Yes, he is.
No, he isn't.
Example (be-verb: ARE)
|They are from Greece.||Are they from Greece?||Yes, they are.
No, they are not.
Another common type of yes / no question is formed by adding do or does at the beginning of a sentence.
The form of this kind of yes / no question is: Do / Does + subject +verb*
Making a Question with “Do” or “Does”
|I eat breakfast at 7 a.m.||Do you eat breakfast at 7 a.m.?||Yes, I do.
No, I don't.
|I listen to music.||Do you listen to music?||Yes, I do.
No, I don't.
|He doesn't work on the computer.||Does he work* on the computer?||Yes, he does.
No, he doesn't.
|We don't watch TV every night.||Do we watch TV every night?||Yes, we do.
No, we don't.
|I start work at 8 p.m.||Do you start work at 8 p.m.?||Yes, I do.
No, I don't.
|It takes* an hour to walk home.||Does it take an hour to walk home?||Yes, it does.
No, it doesn't.
* Note that the -s is never added to the verb when using do / does in a question.
Questions can ask for information. You ask for information using WH- question words (who, what, where, how, whose, why, and when).
WH- questions have a different structure when "who" is the subject.
|Where is the hotel?||Where
Information about place
|question word + auxiliary verb + subject||The hotel is on Douglas Street.|
|What is your name?||What
Information about things
|question word + auxiliary verb + subject||My name is Rachael.|
|Why is the road wet?||Why
Information about the reason for something
|question word + auxiliary verb + subject||The road is wet because it was just raining.|
|When do you get up?||When
Information about time
|question word + auxiliary verb + subject (+ verb)||I get up at 7:00 every morning.|
|How do you drink your coffee?||How
Information about the manner or way in which something is done
|question word + auxiliary verb + subject (+ verb)||I drink my coffee with milk and sugar.|
|Who lives in that house?||Who (subject)
Information about people
|question word + verb||My mother lives in that house.|
|Whose pen is this?||Whose
Information about possession (who the owner is)
|question word + subject + verb||That is Camilla's pen.|