building blocksMaking Questions


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)

Statement Question Answers
Elliot is reading a book. Is Elliot reading a book? Yes, he is.
No, he isn't.

Example (be-verb: ARE)

Statement Question Answers
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”

Statement Question Answers
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.

WH- Questions

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.

Information Questions

Question WH- Word Structure Answer
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.

When you are sure that you understand the lesson, you can continue with the exercises.