Word order in English questions – Summary

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1. Questions without question words and be

Subject and verb change their position in statement and question.

  • Sentence: You are from Germany.
  • Question: Are you from Germany?

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?

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