How to ask questions in English

Mar 26, 2012

Hi guys.

Today we're going to look at how to form questions.

The basic question form is (qu)asv. That means question word, auxiliary, subject, verb.
For example, Where=q do=auxiliary you=subject come=verb from?

The main auxiliary verbs are do, be and have. Also we use must, have to, should, would, will, shall e.t.c.
Some more examples with the auxiliary verbs in italics:

1. How old do you think she is?
2. Will you help?
3. Where should we go?
4. What are you doing?

Remember, the verbs do, be and have can be auxiliary verbs or main verbs.

For example, here the first sentence has have an auxiliary and the second has have as the main verb.
1. Which countries have you visited?
2. Where did you have your party?

Now, there are two exceptions to this rule:
Firstly, when the main verb is be then an auxiliary verb is not necessary in English:
1.Are you English?
2.Where is the ball?
As you can see, there is no auxiliary in these sentences.

Next, we don't need an auxiliary when the question is a subject question. This means when the question word is the subject of the verb:
1. Who wrote Romeo and Juliet?
2. What is the thing that annoys you the most?
3. Which scientist discovered gravity?
Of course, there is no auxiliary in these sentences, only a main verb.

So, in summary, all question need an auxiliary, unless the main verb is be or the question is a subject question.

We'll do some practice tomorrow, as well as going through some of the mistakes that people make when forming question in English.

Good luck with your English!

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