Grammar: Questions in English

Published 03/08/2015 In Blog




Constructing questions in English can be very confusing for English learners, so for help check out the following post: 



1. The basic rule for questions in English is inversion, which is inverting the order of the subject and the first auxiliary verb.

                                              He (subj) can (modal verb) speak English   =   Can he speak English? 

                                             I will go to the bank tomorrow  = Will you go to the bank tomorrow?

                                             They have spoken to their mother  = Have they spoken to their mother? 

                                             It is snowing  = Is it snowing? 



2. In order to ask certain types of questions we use words, which we often refer to as WH question words (what, where, when, why, who, which, whose,  how, etc.). Following is the full list and their meaning: 


what: asking for information about something // asking for repetition or confirmation

where: asking in or at what place or location

why: asking for reason, asking what...for

when: asking about time

who: asking what or which person or people (subject)

how: asking about manner // asking about condition or quality

which: asking about choice

whose: asking about ownership

whom: asking what or which person or people (object)

how far: asking about distance

how long: asking about length

how much: quantity (uncountable)

how many: quantity (countable)


When we construct sentences we use the words mentioned above and we follow the QUASM structure, which is: 































        to drink?











        to work every day?


             How many cars












When what, who, which or whose are the subject or part of the subject, we do not use the auxiliary.

In this case we use the word order subject + verb: 


What countries border with Spain?

Which famous clock tower is in London?

Who built the Sagrada Familia?




3. The YES/NO questions, such as: 'Do you like apples? 'Yes, I do' do not use the question words appearing above but they follow the

ASM (Auxiliary + Subject + Main Verb) structure: 


                                                                  Did you go (ASM) to school today? 

                                                                  Do you want to go to France?

                                                                  Does she speak English?




4. Questions with the verb 'TO BE'. In this case the verb goes at the beggining of the sentence:  


                                                                   Are you learning English?

                                                                   Is Mary living in Paris?

                                                                   Were her parents speaking to the teacher?                                            

                                                                   Whose album is called Thriller? 



Hopefully this grammar point will have helped you understand how we construct questions in English. 

If you still have questions, don't hesitate contacting me at


I will be more than happy to answer any questions!


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