Linguapress
 Linguapress.com  Advanced level reading resources Intermediate reading resources English grammar online Language games and puzzles
Linguapress Essential ENGLISH GRAMMAR - Word order - 2
Linguapress for mobiles - home page Online English grammar Free advanced level resources Free inter­mediate level resources
linguapressEnglish grammar
on your mobile
Linguapress for Mobiles
Linguapress.com - online English grammar

Word order in questions in English

Interrogative structures in English

How to build correctly ordered questions in English


See also : tag questions

1. Word order in English questions:

Making correctly-formed questions in English is really so simple....  Almost all questions use the same structure.
All you need to do is to remember this simple and common English phrase:
   How do you do?
The structure of almost every simple question in English is based on this same model:
   (Question word if there is one) - Auxiliary or modal - subject - main verb - (plus the rest of the sentence):

1.1. Question words - or wh- words

In English there are three types of question word
  • Interrogative pronouns - who, whom, what, which
  • Interrogative determiners - which, what or whose (followed by a noun),
  • Interrogative adverbs -  where, why, how etc.
Important: take care !
In the interrogative, as in the negative, English verbs are ALWAYS made up of at least two elements, an auxiliary and the root verb.
In the interrogative there is only one exception to this rule, and that is certain tenses of the verb to be.  
  • Examples:  Are you ready ?   Were they impressed ?
For all other verbs - including to have - tenses that are formed with a single verb in an affirmative statement (i.e. the present simple and the simple past) are formed in the interrogative by the addition of the auxiliary do.

Examples
   Where did Jane Austen live?
   Did Arnold Schwarzenegger  learn English quickly?
   How quickly did Arnold Schwarzenegger  learn English ?
   Has the bank sent us an invoice yet?
   How many books have you read this year ?
   Is the new secretary being given her own laptop ?
   Can  the new secretary be given her own laptop ?
   How quickly can  the new secretary be given her own laptop ?
   Is  the new secretary nice ?
   Why can't we have a second chance?

1.2. Comparison between statements and questions with single-word tenses :

   He had a good time.   >   Did he have a good time?  
          NOT  Had he a good time?
   He lives in new York.   >   Does he live in new York?  
          NOT  Lives he in New York?

2. Exceptions:
Certain adverbs, notably short adverbs of frequency or time, can and indeed sometimes must be placed between the auxiliary and the root verb, as in statements. In questions, these adverbs are placed between the subject and the root verb.
   Has that French company yet sent us their order ?
   Can the new secretarysoon be given a bigger desk ?
   What sort of hats do the ladies usually wear?

Return to  Word order in English statements:

Going further: other issues of word order.
Specific word order issues are also considered on other pages:
Return to English Grammar index


Cette page en français:
 L'ordre des mots dans les questions en anglais








Bookmark or share

Linguapress online
CLEAR ENGLISH GRAMMAR
► Click for  Full Index
Selected grammar pages
Verbs
Verbs: the present tense
Verbs : the future
Verbs: conditional tenses
Phrasal & prepositional verbs
Irregular verb tables
Nouns
Noun phrases
Articles 
Adjective order in English
The possessive
Sentences & clauses
Relative clauses in English
Conditional clauses in English
Word order in English
Reported questions in English
Miscellaneous
Language and style 
Word stress in English
The short story of English
More resources
Reading resources: advanced 
Reading resources: intermediate
Crosswords and word games

CopyrightCopyright information.
Free to view, free to use in class, free to print, but not free to copy..
If you like this page and want to share it with others, don't copy the page, just share a link. Anyone can view this page, so there's no need to copy the page at all.



Linguapress.com -
Free EFL reading resources