Wh- Questions allow a speaker to find out more information about topics. They are as follows:
Other words can also be used to inquire about specific information:
|Which (one)?||Choice of alternatives|
|Whom?||Person (objective formal)|
|How much?||Price, amount (non-count)|
|How many?||Quantity (count)|
|What kind (of)?||Description|
The “grammar” used with wh- questions depends on whether the topic being asked about is the “subject” or “predicate” of a sentence. For the subject pattern, simply replace the person or thing being asked about with the appropriate wh-word.
|(Someone has my baseball.)||Who has my baseball?|
|(Something is bothering you.)||What is bothering you?|
For the predicate pattern, wh- question formation depends on whether there is an “auxiliary” verb in the original sentence. Auxiliary or “helping” verbs are verbs that precede main verbs. Auxiliary verbs areitalicized in the following sentences.
- I can do it.
- They are leaving.
- I have eaten my lunch.
- I should have finished my homework.
To make a question using the predicate pattern, first form a yes/no question by inverting the subject and (first) auxiliary verb. Then, add the appropriate wh- word to the beginning of the sentence.
|(You will leave some time).||? will you leave
When will you leave?
|(He is doing something).||? is he doing
What is he doing?
|(They have been somewhere).||? have they been
Where have they been?
If there is no auxiliary and the verb is “be,” invert the subject and verb, then add the appropriate wh- word to the beginning of the sentence.
|(He is someone).||? is he
Who is he?
|(The meeting was some time).||? was the meeting
When was the meeting?
If there is no auxiliary and the verb is not “be,” add do to the beginning of the sentence. Then add the appropriate wh-question word. Be sure to “transfer” the tense and number from the main verb to the word do.
|(You want something).||? do you want
What do you want?
|(You went somewhere).||? did you go (past tense)
Where did you go?
|(She likes something).||? does she like (third person -s)
What does she like?
I hope you keep practicing and doing exercises about it, and that you learn it.
See you, until the next time.