Grammar – Present simple questions


In English, there are two main kinds of question. Closed questions (when the answer is yes or no) and open questions (when the answer answer could be anything).

How to make a closed question

The first word in a closed question is usually the do verb. Next is the subject, and then the main verb followed by the rest of the sentence.

Do you like chicken?

Does your brother live near here?

Do I look OK in these shoes?

Remember: I do, he/she/it does, we/you/they do

Also, note that in a question the verb doesn’t need to change for the subject.

She likes dancing.

Does she likes like dancing?

It works.

Does it works work?

Sometimes we use the be verb at the start of a closed question. This is usually followed by the subject and then a noun or an adjective.

Are you OK?

Is this your house?

Are they happy?

Remember: I am, he/she/it is, you/we/they are

When to use be and when to use do

We start a closed question with the do verb when there is another verb in the question. We use the be verb when there are no other verbs.

Do you like chicken?

Like is a verb, so we should use do.

Is the chicken delicious?

In this question, there are no other verbs, so we use the be verb.

Open questions

Open questions have answers other than yes or now.

Where do you live?

What is your favourite book?

How did you get here?

To make these questions, just put a question word at the front of a closed question.

Here are some common question words:

Note that sometimes the question word is also the subject. This happens often with who, which and where.

Who scored the goal?

Which one is yours?

Where is the beach?


Present simple questions

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