A question is a type of sentence. Questions begin with a interrogative (question word) and end with a question mark (?). There are many words in the English language that can function as question words. Some of the most common question words are who, what, when, where, why and how. These question words are used to gather information that we did not previously know.
Who is the president of your university?
What do you do for a living?
When are you going to Japan?
Where is the bank?
Why is the zoo closed?
How does this fax machine work?
The answer to the previous questions cannot be answered with a simple yes or no; the answers must be in the form of a statement.
Who is the president of your university? The president of my university is Mr. Jeffery Goins
What do you do for a living? I work as a bank teller.
When are you going to Japan? I'm going to Japan next week.
Where is the bank? The bank is down the street about two blocks.
Why are you driving so fast? Because I'm in a hurry.
How does this fax machine work? It's really very easy. Just press this green button.
|Who is used to ask about people.||Who did they see?|
|What is used to ask about things.||What are we having for lunch?|
|When is used to ask about time.||When are we going home?|
|Where is used to ask about place.||Where are you going?|
|Why is used when asking about causes.||Why did the police officer give you a ticket?|
|How is used to ask for instructions.||How do you make toast?|
The normal structure for most questions isquestion word + helping verb + subject.
|Question word||helping verb||subject||main verb|
|Why||did||the police officer||give||you a ticket?|
Questions beginning with who and what do not always follow the normal sentence order of question word + helping verb + subject.
In the two examples below, the question words are functioning as the subject of the questions.
1. What bus is this?
2. Who made this mess?
In number 1, the question word is followed by a noun and forms a question phrase.
The verb is comes between the subject and the complement this.
In example number 2, the question word, who, also functions as the subject of the sentence, and, like question number 1, there is no helping verb.
The main verb is made, and the complement is this mess.