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Subject and Object Questions

Most questions are object questions. In other words, they ask about an object. Examples:

Where do you live?
When do they arrive at school?
Why did he decide to go to Chicago?
How much does that book cost?
What do you want to do today?
Have you asked Tom the question?

In most classes, and in most cases, the focus is on object questions which place the helping verb before the subject followed by the main verb. However, there are also subject questions. Questions we ask to find out about the subject. These questions are asked using 'who', 'what' and 'which'. Examples:

Who plays football in this class?
Which type of car goes the fastest?
What information tells me about the economy?
Who loves Sharon?

In the case of subject questions the question word (i.e. who, which, what, etc.) or phrase acts as the subject of the sentence. In other words, a subject question is similar to positive sentence structure with the subject followed by the verb form.

Take a look at the following chart of question form to study the structure and differences between these two question forms.

Form Examples
Object Questions

?word auxiliary subject main Verb

Where do you live?
What will you do?
When is she coming?
Subject Questions

?word subject (auxiliary) main verb

Notice that this structure is like positive sentence structure without the question word.

Who loves you?
Which car will arrive first?
What type of food costs less?

Quizzes to test your knowledge of subject and object questions

Quizzes to test your knowledge of regular question forms in a variety of tenses

More Grammar Help

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