Yes or No Questions

Types of questions

There are two types of questions:

Yes-no questions

Yes or no questions are questions whose expected answer is either "yes" or "no".

How to form yes-no questions

In English, a special word order (Verb Subject Object) is used to form yes-no questions.


Affirmative Yes or No Question
They are American Are they American?
She is nice Is she nice?
The rules

1. If the main verb of the sentence is "to be", simply invert the subject and the verb to be:


  • They are American. — Are they American?
  • They are nice. — Are they nice?

2. If the sentence includes a main verb and another or other helping (auxiliary) verb(s), invert the subject and the (first) helping (auxiliary) verb.


  • They are visiting Paris. — Are they visiting Paris?
  • She has done the housework. — Has she done the housework
  • Nancy has been working all night long. — Has Nancy been working all night long?
  • He will be reading the book. — Will he be reading the book?

3. If the sentence includes a verb which is not the verb "to be" and doesn't include a helping (auxiliary) verb, the transformation is more complex.

a. If the verb is in the present tense, add either do or does and put the main verb in its base form:

  • do if the subject is the first person singular, second person singular, first person plural, second person plural and third person plural (I, you, we, they)
    I like apples. — Do you like apples?
    They go to a high school. — Do they go to a high school?
  • does if the subject is the third person singular (he, she, it).
    Nancy reads a lot. — Does Nancy read a lot?
    He hates basketball. — Does he hate basketball?

b.If the verb is in the past tense, add did and put the main verb in its base form:


  • He discovered the truth. — Did he discover the truth?
  • She wrote a nice essay. — Did she write a nice essay?
  • They did the homework. — Did they do the homework?

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