Subject questions and object questions

We use subject questions when we are asking about who, what, etc. did the action. We do not use an auxiliary verb after the question word if the question word (who, what, etc.) is the subject of the sentence.

  • Who won the match? (NOT Who did win … )
  • What happened last night? (NOT What did happen … )
  • How many people went to the party? (NOT How many people did go …)

When we are asking about the object (after the verb) we use the normal order of the English question: auxiliary verb + subject. These types of questions are called object questions.

Object question vs subject question


Jack called Teresa. (Teresa = object) Jack called Teresa. (Jack = subject)
Who did Jack call? (Who = object) Who called Teresa? (Who = subject)


Questions with preposition

In informal or spoken English, when a question word needs a preposition, the preposition goes at the end of the question (after the verb or after verb + object if there is an object). We don’t use the preposition at the beginning.

  • I played tennis with John.  Who did you play tennis with
  • I work for a multinational company   What company do you work for?
  • We usually talk about sports. What do you usually talk about