In these sentences, why isn't there an auxiliary verb? I would expect that there will be one after "Who" in both sentences:

1) Who cooks when Karen and Andy have friends round for dinner,

2) Who chatted to people online at the weekend?

closed as unclear what you're asking by Janus Bahs Jacquet, phenry, anongoodnurse, Kristina Lopez, tchrist Jan 31 '14 at 0:25

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  • Why on earth would you expect auxiliaries just because the sentences start with who? There's no reason whatsoever to have auxiliaries in either of those two sentences. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jan 26 '14 at 17:49
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    Present tense (cooks) and past tense (chatted) are true tenses -- the only ones in English -- and take inflections (-s, -ed) instead of auxiliary verbs. Questions that do contain auxiliary verbs undergo subject-auxiliary inversion (Who are they inviting?); and they may require Do-Support (Who does Karen cook for?). But this doesn't happen with questions where (a) the Wh-word is the subject (as here), and (b) there is a single, tensed main verb (as here). – John Lawler Jan 26 '14 at 18:01

I suppose you could say 'Who does the cooking when Karen.....' and 'Who was it who chatted to people online...'. But the sentences make perfectly good sense as they are written.

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    Those versions don't have auxiliary verbs in them either; they use does and was in their non-auxiliary senses. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jan 26 '14 at 17:48
  • @JanusBahsJacquet I thought that when I wrote it, but I am rather puzzled by the question. – WS2 Jan 26 '14 at 17:54
  • When who is the direct object, then the question form is: 1) Who does Alan love? A) He loves Anne. But 2) Who loves Anne? A) Alan loves her. Who in 2) is the subject. Likewise "Who do Karen and Andy cook for?" and "Who did the people online chatted to?" – Mari-Lou A Jan 26 '14 at 19:17

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