I am trying to write a lesson about QASM question structure (Where did you go, what will they see etc.) How should I explain the fact that the following questions don't seem to take an auxiliary verb? How many of the students come from (cityname)? Which colour suits me the best in your opinion? Whose parents drive them to school everyday?

I realise the QASM structure cannot be used for 100% of questions but is there a good way to explain when and why auxiliaries are not needed?

1 Answer 1


When the question word is the subject there is no auxiliary verb and the verb agrees with the subject.

Who do you love? I love you. you is the object. The question is looking for object. 'You' are the subject who loves someone.

Who loves you? She loves me. The question is looking for the person who loves me. It looks for the subject.

I am supposing your students know what subject and object is. Give a few more examples and point out all the questions are trying to understand who or what is the subject.

Who broke the window? She broke it. What killed the dog? Food killed the dog.

  • You wrote "I love you. You is the object. (...) "you" is the subject who loves someone. So is it object or subject, in this sentence?
    – Quidam
    Oct 11, 2019 at 13:01
  • In the sentence "I love you", (you) is the object. (I) is the subject. The question is; Who do you love? > I love you. In another question: Who loves you? > He loves me. In the question "Who loves you?" the question is trying to find the subject who loves you. (you) is again object.
    – Grizzly
    Nov 8, 2019 at 1:33

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