The question is about the rule of asking questions in Past Simple tense. Please, look at the questions below and tell me if my thinking and naming of questions stated here are correct?

For example affirmative sentence would be:

You broke it!

and the object question would be:

What did I break?

the subject question would be:

Who broke it?

The other example of affirmative question:

They took her home.

Object question:

Where did they take her?

Subject question:

Who they took home?

And the main doubt about the above is: Where should one use "did" form and where past form of a verb alone. I've read somewhere that "did" should be always used when in affirmative sentence "did" or "do" is used. I also read somewhere that when we form subject question its past form of a verb alone (without operative) should be used.

How would the subject and object questions might look like in Past Simple tense. The main question is about the rule to use "did" or verb alone in the sentence. I am little confused with all above and the next sentence.


They talked to this guy yesterday.



Are there any other possibilities to use "did" in the questions in addition to mentioned above if they are correct?


"THEY TALKED TO THIS GUY YESTERDAY" (SIMPLE PAST) 1)SUBJECT QUESTION: Who talked to this guy yesterday? Whichever affirmative subject question, (beginning with "who" or "what"),is immediately followed by the corresponding verb tense. "Wanda sends him a message every day" (SIMPLE PRESENT) SUBJECT QUESTION: Who sends him a message every day?(verb always in 3rd person singular. Whereas.... 1)OBJECT QUESTION (SIMPLE PAST)(WHO + AUX + SUBJECT + MAIN VERB IN BASE FORM. (WHO DID THEY TALK TO(MAIN VERB IN BASE FORM) YESTERDAY? 2)OBJECT QUESTION (SIMPLE PRESENT)(WHO DOES WANDA SEND(BASE FORM) A MESSAGE TO EVERY DAY?) IF IT ISN'T CLEAR ENOUGH, ASK ME FOR MORE EXAMPLES AND EXPLANATIONS IN DIFFERENT TENSES

  • Thanks! What about the sentence: I washed 6 cars yesterday. Subject question : Who washed 6 cars yesterday? Object question: What did I wash yesterday? But the other I can ask is: How many cars did I wash? And: How many cars did you wash? I suppose these last two are nor strict Object nor subject... or am I wrong? What are they called? – Arcadio Mar 17 '16 at 5:58
  • 2
    CAPS LOCK IS CRUISE CONTROL FOR COOL – John Clifford Mar 17 '16 at 9:15

When I look at your example questions they are all correct except for the last one which should be "Who (or 'whom' to be really pedantic) did they take home?"

This is because your last question is not a subject question, that would be "They took home whom?" Except that that is not very idiomatic.

A better example of a subject question would be "She went home with whom?" as 'She' is the subject of 'went', that is 'she' did the going. In the case of "Who they took home" the subject of the verb is 'they' because 'they' did the taking and the object is 'who' because the answer to 'who?' is the person who was taken, so the grammatical structure is wrong.

In your final sentence the subject is 'they' as 'they' did the talking, and the object is 'this guy' as he is the person to whom they were talking. If you want to check that try leaving out parts of the sentence and see if it still works. "They talked" is a sentence as it has someone doing something and something which is being done; but "talked to this guy" is not a sentence because no one is doing the talking.

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