Subject Object Questions in English

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1. Subject questions

When we want to know the person or thing who performed the verb we need to ask about the subject.

This type of question is called a subject question, and subject questions do NOT use the auxiliary verbs do, does, and did.

Question wordVerbRestSubjectVerbRest
Wholivesin that house?Susanlivesin that house.
Whathappenedto you?Ihadan accident.

2. Object questions

Most questions in English are object questions – we want to know about the receiver of the action. 

For questions in the simple present, the auxiliary verbs are do and does: 

Question wordAuxiliarySubjectVerbRestAnswer
Whodoyoulove? I love my wife.
WhodidJohnphonelast night?John phoned his wife.
Whatdoeshedo? He works in a bank.

Mind the difference in meaning in the following two questions:

Subject questionObject question
Who phoned Susan?Who did Susan phone?