Subject and Object QuestionsDownload this explanation in PDF here.
Usually, when we ask a question, we want to know about the object of the answer:
- What did you lose?
- I lost my purse.
Here's another example:
- Who did John meet?
- John met Lucy.
When we usually learn about how to make a question, we learn about object questions, because they are the most common type of question. The normal rules that you learn about making questions, such as inverting the question word and the auxiliary verb, or adding 'do', 'does' or 'did', are all used in object questions.
However, sometimes we want to ask a question where the thing we want to know is actually the subject of the answer.
Here's an answer:
- Lucy kissed John.
- Who did Lucy kiss?
- Who kissed John?
Let's have a look at some more examples:
- James dropped the glass.
- Object question: What did James drop?
- Subject question: Who dropped the glass?
- We will read the book.
- Object question: What will you read?
- Subject question: Who will read the book?
- Amanda washed the car.
- Object question: What did Amanda wash?
- Subject question: Who washed the car?
- The students like their new professor.
- Object question: Who do the students like?
- Subject question: Who likes the new professor?
- I'm buying some bread.
- Object question: What are you buying?
- Subject question: Who is buying some bread?