subject question

Subject Questions




Subject questions ask “who” or “what” did or does something, or is, are, was, or were something, someone, or someplace.


Subject + Predicate

“The prince dropped the vase.”

In the above sentence, ‘the prince’ is the subject. ‘Dropped the vase’ is the predicate; ‘vase’ is the object, and ‘dropped’ is the verb.

Predicate and Subject Questions

Predicate Questions:

What did the prince do? —> He dropped a vase.
What did the prince drop? —> A vase.
He dropped a vase

Subject Question:

Who dropped the vase? —> The prince.
The prince dropped the vase.


Another Example

Look at the following text:

“Alfie is a salesman. At about 10 o’clock he slowly ate three, spotted bananas because he was very hungry. Meanwhile Alfie’s client Shannon was drinking coffee.”

How many open-ended, predicate questions can we make from it?

• What did Alfie do?
• What did he eat?
• Why did Alfie eat the bananas?
• When did Alfie eat the bananas?
• What time did he eat the bananas?
• Which bananas did Alfie eat?
• What color were the bananas?
• How did Alfie eat the bananas?
• How many bananas did Alfie eat?
• What is Alfie’s job?
• Who is Alfie?
• Who is Shannon?
• What was Shannon doing?


Subject Questions

• Who is the salesmen? —> Alfie is.
Alfie is the salesmen.
• Who ate the spotted banana? —> Alfie did.
Alfie ate the spotted banana.
• Who was very hungry? —> Alfie was.
Alfie was very hungry.
• Who was drinking coffee? —> Shannon was.
Shannon was drinking coffee.
• Who is Alfie’s client? —> Shannon is.
Shannon is Alfie’s client.
• Which person ate the bananas? —> Alfie did.


Form of Subject Questions:

Who/What/Which-noun + verb + (object) ?

Who won the ping-pong (table tennis) tournament?
—> Huckleberry. Huckleberry won.
Who services (fixes) your computer? —>
Mr. Dvorak (does).
Who are passing out the fliers? —>
Mark and Mindy are.
What devastated this place? —> A tornado.
• Now, madam, which suspect stole your purse? —>
The one in the middle.
Who is flying the airplane (aeroplane)? —>
No one (Nobody) is; it’s on autopilot.



How would you respond?

1. Mrs. Crusoe’s strawberry pie is missing. What does she say?

2. What did the journalists ask the fire chief?

3. You see a new painting in your friend’s apartment. What do you ask her or him?

4. Your friend sees you typing on your keyboard. What does she or he ask you?

Answer the following questions. Say why and give examples

1. Who invented the car? The airplane? Who invented the computer? Who invented writing?

2. Who were the first people in your city or country? Who were next? Who came after?

3. Who (has) influenced you the most? Who do you admire the most?

4. Who organizes and leads protests and demonstrations (against the government, G-20, IMF, WB, WTO and OECD)?

5. Who is the most competent person to become president or prime minister?

6. Who are some dangerous people? Who is the most dangerous man or woman in the world?

7. Who “discovered” America? Who were the first (second, third) to reach America?


8. Who are the greatest men and women of your country? What did they do?

9. Who controls the government? Who controls the economy? Who controls the country? The world?

10. Who knows you the best: your flatmate, your neighbor, your mother, your brother, sister, your best friend, your spouse (wife, husband), girlfriend, boyfriend, your boss, the CIA (MI5, FSB), Google?

11. Who is very charismatic and charming?

12. Who improved the the economy? Who was responsible for the economic downturn or crisis (recession)

13. Who is the most beautiful woman in the world? Where did you see the most beautiful woman? Who is the most handsome man in the world? Where did you see the most handsome man?

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