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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    Why + negative question

    Hi

    In a question, is it grammatically correct to use "Why isn't/doesn't subject ...." or "Why subject isn't/doesn't ...." ?

    I suppose the first one is right, but I would like to be sure, thanks.

    EDIT: Now I see I have put it to a wrong section, can someone please move it to "Ask a Teacher"? thank you

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    #2

    Re: Why + negative question

    Hello nbusach

    Why + auxiliary + subject

    • Why isn't Max here?
    • Why doesn't Max call?
    • Why hasn't anyone told us?
    • Why wouldn't Max come?
    • Why call Max now?



    Why + subject + auxiliary/verb

    • Why Max isn't here is unknown to us.
    • Why Max didn't call is another story.

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    #3

    Re: Why + negative question

    Why call Max now?

    Is it right? If so, what does it mean?

    Thanks in advance.


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    #4

    Re: Why + negative question

    Why call Max now?

    Why call Max now? It's after midnight, so there's nothing he can do to help at this time of night. Wait and ring him in the morning.

    We still haven't sorted:

    Why isn't Max home? It's way after midnight.

    and

    Why Max isn't President escapes me. I mean, the way he talks, he has the answer to all the world's problems.

    Anyone?
    Last edited by Excalibur; 14-Nov-2009 at 12:58.

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    #5

    Re: Why + negative question

    Quote Originally Posted by Excalibur View Post


    We still haven't sorted:

    Why isn't Max home? It's way after midnight.

    and

    Why Max isn't President escapes me. I mean, the way he talks, he has the answer to all the world's problems.

    Anyone?
    Why isn't Max home? is an example of question formation.

    To make a question from a statement, add a WH-word and invert the subject-verb:

    Statement: Max isn't home.
    Question: Why isn't Max home?



    The sentence Why Max isn't home escapes me is parsed as follows:

    Subject: The reason that/why Max isn't home
    Verb: escapes
    Object: me

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