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    #1

    Why did not we use (( the helping verbs )) in these questions ?

    Hi. i am an esl student. i have learned that i should use the helping verbs to form questions with present simple tense. But i notice that there are many qustions do not apply that rule.

    e.g. What makes good friend ? (( Why did we put (( s )) ))

    I think it must be : What does make good frind ?

    e.g , What friendship means ? (( Why did we put (( s )) ))

    i Think it must be . What does friendship mean?

    I appreciate your help

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    #2

    Re: Why did not we use (( the helping verbs )) in these questions ?

    Quote Originally Posted by nora2000 View Post
    Hi. i am an esl student. i have learned that i should use the helping verbs to form questions with present simple tense. But i notice that there are many qustions do not apply that rule.

    1) e.g. What makes a good friend ? (( Why did we put (( s )) )) We put "s" there for the same reason you put the "es" in your last sentence.

    I think it must be : What does make a good friend? Sentence 1) is better for a basic question. Sometimes "does" is added for some emphasis.

    e.g , What friendship means ? That's not a grammatically correct question.
    I think it must be 'What does friendship mean?' Yes, here you need "does".

    You can say 'What does X mean?' But you can't say 'What means X?' or 'What X means?'
    2006
    Last edited by 2006; 30-Dec-2010 at 07:01.

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    #3

    Re: Why did not we use (( the helping verbs )) in these questions ?

    As you say, questions are normally formed using auxiliaries (with the pattern: Question word if there is one - Auxiliary - Subject - the rest).

    However we say "What makes a good friend?", using the normal English word order for ordinary sentences (not questions). The rule is that this happens when the question word and the subject are the same. (In your example, "what" is the subject.)

    As 2006 has commented, your other example is actually incorrect.

    Hope this helps.

  1. lauralie2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Why did not we use (( the helping verbs )) in these questions ?

    Quote Originally Posted by nora2000 View Post
    i have learned that i should use the helping verbs to form questions with present simple tense.
    Yes, that's right, if a word or phase has been moved, like this:


    1. Friendship means helping one another.
    2. What does friendship mean?


    3. Helping one another makes a good friendship?
    4. What makes a good friendship?

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    #5

    Re: Why did not we use (( the helping verbs )) in these questions ?

    Quote Originally Posted by orangutan View Post
    However we say "What makes a good friend?"
    Why can't "What" be a substitute for a countable plural noun in this question?

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    #6

    Re: Why did not we use (( the helping verbs )) in these questions ?

    Quote Originally Posted by vgv8 View Post
    Why can't "What" be a substitute for a countable plural noun in ["What makes a good friend?"]?
    'What' is by default singular in number; moreover, its referent can be singular or plural:

    Q: What makes a good friend?
    A: Many things make a good friend.
    Q: What does he have in his hand?
    A: Candies. <plural>
    A: A candy. <singular>

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    #7

    Re: Why did not we use (( the helping verbs )) in these questions ?

    Quote Originally Posted by lauralie2 View Post
    [/INDENT]
    Q: What does he have in his hand?
    A: Candies. <plural>
    A: A candy. <singular>
    Does not "does" relate here to subject "he" which is different from question word "What"?

    Quote Originally Posted by lauralie2 View Post
    [INDENT]Q: What makes a good friend?
    A: Many things make a good friend.
    This is the case I asked about, which "orangutan" defined above as:
    "when the question word and the subject are the same"

    That is, when what is the same and known to be plural, can I write:
    "What make a good friend"?

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    #8

    Re: Why did not we use (( the helping verbs )) in these questions ?

    Quote Originally Posted by vgv8 View Post
    Does not "does" relate here to subject "he" which is different from question word "What"?
    Yes, it does, but that particular example was provided secondary, to show auxiliary placement (the topic of this thread), not subject-verb agreement (your question). The first example provided did that.


    Quote Originally Posted by vgv8 View Post
    This is the case I asked about, which "orangutan" defined above as:
    "when the question word and the subject are the same"
    More clearly, when the Wh-word is the subject:


    1. What makes a good friend?
    2. What make a good friend?


    • 'make' is wrong because the subject (What <singular>) and its verb (make <plural>) do not agree in number.

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