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‡Inversion in questions

In an affirmative sentence, the verb
goes after the subject. However, the
auxiliary verb can go before the
subject of a clause in several different
structures. This is called inversion.
Inversion is quite common in
He goes to work every day.
Does he go to work every day?
They live in Bangkok. (Affirmative)
Do they live in Bangkok? (Question)
She is working at the moment.
Is she working at the moment?
John and Mary have arrived.
Have John and Mary arrived?
Note that in questions only the first
auxiliary verb goes before the subject.
The remaining part of the verb goes
after the subject.
Have they been invited? (NOT Have
been they invited?) (NOT Have been
invited they?)
In Wh-questions the auxiliary verb
goes after the question word.
Where are you going? (NOT Are where
you going?) (NOT Where you are
Note that spoken questions do not
always have this word order.
You’re coming with us? (Spoken
Are you coming with us? (Written
As you can see a spoken question has
the same word order as an affirmative
sentence, but it is said with a rising
We do not use inversion in indirect
I wonder what she is going to do. (NOT I
wonder what is she going to do.)
I asked what time the show was
starting. (NOT I asked what time was
the show starting.) (NOT I asked what
time was starting the show.)

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