My hair color is black, and the question should be what is your hair color? or what hair color do you have?. However, it turns out surprisingly to me that the question with do is: what color hair do you have?, and if I were to ask about shoe size, I had to say: what size shoe do you wear?

Now I am confused because I am not sure if I am right asking about: some abc tool's shape, a pipe's length, some xyz solution's temperature and whatnot.

Are size and color exceptions, then, what tool shape do you make? or a rule, and so: what shape tool do you make?

  • Like same color hair vs. same hair color
    – Mori
    Commented May 6, 2016 at 9:39

2 Answers 2


If I was asking someone about the color of their hair, I might just say:

What is your hair color?

However, if I was forced to put the question in a "What ................. do you have?" format, I'd probably say:

What color hair do you have?

There is an exception (and that is the wonderful thing about English – it seems there's always an exception): If I was asking someone about hair coloring; that is, if I was talking about a product used to color hair (for example, if I'm asking about something like this):

enter image description here enter image description here

then I might ask instead:

What hair color do you have?

As for your tool question, think I would use something like:

What shape tool do you make?

although it's a rather awkward construct, and there's wiggle room for other wordings. In general, though, I think I prefer one of these formats:

What shoe size do you wear? or What size shoe do you wear?

What ice cream flavors do you sell? or What flavor ice creams do you sell?

Sometimes there are subtle nuances involved, like the way I changed flavors to flavor and ice cream to ice creams (that's because I'm expecting that the vendor will sell more than one flavor of ice cream). So, even though I could ask:

What size shoes do you wear?

I would probably not ask:

What shoe sizes do you wear?

unless I was expecting an answer like, "I wear Size 8 tennis shoes but Size 9 boots."

  • 1
    The reason "What shape tool do you make" sounds weird is because "what ... do you make" is asking about making of several things in the general case, and this doesn't sit well with the singular definite noun tool. Instead I'd say "What shape tools do you make?", or "What shape tool did you make/are you making/will you make?"
    – Matt
    Commented Nov 21, 2013 at 23:59
  • "What shape tool do you make" sounds okay to me (in the proper context).
    – user230
    Commented Nov 22, 2013 at 3:17
  • I assumed the question was being asked to a manufacturer, and the asker already knew the plant only makes one tool. If the plant makes a line of tools, though, the plural would be better. Also, with the word shape, I think you could also use the adjective shaped: What shaped tools do you make?
    – J.R.
    Commented Nov 22, 2013 at 9:32

What is your hair color?

This is perfectly understandable, and I'd know what you meant. But I think it is more likely that we say instead:

What color is your hair?

Then we have your other suggestion:s

What hair color do you have?


What color hair do you have?

To me, using hair color rather than color hair implies that the person has dyed their hair, and you're asking about the product they used to dye it. What color hair do you have would make sense to me as simply asking what shade their hair currently is (no reference to dyes) but I still think What color is your hair is much more common.

For shoes, either of these are understandable:

What size shoe do you wear?

What size shoe are you?

What size are your shoes?

But I think the most common expression would be:

What's your shoe size?

I don't quite understand your tool shape comment (what would be possible answers to the question "What tool shape do you make"? Then maybe I can edit to elaborate). But the word order depends on exactly how you're asking, in any of these cases. In some cases you're asking what the color (of their) hair is, in some cases what (is their) hair color. Hair color is a single object; color of their hair is talking about their hair and then asking about the hair's color property. So it just depends on how you structure the sentence.

  • 2
    Out of all the suggested possibilities, What's your shoe size? sounds the most natural.
    – Tristan
    Commented Nov 21, 2013 at 22:22
  • 3
    +1 for "Hair color is a single object; color of their hair is talking about their hair". For example I might say "What color is your hair?" when asking informally to a friend, but when asking for information for a form that requests "hair color" I would probably ask "What is your hair color?". One is asking about the attribute "color" of the noun "hair". The other is asking about the compound noun "hair color" which is semantically the same, but grammatically different - and native speakers adhere to that distinction, even if only subconsciously.
    – Matt
    Commented Nov 22, 2013 at 0:14

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