Is a verb in questions in English always in front of subject? For example, can I say 'You are fine?', or should I always say 'Are you fine?'.

  • "Are you fine?" is the usual way, but a closed question can be signalled by means of a rise in the intonation instead of by a question mark. So, yes it is possible.
    – BillJ
    Apr 7, 2019 at 16:32

1 Answer 1


No, verbs are not always in front of the subject. Normally, English speakers use the question words Who, What, When, Where, Why, or How to begin a question, and those words typically take the place of the subject. For example, "Who is fine?" and "What is fine?" are acceptable questions.

The other way English speakers begin questions is with auxiliary verbs such asShall/Can/Will, Is/Are, Should/Could/Would. In those cases, it is typical to have the verb first, and the subject second.

Both "You are fine?" and "Are you fine?" are usable. "Are you fine?" sounds more natural and is grammatically correct. "You are fine?" would be used mostly in informal cases, and usually when the asker leaning towards the answer being "Yes".

Note, I'm a native US East Coast English speaker; this might differ with other regions.

  • Agreed, a question without inversion is usually asking for confirmation.
    – Colin Fine
    Jan 29 at 17:49

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