In the sentence: "They help poor families", how do we make a question which the answer is "poor families"?

Back in school they taught us that we should use "do" while forming a question in present simple unless the question is asking about the subject. In this example, we say: "Who help poor families?" But in the case where you want to ask the question where the answer is "poor families", you normally say: "Who do they help?" _at least they way they taught us. However, I noticed somewhere that they used the following structure: "Who they help?"

I wanted to see if I'm missing a grammar or something? Or maybe it is common in speaking and informal writing. Any help in here would be appreciated.

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    Who they help? is completely unacceptable to the vast majority of native Anglophones. You'd only see that from non-native speakers OR very poorly-educated AAVE speakers. Commented Feb 3, 2021 at 12:54

2 Answers 2


If the WH-word is the subject of the question, you don’t need ‘do’.

What rains on Jupiter?

Who wants a UZI?

But if the Wh-phrase is the object, then you need ‘do’!

Which paper do you take to your school?

What did you do yesterday?


I have never heard or seen "Who they help?", even in informal English. I would only say "Who do they help?"

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