In Cambridge Dictionary Grammar – Questions: wh-questions is found:

When what, who, which or whose is the subject or part of the subject, we do not use the auxiliary. We use the word order subject + verb:

  • What fell off the wall? 

  • Which horse won?

  • Who bought this? 

  • Whose phone rang?

Given that might is a modal verb and we don't have a subject, are the following questions grammatically correct?

  • What might happen?
  • Who might win [the race]?

I'm not familiar with this structure. Maybe I don't know the role of the words or The grammar.

  • 1
    PLease include in your question the name of the book and the exact words it uses to state the "auxiliary rule".
    – Shoe
    Commented May 28, 2023 at 8:36
  • dictionary.cambridge.org/grammar/british-grammar/…
    – Kaveh Behnia
    Commented May 28, 2023 at 10:10
  • @Shoe The OP quoted the Cambridge Dictionary. Isn't that enough?
    – Lambie
    Commented May 28, 2023 at 15:40
  • 1
    @Lambie. In the original post on ELU the OP said that the quote came from a book. Hence my comment above.
    – Shoe
    Commented May 28, 2023 at 16:36

2 Answers 2


Your two queried examples are fine. In fact, a later example given by CD in the article you link to is

  • Who should we send the invitation to?

If it is thought that preposition stranding is ugly (it's certainly not ungrammatical per se), we could alter the example to, say,

  • Who/m should we tell first? ['whom' rather fusty, dated, here]

Langster has [reformatted]:

'... Rule 1: We can form wh- questions using the construction

[wh- question word] + [auxiliary verb (be, do or have)] + [subject] + [main verb]: ...

  • Where are you going?
  • Who is your best friend? ...

Note: We can also form wh- questions by using modal verbs instead of auxiliary verbs following the construction

[wh- word] + [modal verb] + [subject] + [main verb].

  • Where should I go? ...
  • How can I contact you?
  • Hi! I upvoted your good answer! Commented Oct 5, 2023 at 9:30

Those sentences are correct.

The term "auxiliary verb", in that context refers to one specific use of one auxiliary verb, and I imagine it would be clear from the preceding context which it is.

As described immediately above on that page, when forming wh-questions where the wh- pronoun is an object, we invert the subject and auxiliary verb of a base sentence. If the base sentence doesn't already have an auxiliary verb, then we use "do".

The point of the section you've quoted is that when forming wh-questions where the wh- pronoun is the subject, we don't add any auxiliary verb. If you've already got one, like "might", then you just use that.

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