A security question on an educational website is:

What does most irritate you?

Isn't this incorrect? Shouldn't it be:

What most irritates you?

  • 2
    In ordinary colloquial English we would put most last: "What irritates you most?" – StoneyB Jul 23 '15 at 3:56
  • the most... maybe? @StoneyB – Maulik V Jul 23 '15 at 5:01

What does most irritates you?

The sentence is incorrect grammatically. What is a pronoun that has been used as a subject in the sentence, it doesn't need the auxiliary "does". You don't use do/does/did when " what" is used as the subject at the start of a sentence. However, when "what" is used as an object, it's followed by this auxiliary. For examples:

What does he do?

What did he like (the) most.*

So the correct sentence is:

What most irritates you?

However, as commented by StoneyB, in our ordinary colloquial English we would put most last. And I think it's more usual. "What irritates you (the) most?"


Pretty close. I think most people would generally say, "What is it that most irritates you?" or "What irritates you the most?" Either way, unless there is reason to be emphatic, the first sentence is wrong.

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