What is the state of these two questions regarding grammatical correctness and being a "subject question" :

  1. "Who does the housework in your family?"
  2. "Who in your family does the housework?"

Simply, I want to know what is the case here? For example:

  • They're both correct and they're are both subject questions.
  • 1 is grammatically wrong, but 2 is correct and it's a subject question.
  • ...(other cases)
  • 3
    "In your family, who does the housework?" is also correct. Placing "in your family" in different places in the sentence emphasizes different things.
    – MorganFR
    May 13, 2016 at 14:05
  • 1
    "A subject question" is not a phrase I have ever heard. I'm guessing that it means "a question where the identity of the subject of the sentence is what is asked for". Both are grammatical and are identical in meaning.
    – Colin Fine
    May 13, 2016 at 21:28
  • @ColinFine Subject questions are distinguished from most other types of question by not requiring subject-auxiliary inversion. However, of course, if the interrogative word is any part of the Subject at all (for example a determiner) then subject-auxiliary inversion is not needed. Recognising Subject questions is very occasionally useful to teach if Ss have started using dummy auxiliaries in Subject questions: "Who does want to know?" for example instead of "Who wants to know?". May 13, 2016 at 23:43
  • This is the first time I've ever run into the term "subject question" as well. (I always think of it like, "What the question wants (is ...)" or "What's the question asking for?") Having said that, I think the term could be useful. May 14, 2016 at 3:55
  • When you think about it, every question (an interrogative sentence) is really a statement (declarative or imperative sentence) with the words moved around sometimes and a question mark placed as end punctuation. I've never heard of "subject question" which I take is the subject of the question. You two only needs the question mark, leaving "Who" as the subject. Who = Sally; Sally does the housework in your family. = Sally does the housework in your family? [Con't] Sep 12, 2016 at 23:08

1 Answer 1


I guess you want to know abou different questions we can make using "who".

"Who" can be used to ask about the subject of the sentence. In this case you do not use any auxiliary verb to ask the question. Instead you show the tense of your question by the form of your verb. But there is a rule: if your sentense is in present simple tense, always use your main verb with third singular person form, i.e., add an s"s/es" to it.

So the question you asked is a subject question. "Does" is your main verb in third singular form and not the auxiliary verb. Remember if it is an auxiliary, there should be a main verb in your question.

The other question with "who" that asks about the object of the sentence fallows the same rule of all other wh.. questions.

Both questions are subject questins. The first is better, though.

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