Here is a short summary to help you form questions in the Present Simple tense in English.
Questions in the Present Simple
1. You need “do” or “does” as the auxiliary before the subject. We use “do” before I, you, we and they; and “does” before he, she, it (or another singular noun, such as “restaurant”, “hotel”, etc.)
Do I …
Do you …
Does he / she / it / the hotel …
Do we …
Do they …
2. Then add the verb in the infinitive form. In this example, “have” is the infinitive verb.
Do I have …
Do you have …
Does he / she / it / the hotel have …
Do we have …
Do they have …
3. Add the complement (or object of the verb)
Do I have a room?
Do you have a room?
Does he / she / it have a bathroom?
Do we have a room?
Do they have a room?
Remember: you can add a question word (such as who, where, what, why, when, which, how) before the auxiliary “do” / “does”. Then follow the word order as above:
(1)What time (2)does (3)the restaurant (4)open? (restaurant = singular noun, so use “does”)
(1)When (2)do (3)you (4)serve (5)breakfast?
(1)How much (2)does (3)a room (4)cost? (a room = singular noun, so use “does”)
(1)How often (2)does (3)the shuttle bus (4)leave (5)for the airport?
(For more information, as well as for how to make short replies and the negative form in the Present Simple, see our page The Present Simple tense in English.)
Questions using the verb “to be”
With the verb “to be”, you don’t need the auxiliary “do” / “does”. This is because the verb “to be” is already an auxiliary.
Here is a step-by-step summary to make questions with “to be”.
1. Change the ‘subject – verb’ order of the affirmative to ‘verb – subject’ to form a question.
I am = Am I ..?
You are = Are you ..?
He is = Is he / she / it ..?
We are = Are we ..?
They are = Are they ..?
2. You can add a question word before the verb “to be”.
What is (the check-out time)?
Where is (your hotel)?
How much is (a double room)?
When is breakfast?
1. For questions in the present simple, don’t put the auxiliary and verb together. You need a subject between them.
How much does cost a room? (Incorrect)
How much does a room cost? (Correct)
What time does leave the bus? (Incorrect)
What time does the bus leave? (Correct)
2. For questions with “how much” you can have either the verb “to be”, or the verb “cost”. With “cost” you need the auxiliary “do/does”.
How much is a room?
How much does a room cost?
Asking Questions Exercise
Choose the correct answer.
Now go on to the next page to get phrases for booking a hotel room and to practise your listening: Booking a Hotel Room in English