Use "does" in front of another verb in a question?



  1. What time does sound good to you?

  2. What time sounds good to you?

Is there a difference?

Ghaith Alrestom

Posted 2015-07-22T18:29:36.287

Reputation: 1 563


Related: Do I have to use “do” in any “wh-” question?.

– Damkerng T. – 2015-07-22T19:06:37.043



With ordinary sentences we distinguish questions from statements by flipping the subject and the auxiliary verb (Subj/Aux inversion), and if there is no auxiliary in the statement form, we bring in do to serve the auxiliary function (Do support):

This time has been very pleasant →Q: Has this time been pleasant?
This time seems good to me →Q: Does this time seem good to you?

But when you ask a question using a wh- word as the subject, or as a determiner on the subject, the wh- word is what tells your hearer that this is a question; there is no need for Subj/Aux inversion, and therefore no need for Do support either:

This time sounds good to me →Q: What time sounds good to you?

As snailboat points out, does can be used to emphasize contrast with a prior negative:

A: Shall I put us down for the seven o'clock show? B: No, I don't much care for seven.
A: Well, what about two o'clock? Does that sound good to you?
B: No, two's no good for me.
A: (exasperated)Then what time does sound good to you?

StoneyB on hiatus

Posted 2015-07-22T18:29:36.287

Reputation: 176 469


If "who/what" or "what/which+noun" is the subject you don't use the question form with to do. So sentence 1 is wrong and sentence 2 is correct.


  • Who goes there? Who has done it? Who said this?

  • What is it? What's the matter? What makes the Earth turn round its axis?


Posted 2015-07-22T18:29:36.287

Reputation: 8 304


The first sentence sounds wrong. The second sentence is fine.

But the following sentences that use "does" are correct:

What time does the train arrive?

What time do we eat?


Posted 2015-07-22T18:29:36.287

Reputation: 1 760