Forming questions

Indirect questions

Indirect questions can be a more polite way of asking for information and are often preceded by phrases such as Können Sie mir sagen . . . ‘Can you tell me . . .’ or Wissen Sie . . . ‘Do you know . . .’: Wie heißen Sie? → Können Sie mir sagen, wie Sie heißen? Wann fängt der Film an? → Wissen Sie, wann der Film anfängt? Indirect questions with ob When transforming yes/no-questions into indirect que... »

The question words wer and welcher

Question words normally do not change in German. Two important exceptions are wer ‘who’ and welcher ‘which’, ‘what’ as their endings can vary. wer requires case endings The question words wer ‘who’ is used when referring to people. It has different forms relating to the four cases and their grammatical functions: Nom. wer who Acc. wen who(m) Dat. wem who(m) Gen. wessen whose Here are some examples... »

The w-questions

Question words – often referred to as interrogatives – usually start with the letter w in German. Frequently used question words include: wer? who? welcher? which?what? was? was für? what?  what kind of ? wann? when? wo? wohin? woher? where? where (to)? where from? wie? wie viel? wie viele? how? how much? how many? wie lang? wie lange? how long? for how long? warum? wieso? why? wozu? what for? Her... »


The verb is the first element When forming a question of this type, the verb is placed in the initial position, followed by the subject: Bist du aus Irland? Are you from Ireland? Arbeitet sie noch bei Siemens? Does she still work at Siemens? With two verbs When there are two verbs in a yes/no-question, the finite verb – the verb which takes the personal ending – remains in the first position while... »

Forming questions

There are two main types of questions in German: • yes/no-questions which start with a verb and can be answered either in the affirmative or in the negative: Sprechen Sie Deutsch? Do you speak German? Ist das Ihre Tasche? Is that your bag? • w-questions which start with a question word such as wer ‘who’, wo ‘where’, warum ‘why’ and tend to be more ‘open’: Wo wohnst du? Where do you live? Warum has... »