English as a Second Language/please guide


Hi Amy....Amy please tell me the basic difference between framing/making questions with auxiliary verbs/modal verbs and the word 'what'.

What do you want?
Do you want anything?

What is the fundamental concept here ? To me these two sentences convey the same meaning but still is there any difference?

We frame questions using can, could,may, will, would, shall, should but what, why, how, when are used too.I want to know when we use do/did/does and when we use what/why

In the example you have provided, the first sentence is more demanding, more direct, while the second is a more polite request.

The topic of asking questions is a very vast one and I would have to write pages to cover all aspects.

This page talks about the use of do/does when asking questions:


The page below details the use of "did":


What and why - here you have a few pages about those:



I hope this helps.  

English as a Second Language

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Amy Baker


I can answer question about grammar, spelling, syntax, idioms, reading and/or writing that pertain to English as a Second Language. I am knowledgeable about both TOEFL and IELTS.


I'm a certified ESL teacher with 12 years of experience teaching K-12 and adults.

BSc MEd TESL post grad program for k-12 TESL post grad program for adult ed

©2017 About.com. All rights reserved.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]