come or comes?

2

Should it be come or comes in the following sentence?

 

Where does John comes/come from?

 

Shouldn't it be "comes" as John is signular? If not why?

 

Thanks.

asked Jun 07 '13 at 07:57 wots New member

3 answers


2

Wots, the positive sentence John comes from France is correct, but when you make a WH-question the subject agrees with the helping/auxiliary verb "do" (both in terms of subject-verb agreement and in terms of tense--past, present, future).  So the WH-question is Where does John come from? and does agrees with John, not come.  Let us know if you have any further questions.

link comment answered Jun 07 '13 at 11:31 Shawn Mooney Expert
2

The present tense of a verb in English can be WRITTEN two ways -HE COMES or HE DOES COME (usually to emphasize the fact). To make the statement a QUESTION, you MUST use the auxiliary DOES+ the subject (JOHN), and follow it with the base verb (COME). This construction is used to mean John's country of origin.  If you want to ask about his travel plans, then ask "Where is John coming from?" 

link comment answered Jun 08 '13 at 09:54 JoJo New member
1

Shawn mentions tense, which in this case may be important (Shawn your comments are welcome as the myriad of potential answers has me flummoxed). Consider, as you await the arrival of your friend Jean from France, an acquaintance recognizes you and asks why you are there. You reply, "I'm meeting my friend Jean who is coming (or arriving) from France." To say, "who comes from France" sounds a bit clunky and it seems that there is a tense mis-match. Now you are at the baggage claim area with Jean, coincidently another friend sees you and inquires as to your presence. You, being a polite fellow, don't balk at these nosy questions and answer, "I've just met my friend Jean who came from France." Jean introduces himself and mentions that his family originally came from the US, or perhaps he says: "My family comes from the US, so I wanted to visit." That's two or three uses of the original question asked by Wots. How do these real-world scenarios play out grammatically? As to the original question: "Where does John comes/come from?" I would use come. If the sentence were reversed, I would say: "My friend John comes from France." The latter is a statement of fact, the former is an answer to a WH. N'est-ce pas?

link comment answered Jun 08 '13 at 04:13 Brother Dave Contributor

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