Interrogative Pronouns

We use interrogative pronouns to ask questions. The interrogative pronoun represents the thing that we don't know (what we are asking the question about). 

There are four main interrogative pronouns: who, whom, what, which

Notice that the possessive pronoun whose can also be an interrogative pronoun (an interrogative possessive pronoun).

Notice that whom is the correct form when the pronoun is the object of the verb, as in "Whom did you see?" ("I saw John.") However, in normal, spoken English we rarely use whom. Most native speakers would say (or even write): "Who did you see?”


Look at these example questions. In the sample answers, the noun phrase that the interrogative pronoun represents is shown in bold.

Note in these example that, when the interrogative pronoun refers to the subject, there is no inversion, so the auxiliary do/does does not appear.


We sometimes use the suffix "-ever" to make compounds from some of these pronouns (mainly whoever, whatever, whichever). When we add "-ever", we use it for emphasis, often to show confusion or surprise. Look at these examples:

Whoever would want to do such a nasty thing?

Whatever did he say to make her cry like that?

They're all fantastic! Whichever will you choose?

There are other interrogative pronouns that you shoulkd know:


How long?, How often?, How much, How many?,  How old?, How soon?,How early?, How late?, How fast?, How big?, How far?, How tall?, How deep?, How heavy?

How long does it take to go to Madrid?

How much is that T-shirt?

How much sugar do you want?

How many people were there in the concert?

How often do you go to the cinema?

How old is your brother?
How old is this beautiful vase?
How soon will your friend get the money?
How early do you get up in the weekends?
How late does your sister go to sleep during the week?

How fast can you ride on bike?
How fast does Carol drive in the highway?
How big is the wedding cake that Margaret is preparing?
How big is the country house where you spend your holidays?
How far is the school from your house?
How far is the baker’s?

How tall is your husband?
How tall is the tree that is planted on Anne's garden?
How deep is this pool?
How deep is the Nile river?
How heavy is that big gold bar?
How heavy is the grand piano you bought?

What else?,Where else?, When else?, How else?, Who else?,Why else?

What else would you like to take to the picnic?
Where else could we go to have lunch?
When else could we meet to talk about the plan?
How else could Angela get better but taking the medication?
Who else will come to the stag party?
Why else would Jane quit his job?

Prepositions at the end of questions

When a question word is the object of a preposition, the preposition usually comes at the end of the clause, especially in an informal style.

What are you looking for? (More natural than ‘For what are looking?’)
Who is this present for? (For whom is this present? is extremely formal.)
Who were you speaking to? (NOT To whom were you speaking?)
Which pictures are you talking about?

Where are you from? / Where do you come from?

What are you laughing at?
Who put the cat in?
Who turned the lights off?

What’s your new house like?

Prepositions come at the end of clauses in indirect wh-questions and what-clauses (relative clauses) which are not questions.

Tell me what you are looking for. (NOT Tell me for what you are looking.)
What a lot of trouble I have gotten into! (NOT Into what a lot of trouble I have gotten.)


Some questions consist of simply a question word and preposition.

What with?
Who for?
What about?


Note that this structure is unusual when there is a noun with the questionword.

With what money? (NOT What money with?)

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