Interrogative Pronouns

An interrogative word or question word is a function word used to ask a question, such as what, which, when, where, who, whom, whose, why, whether, and how. They are sometimes called wh-words because in English most of them start with wh-. They may be used in both direct questions and in indirect questions.

The five interrogative pronouns are what, which, who, whom, and whose. What – Used to ask questions about people or objects.

Examples:
– Who is calling?
– What do you want for dinner?

What Are Interrogative Pronouns?

Interrogative pronouns are used in interrogative sentences to ask questions.

There are five primary interrogative pronouns:

  1. who (subject pronoun that asks about a person)
  2. what (subject or object pronoun that asks about a thing)
  3. which (subject or object pronoun that asks about a person or thing)
  4. whom (object pronoun that asks about a person)
  5. whose (a possessive pronoun that asks about a person)

Each one is used to ask a specific question or indirect question.

Note: We sometimes use the suffix “-ever” or “-soever” to make compounds from some of these pronouns ( whoever,  whatever,  whichever, whatsoever, whichsoever ). When we add “-ever”, we use it for emphasis, often to show confusion or surprise.


Who

Who is used to ask questions about people.

Example:

  1. Who is calling?
  2. Who are you?
  3. Who is she married to?
  4. Who wants chocolates?
  5. Who knows her?


What

We use what to ask questions about people or things (objects).

Example:

  1. What is your name?
  2. What is that?
  3. What do you want?
  4. What did you do when the electricity failed?


Which

Which is Used to ask questions about people or things. When a choice between two or more options is given or a number of items or responses is expected.

Example:

  1. Which color do you prefer –  red or blue?
  2. Which came first?
  3. Which is yours?
  4. Which is better?
  5. Which is your address?
  6. Which one is your sister?


Whom

Whom is used when we refer to the object or a verb or preposition.

Example:

  1. Whom did you give the book to?
  2. Whom did you tell?
  3. You went with whom.
  4. Whom did you invite?
  5. Ask the receptionist whom to contact.


Whose

Whose is used to ask questions about people and things (shows possession).

Example:

  1. Whose is this?
  2. Do you know whose number I should call?
  3. Whose did you find?
  4. Whose one shall we take?


Interrogative pronouns + suffix ‘-ever’ or ‘-soever’

Interrogative pronouns sometimes take the suffix –ever or –soever. (Whatever, Whatsoever, Whichever, Whoever, Whosoever, Whomever, Whomsoever, Whosever)

Example:

  1. Whoever would want to do such a nasty thing?
  2. Whatever did you say?
  3. Whosever is this?
  4. Whomsoever did you find?
  5. They’re all fantastic! Whichever will you choose?


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