In Grammar By Victoria

Question words in English

As you know, the English language has several types of sentences: affirmative (affirmative), negative (negative), exclamation (exclamatory) and the question (interrogative) (read more in the article «Types of sentences in the English language»). Interrogative sentences — this proposal, which contained questions (questions) about the specific qualities of time, any place, etc. And what is necessary for the formation of interrogative sentence? Question words (question words). In English, there is one group of questions, which are called yes / no questions. These problems do without interrogative words, as they will keep in its composition such information, which are a response to the word yes or no. For example:

Do you like reading? Yes. — Do you like read? Yes.

Will you stay with us? No. — Will you stay with us? No.

In all other interrogative sentences necessarily question words.

List interrogative words in English

Question words in the English language is not so much, so remember them is not difficult. But above all, it should be recalled that in interrogative sentences with the predicate expressed by the verb to be, the inverted word order, that is, in the first place predicate, then the subject and minor sentence. If the interrogative sentence has a question word, it stands in the beginning of the sentence before the predicate. If the semantic predicate is expressed by the verb, the sentence should begin with a question word, and then followed by the auxiliary verb, then subject and predicate, and complete other parts of the sentence.

The following are the most used question words and expressions in the English language:

  • who? — Who?
  • who … by? — by whom?
  • who … about? — Talking about?
  • who … at? — on whom?
  • who … from? — from whom?
  • who … with? — with whom?
  • who … for? — To whom? for whom? for whom?
  • whom? — Who?
  • which? — Which one? What?
  • whose? — Whose?
  • what? — what? What?
  • what … for? — for what?
  • what … about? — about what?
  • where … from? — Where?
  • why? — Why?
  • what kind of / type of? — What?
  • how long? — how long?
  • what … with? — What?
  • where? Where, where?
  • when? — When?
  • how many / much? — how?
  • how? — as?
  • what time? — what time?
  • since what time? — since what time?
  • what colour? — what Colour?
  • how old? — How many years?


Where do you do your shopping? — Where do you go shopping?

Why did not you introduce me to your mother? — Why did not you introduce me to your mother?

How are you going to explain your absence? — How are you going to explain your absence?

Sometimes, there are doubts in the use of question two words in English: what and which. They both can be translated as any. What’s the difference? First of all, the first word is used with inanimate objects, and the second with animated faces. And the second point: what is used in sentences with an open choice, which, on the contrary, the proposals in which the choices are limited. Compare:

What music do you like? — What kind of music do you like? (at all)

Which country would you like to visit, France or Spane? — What country would you like to visit France or Spain? (to choose from only two countries)

Try to remember these question words in the English language, and you can ask any question to your liking!



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