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WH- questions (Question Words)

There are two main types of questions: Yes/No questions and WH- question. WH-questions are questions starting with WH-words including: what, when, where, who, whom, which, whose, why and how.

Question words are used to ask about specific qualities, times, places, people and so on. Below is a list of question words and example sentences:

Question words

Usages

Examples

What

Used to ask about things

- What are you doing?

- What do you think about the movie?

When

Used to ask about time

- When will the meeting start?

 - When are you leaving?

Where

Used to ask about places

- Where’s my bag?

- Where do you live?

Who

Used to ask about people

- Who do you love the most in your family?

- Who told you that story?

Whom

Used to ask about people (object of verb)

- Whom did you see in the morning?  I saw Mr. Mark, my English teacher.

- Whom was Jim talking to? He was talking to Jack, his new roommate.

Which 

Used to ask about choices

- Which one do you choose? The left or right?

- Of all the drinks in the menu, which one would you like?

Whose

Used to ask about possession

- Whose pencil is this? Is it yours?

- Whose books are these?

Why

Used to ask about reasons/ causes

- Why did it happen? I didn’t understand.

- Why is he crying?

How

Used to ask about manner/ process

- How can you explain this problem? Please tell us.

- How can you get here?

I. How to form WH-questions?

1. with an auxiliary

WH-WORD + AUXILIARY + SUBJECT + MAIN VERB …?

  • Auxiliary verbs are helping verbs (not main verbs).
  • Common auxiliary verbs include be, do, have. Others are will, shall, would, can, could, must, should, may, might, etc.
  • What do you do for a living?
  • Why should we read books?
  • When is she coming?
2. without any auxiliary
(when WH-words replace subjects already)

WH-WORD + MAIN VERB …?

  • What happened to Peter?
  • A bad accident happened to him today.
  • Who won the game?
  • Tio won the game.
  • Who gave you this present?
  • My cousin gave me this present.

II. Responding to WH-questions

1. What
  • What is it?
  • It’s a table.
  • What color is your dress?
  • It’s purple.
  • What is your mom doing?
  • She’s cooking in the kitchen.
  • What do you think about the party?
  • Well. It’s fun. I like the music best.
  • What will happen if our team loses this time?
  • We’ll be out of the game.
2. When
  • When will the train arrive?
  • The train will arrive in 30 minutes.
  • When does she get up?
  • She gets up at 6 am.
  • When did the party end?
  • It ended before 8 pm.
  • When are you going to visit James?
  • I’m going to see him tomorrow.
3. Where
  • Where do you live?
  • I live in Washington D.C.
  • Where are you going?
  • I’m going to the zoo.
  • Where’s the coffee bar?
  • It’s between the supermarket and the cinema.
  • Where did you leave my jacket?
  • I left it in my bedroom.
  • Where have you been?
  • I’ve been in the library reading books.
4. Who
  • Who’s this?
  • She’s my new roommate.
  • Who wants to be a scientist in the future?
  • My sister does. I don’t.
  • Who would you like to travel with?
  • I would like to travel with my best friend, Kim.
  • Who told you that secret?
  • Jenny did. She told me everything.
  • Who do you like the most in this class?
  • I like Henry. He’s so friendly.
5. Whom
  • Whom should we talk to?
  • We should talk to the principal. She’s responsible for student issues.
  • Whom did you see yesterday?
  • I saw Kevin and his girlfriend.
  • Whom would you like to interview?
  • I would like to interview Mr.Patrick, the director.
  • Whom do we have to contact?
  • We have to contact the representative of that company.
  • Whom did you meet in front of the building last week?
  • That was Annie, my secretary.
  • Whom do you know in this class?
  • I only know Danny.
  • Whom are you going to invite?
  • I’m going to invite all of my classmates
  • With whom do you agree?
  • I agree with Henry’s team.
6. Which
  • Which shirt do you like?
  • I like the one with the big yellow star on it.
  • Which color do you choose?
  • I choose red.
  • Which part do you like the most in this story?
  • I love the 2nd part when the prince came and proposed to the princess.
  • Which is the longest river in the world?
  • That’s the Nile.
  • Which one is yours?
  • Mine is the biggest one.
7. Whose
  • Whose jacket is this?
  • It’s my mom’s.
  • Whose birthday is today?
  • It’s Jenny’s.
  • Whose pencil is on the floor?
  • That’s mine.
  • Whose team is better?
  • Will’s team is much better.
8. Why
  • Why don’t we visit him now?
  • It’s a good idea.
  • Why did you leave so early?
  • Because I didn’t enjoy the party.
  • Why do you think that he loves you?
  • Because he’s given me lots of chocolate on Valentine’s day.
  • Why do people celebrate Thanksgiving?
  • Because it’s a special day.
  • Why can’t I go to the cinema now?
  • Because you haven’t done your homework.
  • Why are you so late?
  • Sorry, teacher. I missed the bus.
9. How
  • How’s the weather?
  • It’s sunny and hot.
  • How do you feel?
  • I feel much better now.
  • How did you know him?
  • We were old friends.
  • How’s your new job?
  • It’s interesting. I enjoy it.
  • How often do you go to the movie theater?
  • I sometimes go there. I’m quite busy.
  • How far is it from your house to school?
  • Not too far. I walk to school every day.
  • How much did it cost?
  • It cost $4.
  • How many people are there in your class?
  • There are 30 of them.
  • How come you lost the game?
  • I couldn’t answer the first question well enough.

Wh Questions Test

Welcome to your Wh Questions

1.……..  did you see earlier today?

I saw James, the new football player.

2……….. did you do last weekend?

I watched movies and played hockey.

3………… will you leave?

After the meeting.

4…………… is David?

He’s still fine. Thanks for asking.

5………….. ball is this?

It’s Nick’s.

6……………. gave you this present?

That was my boyfriend, Harry.

7……………. did he not come?

He was busy all day.

8……….. suitcase is mine?

The blue one. The other is Jane’s.

9……….. long did it take to make such a big cake?

It took 2 hours.

10………… was the weather like on Monday?

It was raining a lot.


 

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