Interrogative Pronoun

Question MarksAn interrogative pronoun is a type of pronoun that is used to ask a question.

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In the English language, there are five commonly used interrogative pronouns:
  • what

  • which

  • who

  • whom

  • whose

Interrogative pronouns help English speakers get information.

  • What do you want for dinner?

  • Which dog is yours?

  • Who is coming to the party?

  • Whom were you speaking to last night?

  • Whose cat is she holding?
Tag Questions

, which, who, whom and whose can also be used in sentences that are not questions, but then we do not call them interrogative pronouns.

  • I do not know what kind of cake I want.

  • She did not care which seat was hers.

  • Tim wants to know who borrowed his bicycle.

  • Lisa knows whose cat was in your garage.

  • I wondered whom you were talking with last night.

The examples above ARE NOT interrogative pronouns because they are not used to ask information.

Using interrogative pronouns

Use WHAT to ask about objects or people.

  • What time is it?

  • What is her name?

  • What is your favorite type of candy?

  • What do you want to drink?

  • What color is your car?

  • What is your problem?

Use WHICH to ask about objects or people.

It is used when there is a limited number of options.
  • Which flavor of ice-cream did you order?

  • Which shirt is your favorite?

  • Which man is your father?

  • Which student is your daughter?

  • Which fruit do you want?
Oranges and Apples

Use WHO to ask about people.

WHO is used to ask about the subject of a sentence, like he or she.
  • Who is sitting in my chair? (He is sitting in your chair.)

  • Who ate my popcorn? (Richard ate your popcorn.)

  • Who wants to go to the movie? (She wants to go to the movie.)

  • Who took my book? (He took your book.)

  • Who is holding the bags? (Nick's mom is holding the bags.)
Online Lesson 07

Use WHOM to ask about people.

Use whom to ask about the object of a verb, like him or her.

A preposition usually comes before whom (at, by, for, in, with), but not always.
  • To whom should we give the prize? (We should give the prize to him.)

  • Whom does Bill love? (Bill loves Sarah.)

  • To whom is she sending a letter? (She is sending a letter to Tommy.)

  • Whom does she talk to on the phone? (She talks to her mom on the phone.)

  • For whom did you make the cookies? (I made the cookies for myself.)
A verb

Use WHOSE to ask about ownership of something.

  • Whose bike is that?

  • Whose house is on the left side of the street?

  • Whose daughter wears the blue shirt?

  • Whose sister drove the car?

  • Whose cat is on the tree?

  • Whose borthday is it?
"She has a birthday."

Note about whose vs who’s

Whose asks about ownership.

Who’s stands for who is.

Who’s is not an interrogative pronoun.

  • Who’s going to the store?
    (Who is going to the store?)

  • Do you know who’s coming to my party?
    (Do you know who is coming to my party?)

  • Sally wants to know who’s having a birthday.
    (Sally wants to know who is having a birthday.)

  • Who's ready for pizza?
    (Who is ready for pizza?)

These were the uses of the Interrogative Pronoun. Now that you know them, it is time to practice! Read and do exercises.

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