March 14, 2023 · ,

Where When Why What Who Whose ❓WH Questions

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wh questions Where-When-Why-What-Who-Whose

There are two main types of questions: Yes/No questions and WH- questions.

Question WordUsageExample
WHEREIndicates a location or placeWhere did you go on vacation last year?
WHENIndicates a time or dateWhen is the next meeting scheduled?
WHYIndicates a reason or causeWhy did you choose to study engineering?
WHATIndicates a thing or ideaWhat is your favorite movie?
WHOIndicates a person or peopleWho is the CEO of Apple?
WHOSEIndicates possession or ownershipWhose car is parked in front of the house?

WH-questions are questions starting with WH- words including: where, when, why, what, who, whom, which, whose and how.

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Let’s have a look at the different types of question words:

WHERE:

WHERE is used when asking about a place or location.

Examples:

  • Where did you buy that book?
  • Where were you born?
  • Where are you going this weekend?

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WHEN:

WHEN is used when asking about time, an occasion or a moment.

Examples:

  • When will I see you again?
  • When did they get married?
  • When does your bus leave?

WHY:

WHY is used when asking for a reason or explanation.

Examples:

  • Why are you always late?
  • Why are you so fabulous?
  • Why is the receptionist so shy?

WHY DON’T … is used for making a suggestion.

Examples:

  • Why don’t we go play outside?
  • Why don’t I help you with that?
  • Why don’t you do something about it?

WHAT:

WHAT is used when asking information about a specific thing or object.

Examples:

  • What is she wearing to the concert?
  • What do we need to buy at the supermarket?
  • What did the doctor say is wrong with you?

WHAT is also use when asking for a confirmation or repetition.

Examples:

  • What did you say?
  • What was that? Please repeat.
  • What? Are you sure?

WHAT … FOR? Is used when asking for a reason, explanation or asking why.

Examples:

  • What will you use the camera for?
  • What is Sarah looking for?
  • What did Ben ask for?

WHO:

WHO is used when asking about a person or people (the subject of the answer)

Examples:

  • Who is the best teacher in the world? Sally is the best teacher.
  • Who should work harder? All the employees should work harder.
  • Who will cook dinner tonight? My cousin will cook dinner tonight.

WHOM:

WHOM is used when asking about a person or people (the object of the answer)

Examples:

  • Whom are they going to visit? They are going to visit their grandparents.
  • Whom is she looking after? She is looking for the nurse.
  • Whom did you see at the party last night? I saw Jane at the party last night.

WHICH:

WHICH is used when asking about a choice or decision between different alternatives or options.

Examples:

  • Which restaurant did you eat at?
  • Which colour do you prefer – red or blue?
  • Which house is yours, the big one or the small one?

WHOSE:

WHOSE is used when asking about ownership or who something belongs to.

Examples:

  • Whose car is parked in my parking space?
  • Whose money was that on the table?
  • Whose house did you have the party at?

HOW:

HOW is used to ask about the way, manner, condition or quality.

Examples:

  • How was the class yesterday?
  • How did you go to the park without your car?
  • How is the magician doing that?

HOW COME: (Informal) is informally used when asking why or asking for a reason.

Examples:

  • How come Jack is the only person with blue eyes in his family?
  • How come Karen didn’t complain about the bad service?

HOW + (ADJECTIVE or ADVERB):

HOW + (Adjective or Adverb) is used to ask about different expressions or specific qualities of many different things.

Here are some examples:

  • HOW MUCH (Uncountable Quantity)
  • How much water is in the Mediterranean Sea?
  • HOW MANY (Countable Quantity)
  • How many brothers does your father have?
  • HOW FAR (Distance)
  • How far is the hotel from the beach?
  • HOW LONG (Time Duration or Space)
  • How long did you take to get home from work yesterday?
  • HOW OLD (Age)
  • How old was she when she got married?
  • HOW OFTEN (Frequency)
  • How often does he go to the theatre?

WH Questions Summarized:

The English language is full of complexities and nuances, but one of its most essential tools is the use of WH questions. These questions help us gather information, understand situations, and communicate effectively. In this blog post, we’ll explore the six most common WH questions: Who, What, Where, When, Why, and Whose. Let’s dive in!

  1. Who

“Who” is used to inquire about a person or people. It’s typically used when we want to know the identity of someone or when we’re looking for more information about a person or group of people.

Example:

  • Who won the soccer match yesterday?
  • Who is responsible for this project?
  1. What

“What” is employed when asking about things or situations. It’s a versatile question word, often used to request information, clarification, or the nature of something.

Example:

  • What is the capital of France?
  • What did you think of the movie?
  1. Where

“Where” is used to ask about the location or place of something. This question word helps us pinpoint the position of people, objects, or events.

Example:

  • Where is the nearest gas station?
  • Where did you meet your best friend?
  1. When

“When” is the question word we use to inquire about time or the chronological order of events. It helps us understand when something happened or is going to happen.

Example:

  • When is the deadline for this assignment?
  • When did the first humans land on the moon?
  1. Why

“Why” is the question word we use to seek reasons, explanations, or justifications. It’s essential for understanding the cause or motivation behind an action or situation.

Example:

  • Why did she decide to quit her job?
  • Why is it important to exercise regularly?
  1. Whose

“Whose” is the possessive form of “who” and is used to inquire about ownership or responsibility. It helps us identify the person to whom something belongs.

Example:

  • Whose umbrella is this?
  • Whose idea was it to start the business?

Conclusion:

The six WH questions – Who, What, Where, When, Why, and Whose – are essential tools for gathering information and understanding the world around us. By mastering these question words, you’ll be well on your way to effective communication and comprehension in the English language. So, the next time you’re in need of answers, don’t forget to ask the right WH question!

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