Which question word to use?

We use who to ask questions about people:

Who is that?
Who lives here?
Who did you see?

We use whose to ask about possession:

Whose coat is this? [or] Whose is this coat?
Whose book is that? [or] Whose is that book?
Whose bags are those? [or] Whose are those bags?

We use what to ask questions about things:

What is that?
What do you want?

We use which to ask someone to choose something:

Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
I’ve got two books. Which do you want?

We can also use what and which with nouns:

What subjects did you study at school?
What newspaper do you read?
Which newspaper do you read – the Times or the Guardian?
Which book do you want?
Which one is yours?

Questions with prepositions:

Questions ending in prepositions are very common in English. After Who, Which or What we often have a preposition at the end of the sentence:

Who does this book belong to?
What are you looking for?
Which university did you go to?
What country do you come from?

 

Activities
 

Reorder the words to make questions

 

Section: 

Comments

Thanks for the explanation?
I'm a native English speaker and I think "What month were you born in?" sounds natural, but I was told it should be "In what month were you born in?" Am I wrong? Or are both ok?

Hello Meg,

Traditional grammars state that sentences should not end in a preposition (e.g. 'in'), but if you analyse the way people speak most of the time, and even how they write, it's quite obvious that this rule is often not followed. Putting a preposition at the end of a sentence does generally make for a more informal sentence than putting it inside the sentence. There's an explanation of this in the Cambridge Dictionary that I'd encourage you to take a look at – please note that you have to scroll quite a ways down the page to the 'Prepositions: position and standing' section to see it.

I hope that helps you get a handle on the issue.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

hi peter

do you have any lesson about "how" in question.

pls let me know

Hi taj25,

We don't tend to have pages on the use of individual words. 'How' is a question word like any other and is used in the same way. It can be used with an adjective to ask about degree ('How long...', 'How far...', 'How much...' etc).

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello,
Can we say" What climate does Spain have?", "What kind of climate does Spain have?", or"What is the climate of Spain?".
In general, can we use what with everything we ask about? such as: what climate?, what colour?, what temperature?......

Many Thanks

Hello The sky view,

The second one sounds the most natural to me, but all three ways are correct. To be honest, I'm not sure why I prefer that form - perhaps because we normally talk about climates with an adjective plus the word 'climate', e.g. 'a Mediterranean climate' (though beware, Spain has several climates depending on where you are).

Yes, you can say 'what climate', 'what colour', 'what temperature', etc.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

are you come to day in the university

Which one is correct? "How is your day?" Or "how was your day?"

Hello telll,

Both are possible. The first question we would ask when we are in the middle of the day - it has not finished. We would ask the second question later on, perhaps in the evening, when the day is all but finished, or when the main part of the day (for example, your time at work) is over.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi there,
Which one is correct, 'Who does this book belong to?' or 'Whom does this book belong to?', or both OK?
Thanks & BR,
Songsong

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