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

refer to above example, which states:
- What subjects did you study at school?

Can we write it as:
- What are subjects did you study at school?

Hello Amin Maryoud,

I'm afraid the sentence you wrote is not grammatical. You could say, however, 'What are the subjects you studied at school?' But most of the time we'd probably just use the example sentence above on this page.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello,
Both "What country do you live?" and "Which country do you live?" are correct?

Hello Elmar,

Yes, both 'what' and 'which' are correct, though please note that both questions need the preposition 'in' at the end of them (e.g. 'What country do you live in?').

We use 'what' when we're talking in general and 'which' when we have a specific group of countries in mind. You can read more about this on this page. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask us.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Sir,

I have a question: in the clause I have got two books. Which do you want?, the correct question wasn't: Which one do you want?

Hello Shark,

Both 'Which do you want?' and 'Which one do you want?' are correct here. You can use either sentence.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

If the answer is "The ducks were swimming in the pond," what would the question be?
1. Who were swimming in the pond?
2. What were swimming in the pond?

Kindly provide the usage as well. Thank you.

Hello Dr. Mustafa Siddiqui,

In general, we treat animals as objects rather than people, grammatically speaking, and so would not tend to use 'who' here. The exception would be animals with which we feel a particular affinity, such as pets, which we tend to speak of as people, using 'who', 'he', 'she' and so on.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

"who does she remind you of?" I don't understand this sentece. what does it mean?

Hello volkan gürler,

This question is asking the person what her appearance, character or behaviour is similar to. For example, I might say this:

My friend Bob reminds me of Mike Tyson because he has a very similar tattoo.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

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