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

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

Hello imsongsong,

In modern English the standard form is 'Who does this book belong to?'

It is also possible to hear 'To whom does this book belong', but this sounds very (overly) formal and old-fashioned to the modern ear.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

hello sir. when can i use 'whom'?

Hello faisal0901,

'Whom' is the object form of 'who' and it can be used when the pronoun is an object. Generally, we can also use 'who' in such sentences:

Who are you?

Whom are you? - this is wrong because the pronoun is the subject, not the object

You gave it to who?

You gave it to whom? - this is correct because the pronoun is the object.

You can find more information on this topic here.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello faisal0901,

'Whom' is the object form of 'who' and it can be used when the pronoun is an object. Generally, we can also use 'who' in such sentences:

Who are you?

Whom are you? - this is wrong because the pronoun is the subject, not the object

You gave it to who?

You gave it to whom?

Dears all,
I would like really to thank you about your effective replays.
I just have a question in this sentence: (What subjects did you study at school?), is it correct to say (Which subjects did you study at school?), i mean is there any differences in the meaning between the first and the second one ?

Kindly regards.

Hello AnTeMoOo,

You can say both 'what' or 'which' and there's not a big difference in meaning. 'which' is used when there is a limited number of options that have already been discussed, and 'what' is used in other cases, i.e. when the options haven't been discussed. For example, if you and I had been talking about the subjects at school and had mentioned several specific ones, I'd probably use 'which' to ask you the question. On the other hand, if we'd been talking about a different topic and I wanted to ask you the question, I'd probably use 'what'. But both really mean the same thing otherwise.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

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