Pronouns in questions

Level: beginner

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?

Pronouns in questions 1


We often have a preposition at the end of a question:

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

Pronouns in questions 2


Pronouns in questions 3


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Hello MayelaM,

Both 'Which came first, the chicken or the egg?' and 'Which one came first, the chicken or the egg?' sound quite natural to me.  However, we would not use 'one' when the noun is present immediately after:

'Which book do you want?' = correct

'Which one book do you want?' = incorrect


'Which one of the these do you want?' = correct


'Which of these do you want?' = correct


I hope that clarifies it for you.

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

Could I interrupt your conversation because it has something wrong Which one of the these do you want? or Which one of these do you want? sorry but I have a little bit confusion about this sentence thanks you very much
Hello jmslayer, Thank you for pointing that out, and well spotted! Of course the correct sentence should be: 'Which one of these do you want?' I'm afraid my typing is not the best in the world, so thank you very much for your attention to detail. Best wishes, Peter The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by ahlong on Sat, 17/08/2013 - 17:52



Beside using these as question words, is it correct to form a sentence based on them? E.g. "He is the CEO of the company which enables him to fire anyone he dislikes"


Submitted by aavi on Thu, 15/08/2013 - 18:35



I'm little bit confused in sixth question. According to me it should be "whom does she remind you of?"

Kindly explain it.


Hello aavi,

The word 'whom' is very rarely used in modern English and is becoming a rather archaic form.  In modern English the sentence 'Who does she remind you of?' is much more natural sounding than an alternative with 'whom' (which would be more likely to be structured 'Of whom does she remind you?').

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by kpasali on Mon, 12/08/2013 - 13:55


I didn't answer the six question.

Submitted by Gamaya on Sun, 11/08/2013 - 07:16


Hello everyone ,
As I get it from the lesson the words which and what can be used interchangeably in questions? Is that so? Thanks in advance. :)

Hello Gamaya,

That's not quite true as there are differences in meaning.  'Which' generally means that the choice is from a limited number, whereas 'what' is more general.  For example, look at these two sentences:

Which do you want? [= choose one from the set]

What do you want? [= tell me your question/need/business]

I hope that answers your question.

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Gerpad on Thu, 11/07/2013 - 00:14



I want to know if these two forms of questions are accurate and if both mean same.

1- Who does this book belong to? (This one is in this page.)

2- Whose is this book?


Hello Gerpad,

Both those questions are fine and they mean virtually the same thing.  The only difference, in some contexts, might be that 'belong to' means 'own', whereas 'whose' could also be asking about a library book, for example.

There is one mistake above, but it's not in the questions!  It's a mistake with a preposition: we say 'on the page' not 'in'.

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by kaur on Sat, 29/06/2013 - 21:18


hi there,   can you   please explain me this sentence,"Which university did you go to?"    thanks in advance.

Hi kaur,

I'm not sure what part of the question you would like me to explain.  In English it's not unusual for questions to end with prepositions:

Which university did you go to?

Where are you from?

Who are you with?

The question word 'which' asks the listener to choose one from a number of alternatives.

The structure of the question is not unusual.  Is there anything in particular which you would like us to explain?

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Marzieh.Afghan girl on Thu, 23/05/2013 - 05:14


Hi guys I live in Iran and I want to improve my English plz email me

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx I am 17 years old thnx alot

Hello Marzieh.Afghan girl,

It's good to see you are so keen to improve your English.  However, please remember the House Rules.  We ask members of LearnEnglish not to post or ask for personal information like Facebook, Skype or email addresses.

Thank you and good luck with your learning!
Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Gerpad on Sun, 28/04/2013 - 17:50


I have a question.
I want to know the different between 'I have got' and 'I have' because in my language 'I have got' would sound like ' I have to have ' two time the verb 'to have'?.

When should i use 'I have' and ' I have got'?.

For example in the phase 'I’ve got two books' it's same that 'I have two books'?

And in the questions is it same 'Do you have two books' and 'Have you got two books?'


Hello Gerpad!


The main difference is that have got is used in British English but is not usually used by Americans - although we both use just have. Other than that, have got is mostly identical to have, so all your sentences are correct. If you type have got into our online dictionary, you'll see that almost all the definitions are have (got) to show that both are OK.




Jeremy Bee

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by louder on Thu, 11/04/2013 - 14:01


hello ! sorry to bother you ! i have a question , i think it's not difficult but i need to understand exactly more :
if somebody ask me : " Don't you love me ? " ( go anywhere ) , so then how i should reply if i agree :
A  :no, i don't ! i really love you                                       (use "no")
B: yes , i do ! i love you                                                  (use "yes ")
and if simply is that :
C: no , i don't
D: yes ,i don't
or  E : yes ! i don't love you
F : no ! i love you
i think i can answer in a simple way is :.yes, i do ! but sometimes if i want to use one of the ways above , then are they true or wrong ?? which ones are  wrong ? please give me details or something to use clearly  . thanks a lot .
regards !

Hello again louder!


You are correct - B is the best answer. If you love the person, then C, D, and E are all wrong. The second part of F is correct, but we wouldn't say No.

For these negative questions, say yes if you want to agree with the main verb, and no if you want to disagree - exactly like a normal question!




Jeremy Bee

The LearnEnglish Team



I have a doubt, hope, it will be clarified here.

You have used if clause in your above reply to Louder...

The sentence goes this way, 'if you love the person, THEN .....'

My difficulty is with the use of THEN in if clauses.

I have referred to numerous grammar books most of them being published by Oxford Press, including the latest English Grammar book that takes into account the contemporary use of the language from the same press, I have never come across this use of adding THEN in if clause.

Suppose an ex: If you keep walking, (THEN) you will reach the office in 10 minutes.

The typical grammar should be,...without the THEN.

Can you help me understand this pattern please?

Thanking you

Ravi S


Hello Ravi!


Here, I'm using then to show a logical relationship - that is If this is true, then these other things must be true - or must not be true in the example I gave! This is a less common use of an if clause, but still grammatically fine. It is more common in formal scientific or mathematical argument, and when we speak the then is often dropped, even if we are making a logical argument.


The example you give is predictive, saying something about the future. Here, as you say, we do not usually use then.




Jeremy Bee

The LearnEnglish Team


Submitted by Hava143 on Tue, 26/02/2013 - 16:21

britishcouncil it 's a great website and you got an excellent way to teaching...and somone could tell me why the exercises can't be displayed on ipad...i got an ipad and i want practicing on it but i haven't could..


The reason is that iPads don't have a technology called Flash. Almost all of our games and activities use Flash and so the exercises don't appear on iPads. We are working on finding a solution to this, so don't give up!

Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by maya764 on Mon, 25/02/2013 - 09:20


hi . I am from sri Lanka. i like to chat withe some one for improve my English skills


 Hi guy,


 i would like to improve my english too? could you please chat with me


Kind regards

Submitted by j_amarildo on Tue, 22/01/2013 - 18:33


YES! this exercise was a little hard.

I don't understand what mean the frase "Who does this book belong to?"

Can someone help me?

Welcome! But sorry there's a mistake. The speaker is asking about the owner of the book.

I wrote owner as author by mistake.

"Who does this book belong to?"

This phrase refer to owner or to author of the book

And now peoples? ... Help me pls

I think it is more appropriate to use the word "author" for a person who originated anything instead of the word "owner".

For example, if I buy a book, I become the owner of the book. Now if you and I are together and you ask "Who does this book belong to?" , I will say "It's mine."

I hope it is helpful.

Submitted by lncjojo on Sun, 30/12/2012 - 21:39


This website is very good for my education when i grow up :)

Submitted by lncjojo on Sun, 30/12/2012 - 21:18


This is a really easy exercise to do. 100% yey

Submitted by sinti on Wed, 26/12/2012 - 16:34


I got 76.20%. It's seems bit difficult before ones.

Submitted by Abu Oday on Sat, 22/12/2012 - 12:36


Good exercise. Thanks,

Submitted by dejavubmt on Sun, 02/12/2012 - 13:00


I correct all sentence

but I want to compare questions, which has a preposition in the end or not

sorry if I'm wrong grammar.

Hello dejavubmt!


I'm sorry, I'm not quite sure I understand your problem. We use prepositions in questions when we need them! If you're not sure, think about the answer. For example:

I'm looking for a ____


has a preposition, so you need to use a preposition when asking the question:

What are you looking for?

Hope that helps!

Jeremy Bee

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Alikarim khowaja on Sat, 24/11/2012 - 15:53


It was a great game i liked it

thanks British Council..

Submitted by Mr Pradeep Kumar on Thu, 15/11/2012 - 07:44


Great Excercise,

Thank You...

Submitted by Debinov on Tue, 23/10/2012 - 19:34


Is it common to say "whose is that book?" instead of "whose book is that?" in daily conversation? Could anyone explain to me, please? Thank you..