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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



Hello Wang Zijian,

It depends on the context. If a specific list of countries has been mentioned, then 'which' is better. But if there is no such context (i.e. there is no list of countries that has been mentioned or which is otherwise available given the context), then 'what' is best.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Sir,
i don't understand using of whose. please provide me some more examples for better understanding.

Hello Hzazai,

Used as a question word, 'whose' asks about ownership or possession. For example:


Whose pen is this? (= who does the pen belong to)

It's mine. (= the pen belongs to me)


Whose coat is the nicest? (= the coat belonging to whom)

I like Paul's coat the best. (= the coat belonging to Paul).


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Mrs.
Can I say
What newspaper do you read? - The Times or Washington Post ?
Which newspaper do you read – the Times or the Guardian?

Hello karogrig,

Our what and which page explains this in some detail. Normally 'which' would be used here, since there is a specific limited number of newspapers in question.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team


Hello Team

I want to know about the usage of "what" and "which".
What news paper do you read?
which news parer do you read?
Which university did you go to?
What country do you come from?
When exactly does one use "what" and "which"

Hello Pavan Kaur,

We have a page on this topic which will help you with this. You can find it here.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

How long BEFORE did this occur ?
Can before be used to express past in this instance

How long SINCE the last bust departed?
Is the expression correct

How long UNTIL the next bus arrives ?
Can until be used to express future in this instance

Can you confirm this TO me?
Can TO be used for confirming conversation between 2 people

Please provide simple explanation on whether or not above statements correct

Hello SamJ,

I'm afraid we don't generally provide explanations of questions or sentences that don't come from our website. We also ask our users to explain to us in detail what they do and do not understand, as well as to ask specific questions, as this helps us to answer questions more effectively and also saves us time.

I'll answer your last question now, but to get answers to the others, please write them in separate comments and ask more specific questions. Normally, no phrase (such as 'to me') is used with the verb 'confirm', i.e. the most natural way to say this is simply 'Can you confirm this?' The idea of 'to me' is already understood.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Which came first? or Which did come first?