Identifying an interrogative pronoun is an easy task. Interrogative pronouns can act asrelative pronounsindirect or indirect questions. All interrogative pronouns inquire about someone or something. They operate only in questions. Each interrogative pronoun either references a person or an object.
What are Interrogative Pronouns?
Five interrogative pronouns exist in the English language. Whose, who, whom, what, and which fall into the category of interrogative pronouns. Additionally, people call this group of pronounswh-words. When found in questions these words are referred to as wh questions.
These five pronouns help form direct and indirect questions. Direct questions begin with wh-words and end withquestion marks. In contrast, we find indirect questions in statements. The word order changes to reflect the wh-words inclusion in a statement. Indirect questions usually end with aperiodrather than a question mark.
Interrogative pronouns can adopt thesuffixesever and soever. Listed below are examples of interrogative pronouns with suffixes.
- whatever or whatsoever
- whoever or whosoever
- whichever or whichsoever
- whomsoever or whomever
- whosesoever or whosever
Interrogative Pronouns Examples
Whosecan suggest a person or an object, but it always indicates possession. In other words,whoseinfers belonging or ownership of something or someone. Besides, we can usewhoseas a pronoun or a noun head.
- Whoseis this? (pronoun)
- Whose kidsare those in the tree? (noun head)
- I wonderwhose bikeis in our garage. (noun head)
- Whose headphonesare those? (noun head)
Whatis a versatile interrogativepronoun. It can refer either to a person or an object. Also, it can head a noun or act as a pronoun. We usewhatwhen asking a question that has a large spectrum of possible answers.
- Whatdo you want to eat? (pronoun)
- I wonderwhat hewas saying. (noun head)
- Whatis your favorite color? (pronoun)
- What timedoes the wedding start? (noun head)
The interrogative pronounwhichcan reference an object or person. It can function alone or operate as a noun head. We use this wh-word to ask for specific information when a limited range of options exist.
- Which catalogdo you want to peruse? (noun head)
- Whichof these men work at thedealership? (pronoun)
- They askedwhichroadto take. (noun head)
- Which flavorwould you like? (noun head)
Whoreferences human beings. It works exclusively as a pronoun.
- Whois visiting tomorrow?
- Whostole the bike?
- I’m wonderingwhowill be at the park this time.
- Whois going to wash the dishes?
Whomfunctions as an interrogative pronoun. It references people. This pronoun appears less often than the other interrogative pronouns found in the English language. This is because it is only used in formal writing. That is to say, it is not used in speech.
Whombecomes even more formal when aprepositionoccurs before it. For example, to whom did you visit appears more formal than whom did you visit.
- Whomdid you talk to?
- Whomdid you cast your ballot for?
- You need to askwhom说到。
- Whomdo eat lunch with?
Interrogative Pronoun | Infographic
Last Updated on February 1, 2021