Questions: Wh questions

1st Part
Yes or No

2nd Part
Wh questions

3rd Part
Direct / Indirect

4th Part
Tag questions

Grammar in use

  • Topic : Questions : Wh questions
  • Skills : Grammar


What is a Wh question?
A “wh-question” (or “wh-words question”) is a type of question in English that begins with a word that contains :
“wh,” such as “who,” “what,” “where,” “when,” “why,” and “how.”
These questions are used to gather information about specific details, rather than simply asking for a yes or no answer.
Wh-questions usually require more complex responses and explanations from the person being asked.

 a special word order (Verb Subject Object) is used to form yes-no questions.

whopersonWho is your favorite actor?
whereplaceWhere did you go on your last vacation?
whyreasonWhy did you choose this university to study at?
whentimeWhen is your birthday?
howmannerHow did you learn to play the guitar?
whatobject, idea or actionWhat is your favorite book?
whichchoiceWhich color do you prefer, blue or green?
whosepossessionWhose car is parked outside?
whomobject of the verbWhom did you invite to the party?
what kinddescriptionWhat kind of food do you enjoy eating?
what timetimeWhat time does the movie start?
how manyquantity (countable)How many siblings do you have?
how muchamount, price (uncountable)How much does this shirt cost?
how longduration, lengthHow long have you been living in this city?
how oftenfrequencyHow often do you read books?
how fardistanceHow far is the nearest gas station?
how oldageHow old is your brother?
how comereasonHow come you’re not going to the concert tonight?

How to make Wh questions?

If you ask about the subject of the sentence, just add the question word at the beginning:The concert starts at 7 pm. → What time does the concert start?
If you ask about the predicate of the sentence (the part of a sentence which contains the verb and gives information about the subject), there are three options:You are going to the store. → Are you going to the store?
The movie starts at 7 pm. → Does the movie start at 7 pm?
They have already left. → Have they already left?
She should call her mother. → Should she call her mother?

Guidelines for constructing questions in English:

1. Start with an auxiliary verb or question word: To form a question in English, begin with an auxiliary verb (such as “do,” “does,” “did,” “is,” “are,” “was,” “were,” “will,” “can,” etc.) or a question word (such as “what,” “who,” “where,” “when,” “why,” “which,” or “how”).
2. Invert the subject and auxiliary verb: If you’re using an auxiliary verb, invert the subject and auxiliary verb. For example, “She is singing” becomes “Is she singing?” or “They have finished” becomes “Have they finished?”
3. Add a question mark: Always end a question with a question mark (?).
4. Use rising intonation: When speaking, use a rising intonation at the end of the question to indicate that you are asking a question.
5. Avoid using double negatives: Avoid using double negatives when forming a question. For example, instead of asking “Don’t you have any money?” ask “Do you have any money?”
6. Be clear and concise: Try to ask questions that are clear and concise. Use simple language and avoid using unnecessary words.

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