What Are Wh- Questions?
'How' does not start with Wh- but nonetheless, it is considered a wh- question word.
We use them to ask for information. You cannot answer Wh- Questions with 'yes' or 'no.'
Wh- Questions: Structure
1. With an Auxiliary Verb
Wh- Questions are formed with these structures:
wh- word + a modal verb + subject + main verb
2. Without an Auxiliary Verb
Some wh- question words can either be the object or the subject of the questions. When this is the case, we do not use an auxiliary verb. These wh- question words are:
The word order of the question would be:
wh question word + main verb + rest of the sentence
How to Answer Wh- Questions?
We ask Wh- questions to receive information. You cannot answer a Wh- question with a simple 'Yes' or 'No.' You should answer in such a way that gives information.
Negative Wh- Questions
We can make a negative Wh- question with the negative form of the auxiliary verbs 'be,' 'do' and 'have.'
Even when the wh-word is the subject of the clause, the above rule applies.
How to Add Emphasis to Wh- Questions?
Sometimes we want to put emphasis on a question; either because we have not already get the answer or information that we wanted, or we have wanted to show strong interest.
When we want to put emphasis on Wh- questions, we can stress the auxiliary verb 'do.'
Where did you go?
When the wh-word is the object of the sentence, the do auxiliary is stressed to make it more emphatic.
So who does live there?
The non-emphatic version of the question would be: 'So who lives there?'
How Is the Intonation of Wh- Questions?
Normally, the intonation of Wh- questions is falling (↘). The falling intonation is on the most important syllable.
To Question the Subject
Whenever we questioning the subject, an auxiliary verb is not needed. But when the object is questioned we always need an auxiliary to make questions.
Who drinks tea?
Who do you drink tea with?
In this example, we mean 'with whom do you drink tea?'
Interrogative words are divided into three groups:
As we have learned before the determiners are a group of words that give us information about their following noun ornoun phrase. Interrogative determiners ask questions. In English there are three interrogative determiners: What, Which, Whose; Whose is also the only possessive interrogative in English. These interrogative determiners can both form direct and indirect questions. They can also form exclamations.
- Interrogative determiner "what"
We use it to ask information about subjects (with no inversion) or objects (with inversion).
- Interrogative determiner "which"
We use it to ask questions about choices or possibilities.
- Interrogative determiner "whose"
We use it to ask about ownerships or possessions.
Pay attention to not confuse "whose" with "who's" which is the contracted form of who is or who has.
We have learned that the pronouns are the words we use to replace a noun. Interrogative pronoun is a type of pronoun that seeks an answer. The common and main interrogative pronouns are: What, Which, Who, Whom and Whose. Some of the less common interrogative pronouns are the same with the mentioned pronouns only with suffixes: Whatever, Whichever, Whatsoever. The answer to these interrogative pronouns is always something working as a noun. Just like the interrogative determiners.
- Interrogative pronoun "which"
We use it to ask questions about choices or possibilities, and the answer is expected to be a choice or possibility too.
- Interrogative pronoun "what"
We use it to ask information about subjects (with no inversion) or objects (with inversion). The answer can be an object or an abstract object.
- Interrogative pronoun "whose"
We use it to ask about possessions and ownership.
Here is a phone,
- Interrogative pronouns "who" and "whom"
We use them when the answer is a person (or it is expected to be). We use "who" as a subject (like he, she, you, I) and "whom" as an object (like him, her, you, me).
Let's see how can we make sure we use who and whom correctly:
Here we could replace who with "he".
Here is tricky, we need to change the order to find out whether "he" or "him" can be replaced 'did you call him?', So yes! Whom is the right choice.
Don't confuse the interrogative pronouns and interrogative determiners. Even though they look the same but they are not. Let's see some examples:
As you can see the "wh-words" here are not alone; they all are standing behind a noun or pronoun and modifying it. Therefor they are the interrogative determiners. Now let's see some other examples:
As you can see these wh-words are all alone and standing by themselves. Therefore, they are interrogative pronouns.
We use the interrogative adverbs to ask questions. When a question starts with an interrogative adverb the following word is the verb. The interrogative adverbs are: Where, Why, When and How. The response to these questions should always be an adverb (whether it is a single-word adverb or an adverbial phrase or clause.)
- Interrogative adverb of "place"
We use the interrogative adverb "where" to form questions related to place matters.
- Interrogative adverb of "reason"
We use the interrogative adverb "why" to form questions related to reasons and causes.
- Interrogative adverb of "time"
We use the interrogative adverb "when" to form time related questions. We can also use "how" to ask these questions.
- Interrogative adverb of "manner"
We use the interrogative adverb "how" to form questions about manner.
- Interrogative adverb of "quantity and amount"
We use the interrogative adverb "how" to form questions about quantity, amount.
- Interrogative adverb of "degree"
We use the interrogative adverb "how" + attributive adjective to form a question about degree.
As you can see "how" is a little bit tricky, first it is the only wh-question word that does not start with a "wh", and also it can be used for various matters.
Wh- questions are used to ask for information about something. The answers to these questions are not 'yes' or 'no.'
Here are some wh-words that are used to ask wh-questions.
The general structure for wh-questions is to put the wh-word at the beginning of a sentence followed by a yes/no question. Look at the following examples:
What are you doing?
Who eats chicken?