There are three interrogative determiners in English: what, which, and whose. In this lesson we will go through each one of them.
We use interrogative determiners to ask questions. Interrogative determiners make direct or indirect questions and exclamations.
The three interrogative determiners in English grammar are:
Interrogative Determiner: What
'What' is used in questions to ask for particular information about somebody or something. Unlike the pronoun 'what', which stands alone, the determiner 'what' always comes before a noun or a noun phrase.
Now notice that in the following examples, 'what' is a pronoun, not a determiner.
Interrogative Determiner: Which
'Which' is used in questions to ask somebody to be exact about one or more people or things from a limited number.
That's why 'what' is considered a general determiner and 'which' is considered a specific determiner.
Now notice that in the following examples, 'which' is a pronoun, not a determiner.
Interrogative Determiner: Whose
'Whose' is used in questions to ask about what belongs to which person. Notice that 'whose' functions both as an interrogative and a possessive determiner, so 'whose' is technically the only interrogative possessive determiner in English.
Now notice that in the following examples, 'whose' is a pronoun, not a determiner.
Interrogative Determiners in Indirect Questions
Up till now, all the examples that we've seen so far are examples of direct questions. But, note that these interrogative determiners can also appear in indirect questions.
Can you tell me
Do you know his sister is a teacher at
Interrogative words are words that are used to ask questions to get different information. There are three main interrogative words that we discussed in the article. Now, let us have a quick look over them.