List of interrogative pronouns

Interrogative pronouns

English has five interrogative pronouns: who, whom, whose, what, and which.

Interrogative pronouns
Pronoun Asking for / about Example
What? information, type What’s your name?
What is an oak – a tree or a plant?
Which? choice We have fruit tea and green tea – which would you like?
Who? a person, a name Who wrote War and Peace – was it Tolstoy?
Whose? possession, owner Whose is this pen? Is it yours?
Whom? (formal) a person, name Whom did you see? (formal, less common)
Who did you see? (more common)

Whom or who?

Whom is formal and is not used very often in spoken English. We prefer to use who in spoken English:

  • Whom did you ask? [formal written, formal spoken English]
  • Who did you ask? [standard spoken English]

Practise this grammar (elementary level)

 Exercise: question words / interrogative pronouns (1)

Exercise: question words / interrogative pronouns (2)

5 Comments

  1. Anonymous - February 3, 2016, 10:37 pm Reply

    When?

    • Stuart Cook - February 5, 2016, 10:16 pm Reply

      When is an adverb or conjunction.

  2. Tasma Charles - January 17, 2017, 5:53 am Reply

    It depends on the sentence in which it is used. Consider its use in the examples below.
    I do not know when to come.
    I arrived when it was raining.
    The students were eating when thunder struck.

  3. Rihan - June 12, 2017, 4:02 pm Reply

    I like this speakspeak so much

  4. Julie - October 1, 2017, 11:12 pm Reply

    Well, regarding who and whom, it has nothing to do with formal and informal speech. A simple test to see which one to use: Try to replace who or whom with a name. To use the examples above:
    ‘Whom did you ask?’ is correct. If you turn it into a sentence, you can not replace the word whom with a name. (Joey did you ask.) If you put a comma after Joey then it seems like it works. ‘Joey, did you ask?’ but that is still a question. You have to turn it into a sentence.
    Who is going to the park? is correct. When you turn it into a sentence, you can replace who with a name: Joey is going to the park.
    This is just a quick test I do but there is grammar logic behind who and whom. Object vs. Subject.

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