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WH Question Words We use question words to ask certain types of questions (question word questions).

We often refer to them as WH words because they include the letters WH (for example WHy, HoW).Question Word Function Example what asking for information about something asking for repetition or confirmation What is your name? What? I can't hear you. You did what? what...for when where which who asking for a reason, asking why asking about time asking in or at what place or position asking about choice asking what or which person or people (subject) whom asking what or which person or people (object) whose asking about ownership Whom did you see? Whose are these keys? Whose turn is it? why asking for reason, asking what...for making a suggestion Why do you say that? Why don't I help you? How does this work? How was your exam? Who opened the door? What did you do that for? When did he leave? Where do they live? Which colour do you want?

why don't how

asking about manner asking about condition or quality

how + adj/ad

asking about extent or degree see examples below

how far distance how long how many

How far is Pattaya from Bangkok?

length (time or space) How long will it take? quantity (countable) How many cars are there?

how much how old

quantity (uncountable) How much money do you have? age How old are you? asking for reason, asking why How come I can't see her?

how come (informal)

WH QUESTIONS What time did you come home last night?

Objectives: * Practice using wh question words to make questions.

Question words: who, what, when, where, which, how

Directions: Change the statements to questions using the question word in prakets. Check verb tense.

Example: The train arrived at ten oclock. (what time) What time did the train arrive? They do their homework at night. (when) Mr. Robertson came to the party alone. (who) The car is across the street from the house. (where) I like the red blouse, not the blue one. (which) She felt better after she took a nap. (how) That is an English book. (what) My sister called her boyfriend yesterday (when) She talked to him for an hour. (how long) He studies piano at the university. (what) The party lasted all night. (how long)

The check was for $5.50. (how much) She was eating a sandwich. (what) She is working hard. (what) My parents have two cars. (how many) They are coming to visit tomorrow. (when) He is going to work right now. (where) The man with the white hat is my brother. (who) I dont get up early because I like to sleep late. (why) We have an English class every day. (how often) They like to dance on weekends. (what) The club is not far from their house. (where) Their favorite kind of music is Latin Jazz. (what) I didnt bring my dictionary today. (why) They are singing popular songs. (what kind) Check your answers

1. When do they do their homework. 2. Who did Mr. Robertson come to the party with? 3. Where is the car? 4. Which blouse do you like? 5. How did she feel? 6. What kind of book is that?/ What is that?/ What is that book? 7. When did your sister call her boyfriend? 9. What does he study at the university?

10. How long did the party last? 11. How much was the check for? 13. What is she doing? 14. How many cars do your parents have? 15. When are they coming to visit? 16. Where is he going right now? 17. Who is the man with the white hat? 18. Why don't you get up early? 19. How often do you have an English class? 20. What do they like to do on weekends? 21. Where is the club? 22. What is their favorite kind of music? 23. Why didn't you bring your dictionary today? 24. What kind of songs are they singing?

Wh- Questions allow a speaker to find out more information about topics. They are as follows: When?





What? Time






Other words can also be used to inquire about specific information: Which (one)?



How much?

How many?

How long?

How often?

How far?

What kind (of)? Choice of alternatives


Person (objective formal)

Price, amount (non-count)

Quantity (count)





The "grammar" used with wh- questions depends on whether the topic being asked about is the "subject" or "predicate" of a sentence. For the subject pattern, simply replace the person or thing being asked about with the appropriate wh-word. (Someone has my baseball.)

(Something is bothering you.) Who has my baseball?

What is bothering you?

For the predicate pattern, wh- question formation depends on whether there is an "auxiliary" verb in the original sentence. Auxiliary or "helping" verbs are verbs that precede main verbs. Auxiliary verbs are italicized in the following sentences.

I can do it.

They are leaving.

I have eaten my lunch.

I should have finished my homework.

To make a question using the predicate pattern, first form a yes/no question by inverting the subject and (first) auxiliary verb. Then, add the appropriate wh- word to the beginning of the sentence. (You will leave some time.)

? will you leave When will you leave?

(He is doing something.) ? is he doing What is he doing?

(They have been somewhere.) ? have they been Where have they been?

If there is no auxiliary and the verb is "be," invert the subject and verb, then add the appropriate whword to the beginning of the sentence. (He is someone.) ? is he Who is he?

(The meeting was some time.) ? was the meeting When was the meeting?

If there is no auxiliary and the verb is not "be," add do to the beginning of the sentence. Then add the appropriate wh-question word. Be sure to "transfer" the tense and number from the main verb to the word do. (You want something.)

? do you want What do you want?

(You went somewhere.) ? did you go (past tense) Where did you go?

(She likes something.) ? does she like (third person -s) What does she like?