Wh Questions; Definition and Example

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Well, in this occasion, I will give explanation about “Wh Questions”.
Do you ever hear about this material before? If you are not, please pay attention my explanation about this material and read this material carefully. Oke, check this out.

Wh- questions (open questions)

Essentially, there are two types of questions: Yes / No questions and Wh– questions. Wh– questions are so called because with the exception of the question word how, all the question words begin with the letters Wh. They are also called open questions because the number of possible responses is limitless. This means they must be answered with more information than just a simple “yes” or “no.”

Here are the Wh- English question words.


 Who and whom are used to obtain information about a person or people.

question response
Who is at the door? Tom is at the door.
Who wants an apple? I want an apple.
Whom is he dating?
(Who is he dating?)
He is dating Anna.

Learn more about the difference between who and whom.

What is used to request information about somebody or something.

question response
What is this? This is a bird.
What did she say? She said to be quiet.
What have they done? They’ve broken the window.

 When is used to obtain information about the time period in which an action occurs.

question response
When does Anna arrive? She arrives at 10:30.
When can I see you again? I don’t know.
When was the race? The race was yesterday.

 Where is used to obtain information about the location of a person or thing.

question response
Where does Natasha live? She lives in Miami.
Where were the keys? The keys were in the car.
Where have you been? We have been at the bank.

 Why is used to obtain information about the reason something happens, or the reason somebody does something.

question response
Why is the steet closed? They are repairing it..
Why did Alex leave? He had a meeting.
Why haven’t you called? I lost my cell phone.

In informal American English, “How come?” is sometimes used in place of “Why?”

Why is she late? = How come she’s late?
Why did he stay? How come he stayed?
Why can’t you go? How come you can’t go?

 How is used to obtain information about the way something happens, or the manner or way somebody behaves or does something.

question response
How does this work? Push the red button.
How was your mother? She was much better.
How has the weather been? It’s been very rainy.
How will he win the race? By training every day.

Which is used to obtain information in order to make a comparison between two or more similar things or people.

question response
Which of these pens is the best? The black one.
Which author do you enjoy? I enjoy reading Borges.
Which river is longer, the Nile or the Amazon? The Nile.
Which street leads downtown? The street on the left.

 Whose is used to obtain information about who something belongs to.

question response
Whose book is on the table? That’s Tom’s book.
Whose idea was that? It was her idea.
Whose child is this that has a cough? He is my child.

Warning! Do not confuse whose with the contraction who’s (who is). In spoken English, these words sound exactly the same, but in writing they are very different. Learn more about who’s vs whose.

Types of questions

There are two types of questions:

  • Yes or no questions
  • Wh questions

 Question words

Question words are also called wh questions because they include the letters ‘W’ and ‘H’.

Question words Meaning Examples
who person Who’s that? That’s Nancy.
where place Where do you live? In Boston
why reason Why do you sleep early? Because I’ve got to get up early
when time When do you go to work? At 7:00
how manner How do you go? By car
what object, idea or action What do you do? I am an engineer
which choice Which one do you prefer? The red one.
whose possession Whose is this book? It’s Alan’s.
whom object of the verb Whom did you meet? I met the manager.
what kind description What kind of music do you like? I like quiet songs
what time time What time did you come home?
how many quantity (countable) How many students are there? There are twenty.
how much amount, price (uncountable) How much time have we got? Ten minutes
how long duration, length How long did you stay in that hotel? For two weeks.
how often frequency How often do you go to the gym? Twice a week.
how far distance How far is your school? It’s one mile far.
how old age How old are you? I’m 16.
how come reason How come I didn’t see you at the party?

Asking questions

1.If you ask about the subject of the sentence, simply add the question word at the beginning:

In conclusion, If you ask about the subject of the sentence : QW + Possitive sentence?


James writes good poems. — Who writes good poems?

2.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:

  • If there is a helping (auxiliary) verb that precedes the main verb ( for example: can, is, are, was, were, will, would…), add the question word and invert the subject and the helping (auxiliary) verb.

He can speak Chinese. — What can he speak?
They are leaving tonight. — When are they leaving?

  • If you ask about the predicate and there is no helping (auxiliary) verb and the verb is “to be”, simply add the question word and invert the subject and the verb.

The play was interesting. — How was the play?

  • If there is no helping (auxiliary) verb in the the predicate and the main verb is not “to be”, add the auxiliary “do” in the appropriate form.

They go to the movies every Saturday. — Where do they go every Saturday?
He wakes up early. — When does he wake up?
They sent a letter. — What did they send?

In conclusion, If you ask about the predicate of the sentence : QW + Introgative sentence?

Grammar Exercises – Wh questions

Write question about the words in bold.


He drank juice. – What did he drink?

  1. They went to Spain.
  2. He writes novels.
  3. Lacy likes soccer
  4. The girls watched a serial.
  5. He discovered the truth.

Okey, That’s all my explanation about this point. Thanks for your attention and thanks for visiting this website. See you next time…


Wh- questions (open questions)


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