Interrogative Pronouns

Interrogative Pronouns:

Interrogative Pronouns:

Interrogative Pronouns:

Introduction:

Interrogative Pronouns are used to ask a question. When we want to get any kind of information, the most usual way is to ask questions. So, we use Interrogative Pronouns to get the required information. Usually, we do not find any antecedent to the Interrogative Pronouns because the antecedent is implied or unknown. 

 

‘Wh’ words are called the Interrogative Pronouns.  But not all. Some of them are Interrogative Adverbs that modify the verb.

 

The common Interrogative Pronouns are: What, Who, Whom, Whose and Which Interrogative Adverbs are: Where, When, Why and How

 

Altogether, we normally call them interrogative words which are also known as 6Ws and 1H.

Interrogative Pronouns can be used as subject, object or possessive. Some pronouns can be used for persons, some for things, and some for both persons and things.

 

Interrogative Pronoun Used as Used for
Who Subject Persons 
Whom Object Persons 
Whose Possessive  Persons 
What Subject or Object Things
Which Subject or Object Persons or Things

 

Interrogative Pronouns Examples:

  • Who went to the park? (Somebody went to the park. Used as a Subject)
  • Whom do you support? (I support Renu. Used as an Object)
  • Whose is this car? (This car is Shravn’s. Used as Possessive)
  • What is your proposal? (This is my proposal.  Used as a Subject)
  • What do you want here? (I want something here. Used as an Object)
  • Which is your bike? (R15 is my bike. Used as Subject)
  • Which do you prefer to buy? (I prefer to buy this house. Used as an Object)

Use of the Interrogative Pronouns:

‘Who’ is used:

As the subject of the verb.

For one or more persons.

Examples:

  • Who are you?
  • Who made all these arrangements?
  • Who is going to pay your fee?
  • Who has quickly answered my question?
  • Who are the boys outside?
  • Who are you talking about? (About whom are you talking?)

 

‘Whom’ is used:

As the Object of the verb.

For one or more persons.

Examples:

  • Whom do you want to meet here?
  • Whom have you asked to come here?
  • Whom did you give that parcel to?
  • Whom are you supporting in the elections?
  • Whom are you talking about?

 

‘Whose’ is used:

As the Possessive of the verb:

For one or more persons.

Examples:

  • Whose is this house?
  • Whose are these certificates?
  • Whose was the bag left there?

 

‘What’ is used:

As the Subject or Object of the verb:

For Things.

Examples:

  • What is your goal in your life?
  • What is your name?
  • What was the place you visited?
  • What are your plans today?
  • What is that in your hand?

 

  • What does she do in this regard?
  • What did you offer him to get this?
  • What has he achieved so far?
  • What do you want here?
  • What had he received from him?

 

Difference between ‘Who are you?’ and ‘What are you?’

Who are you? (Refers to our name) 

I am Raghu.

What are you? (Refers to our profession) 

 I am a principal.

 

‘Which’ is used:

As the Subject or Object of the verb:

For Things and Persons.

Examples:

  • Which is your final option?
  • Which is the room you stayed in last night?
  • Which is her car – Benz or Audi?
  • Which is your sister?
  • Which of the students saw him? 
  • Which of these books is yours? 
  • Which is better – MBBS or Engineering?

 

  • Which do you prefer – to say or to leave?
  • Which did she select?
  • Which are you going to visit – Museum or Park?
  • Which does she consider the best – IAS or IPS?

 

Compound Interrogative Pronouns:

A Pronoun that is formed by adding a suffix like ‘ever’, ‘soever’ is called a Compound Pronoun. The suffix ‘-ever’ and ‘-soever’ are used for emphasis or to show surprise. A compound interrogative pronoun can be used as the subject or object of the verb in a clause.

 

The Compound Interrogative Pronouns are: Whoever (Whosoever), Whomever (Whomsoever), Whichever (Whichsoever), Whatever (Whatsoever), Whosever

Examples:

  • Whoever gave you this idea? 
  • Whomever did you consider fit for that?
  • Whomever shall I inform?
  • Whichever did you prefer?
  • Whatever did he ask you?
  • Whatever do you want from me?

 

Interrogative Pronouns Vs. Relative Pronouns:

Interrogative Pronouns and Relative Pronouns are similar in form but different in meaning. The Relative Pronouns are used to join the clauses whereas the Interrogative Pronouns are used to ask questions. The Relative Pronouns refer to their antecedents but the Interrogative Pronouns do not refer to any antecedents.

Examples:

  • Who is standing outside? (Interrogative Pronoun)
  • I don’t know who is standing outside. (Relative Pronoun)

 

  • Whom do you consider for the job? (Interrogative Pronoun)
  • The lady whom I consider for the job is my sister. (Relative Pronoun)

 

  • Whose is this bag? (Interrogative Pronoun)
  • Sheethal, whose bag is missing, is a doctor. (Relative Pronoun)

 

  • What do you want here? (Interrogative Pronoun)
  • I get what I want to get here. (Relative Pronoun)

 

  • Which do you prefer – car or bike? (Interrogative Pronoun)
  • I have a car and a bike which are not in good condition. (Relative Pronoun)

 

Interrogative Pronouns Vs. Interrogative Adjectives:

There is a common confusion between these two because the words what, which, and whose can be used in both ways.

Interrogative Adjectives modify nouns or pronouns. They do not stand alone. Interrogative Pronouns do not modify anything and they stand alone. It is very easy to identify them.  Let’s find out the difference in the following sentences.

Examples:

  • What is your name? (Interrogative Pronoun)
  • What name have you written there? (Interrogative Adjective)

 

  • Which is your laptop? (Interrogative Pronoun)
  • Which laptop is yours? (Interrogative Adjective)

 

  • Whose is this bike? (Interrogative Pronoun)
  • Whose bike is this? (Interrogative Adjective)