We use question words to ask certain types of questions.  We often refer to them as WH words/questions because they include the letters WH (for example WHy, WHen).


key_small1. WH QUESTIONS


WHO : We use WHO to ask about people (subject).

    Who are you going to invite?  My new neighbour.


WHOM : We use WHOM to ask about people (object).

    Whom did you see?   The former president of the club.


WHAT : We use WHAT and WHICH to ask about things.

    What did do when you were in London?  Oh! many things.


 WHICH : We use WHICH when there is a small number of possible answers.

    Which newspaper do you prefer The Times or The GuardianThe Guardian.


WHEN : We use WHEN to ask about times and dates.

    When will you see him?  Tomorrow morning.


WHERE : We use WHERE to ask about places.

    Where do you live?  In Manchester.


WHOSE : We use WHOSE to ask about possession.

    Whose car is it?   It is mine.


WHY : We use WHY to ask about the reason for something.

    Why was he arrested?  Because he robbed a bank.


WHAT TIME : We use WHAT TIME to ask about the time.

    What time did his train leave?  At half past nine.


WHAT… FOR : We use WHAT ... FOR to ask about the reason for something.

    What did you go to the chemist's for?  To buy some sleeping pills.


 WHAT… LIKE : We use WHAT ... LIKE to ask about the aspect of something.

    What is the weather like ?  It's very sunny today.



key_small  2. HOW QUESTIONS


HOW : We use HOW to ask « in what way ».

    How did he get here?  He came by train, I think.


 HOW : We use HOW to ask about people's health or happiness.

    How are you?  I'm very well, thank you.


 HOW OLD : We use HOW OLD to ask about the age.

    How old will you be next month? I'll be 25.


HOW OFTEN : We use HOW OFTEN to ask about the frequency.

    How often does she go to Paris?  She goes to Paris twice a month.


HOW MUCH + uncountable : We use HOW MUCH to ask about the price.

    How much did they pay for it? They paid £ 55 for it.


HOW MANY + countable : We use HOW MANY to ask about numbers.

    How many people were there? There were 230 people.


HOW LONG : We use HOW LONG to ask about the duration.

    How long has he been working? He's been working for 5 years.


 HOW FAR : We use HOW FAR to ask about the distance.

    How far is it from here?  It's about 2 miles and a half.


HOW TALL : We use HOW TALL to ask about the size.

    How tall is he?  He's 5 feet 6.


HOW DEEP : We use HOW DEEP to ask about the depth.

    How deep is the pool?  It is two metres deep.


 HOW HEAVY : We use HOW HEAVY to ask about the weight.

    How heavy is the parcel?  The parcel weighs more than 2 kilos, I'm sure.


 HOW COME : We use HOW COME to ask for reason, to ask why (Informal).

    How come I can't speak to them?  Because they are on holiday.




After reading this page, you may want to do some exercises, then just click HERE.