Since question words include both a “W” and an “H”, they are referred to as “wh” question words.
|who||person||Who is she? That’s the neighbor next door.
Who is that? Our mailman.
|where||place||Where are you from? I’m from California.
Where are you staying? At my parent’s house.
|why||reason||Why do you stay up so late? I work the night shift.
Why did she leave? She has to work in the morning.
|when||time||When are you leaving? I am leaving at 10 pm.
When do you work again? Tomorrow.
|how||manner||How did you get here? I got here by plane.
How did you do on the test? I got an 88.
|what||object, idea or action||What time is it? It is 5 o’clock.
What color is that? Red.
|which||choice||Which one do you like better? I like the blue one.
Which one looks better? I prefer the purple one.
|whose||possession||Do you know whose dog this is? It’s Susan’s.
Whose car is that? Robin’s.
|whom||object of the verb||Whom did you talk to? I talked to Bob.
Whom did you interview with? The HR manager.
|what kind||description||What kind of food do you like? Mexican.
Do you know what kind of car Mary drives? A Cavalier.
|what time||time||What time did you get here? I arrived at 3 pm.
What time do you have to leave? By 4 pm.
|how many||quantity (countable)||How many kids do you have? I have two.
How many puppies did she have? Five.
|how much||amount, price (uncountable)||How much time is left until they close? We have 20 minutes.
How much for the flowers? $19.95
|how long||duration, length||How long until we arrive? We will be there in five minutes.
How long before they close? 10 minutes.
|how often||frequency||How often are we paid? Every two weeks.
How often do you get Christmas off? Every other year.
|how far||distance||Do you know how far it is to the gym? It’s about five miles away.
How far is the restaurant? 10 minutes away.
|how old||age||How old is your dog? He is three years old.
How old is this food? I made it yesterday.
|how come||reason||How come you arrived so late? I had to work overtime.
How come you weren’t at work yesterday? I didn’t feel well.
Add question words to the beginning of the sentence if you ask about the subject in the sentence.
Sally makes great lasagna. — Who makes great lasagna?
When asking about the sentence’s predicate (the sentence part containing the verb and providing information about the subject), you can choose from one of three choices.
1. When a helping verb comes before the main verb, you simply add in the question word and flip the helping verb and subject.
Stacie sent a letter in the mail. – What did Stacie send?
Jenny makes great tacos. – What can Jenny make?
2. When asking about the predicate and no helping verb exists and the verb itself is “to be”, all you need to do is add in a question verb and swap the verb and the subject.
The movie was amazing. — How was the movie?
3. When there isn’t a helping verb for the predicate and your main verb isn’t “to be”, you add in the helping verb “do” using the proper form.
Sally and Mike go out to dinner every Friday. — When do Sally and Mike go out to dinner again?
Sarah slept in late. — When does Sarah get up?
Tom got a message. — What did Tom get?
- He gave me a sandwich. — What did he give you?