[Questions] – Lesson 2: Question words

Question words
Question word Asking for / about … Example
What … ? information, type What’s your name?
What is an oak – a tree or a plant?
When … ? time, day, year, etc. When were you born?
When are you coming – today or tomorrow?
Why … ? reason Why are you so tired?
Why don’t you go to bed?
Which … ? choice We have fruit tea and green tea – whichwould you like?
Who … ? a person, a name Who wrote War and Peace – was it Tolstoy?
How … ? method, quality, condition How do you travel to work – by bus or by car?
How was the soup?
How are you today?
Whose … ? possession, owner Whose is this pen? Is it yours or mine?
Whom … ? [formal] a person, name Whom did you see?

Whom is very formal and is not often used in spoken English. Most native speakers use who:

  • Whom did you see? [formal written, formal spoken English]
  • Who did you see? [standard spoken English]
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