English Question Words

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Are you struggling to ask questions in English? Do you find yourself using the same question words repeatedly? Fear not, for in this article we will provide you with a comprehensive list of English question words. By the end of this reference, you will be able to confidently use a variety of question words in your conversations.

What are Question Words?

Before we dive into the list of English question words, let's define what question words are.

Question words, also known as interrogative words or wh-words, are words used to ask questions. They are typically placed at the beginning of a sentence and require an answer to provide information. English has a variety of question words that serve different purposes, from asking about a person's identity to asking about time and location.

List of English Question Words and Their Meanings

Most common English question words and their meanings:

  • Who: used to ask about a person's identity or to identify a person in a group
  • What: used to ask about something or to request information
  • Where: used to ask about a location or place
  • When: used to ask about a time or date
  • Why: used to ask about a reason or cause
  • How: used to ask about a method or manner
  • Which: used to ask about a choice or selection
  • Whose: used to ask about possession or ownership
  • Whom: used to ask about the object of a verb or preposition

Examples of Question Words in Sentences

Here are all of these words in proper sentences:

  • Who is your favorite actor?
  • What is your favorite color?
  • Where did you go yesterday?
  • When is your birthday?
  • Why did you choose that restaurant?
  • How do you make a cake?
  • Which book do you prefer?
  • Whose car is parked outside?
  • Whom did you give the book to?

As you can see, each question word serves a distinct purpose in the sentence, requesting specific information from the listener.


Common Mistakes

When using English question words, it's important to use them correctly to avoid confusion. Here are some common mistakes to avoid:

  • Using "who" instead of "whom": "Who did you give the book to?" should be "Whom did you give the book to?"
  • Using "what" instead of "which": "What book do you prefer?" should be "Which book do you prefer?"
  • Using "where" instead of "when": "Where is your birthday?" should be "When is your birthday?"

By paying attention to the context of the question, you can avoid these common mistakes and use English question words more effectively.

All Question Starter Words for Your Conversations

In addition to the common English question words listed above, there are several other words that can be used to start a question.

Here is a list of all the question starter words you can use in your conversations:

  • Do
  • Does
  • Did
  • Is
  • Are
  • Was
  • Were
  • Have
  • Has
  • Had
  • Can
  • Could
  • Will
  • Would
  • Should
  • Shall
  • May
  • Might
  • Must

By using these question starter words in combination with the question words listed earlier, you can create a wide variety of questions to ask in your conversations.

List of English Question Words and Their Meanings


English question words are an essential part of asking questions in English. By using the correct question word in the right context, you can effectively request information and engage in meaningful conversations. Remember to avoid common mistakes and use a variety of question starter words to keep your conversations interesting. With this guide, you now have all the tools you need to confidently use English question words in your daily conversations.

Now, go out there and start asking questions!

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PromovaFeb 22nd, 2024
The purpose of using question words is to inquire about specific information or details. They prompt the listener or reader to provide an answer that addresses the query posed by the question word.
ButlerFeb 22nd, 2024
What is the purpose of using question words in a sentence?