Wednesday, 6 July 2011


'Wh' questions ask for specific information and start with a question word.
What Which When Where Whereabouts Why Whose How

The most common question structure is: Question word + Auxiliary Verb + Subject +Main Verb.

'Wh' questions usually have a FALLING INTONATION.


Present simple Whose is this? What do you do? I'm a teacher.
Present continuous Where are you going? To the bank.
Past simple When were you there? When did she do that? Last night.
Past continuous Who were playing? Flamengo & Vasco.
Pres. perf. simple Why haven't you done your homework? Because I didn't have time.
Pres. perf. continuous Which report have you been working on? The one you asked you asked me to.
Passive Whereabouts were they found? On the side of the mountain.
will / would Who will be there? How will they get here? By train.
Can / could How could you? What could it be? It might be a UFO.

'What' can be followed by a noun and is usually used when there is an unlimited number of possibilities. 'Which' is normally used with a limited number of choices.

Eg. What size do you need? Which one do you like the most?

When asking about people it is better to use which. Eg. Which astronauts have landed on the moon?

'How' can combine with adjectives and adverbs.

How many (countables), How much (uncountables), How tall (height), How old (age), How big (size), How fast (speed), How often (frequency), How many times (number), How long (duration), How far (distance)

Prepositions often come at the end of a question.

Eg. What are you looking at? Which channel is the film on?

What are you afraid of? What schools did you go to?

Who did you dance with? What is it about?

Who did you give it to? Who was it written by?

Who is he getting married to? What did you do that for?

How long did you stay for? Who did you get that from?

Short reply questions with prepositions are also possible in English.

Eg. What with? What about? What for? Who to? Who from? Where to?

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