WH question words are an essential component of English grammar that enable us to ask questions. These words are used to gather information about a particular subject, and they are commonly used in everyday conversations, interviews, and surveys. In this article, we will explore the different types of WH question words and how to use them correctly in sentences.
Understanding WH Question Words
As we learn English, we come across different types of questions. One of the most important types of questions is WH questions. WH questions are used to ask for specific information. In this section, we will discuss the different types of WH question words and how to use them.
What and Why
“What” and “why” are two of the most common WH question words. We use “what” to ask about things, and we use “why” to ask about reasons. For example, “What is your favorite color?” or “Why did you choose that restaurant?”
Who and Whom
“Who” and “whom” are used to ask about people. “Who” is used as the subject of a sentence, and “whom” is used as the object of a sentence. For example, “Who is your favorite actor?” or “Whom did you invite to the party?”
When and Where
“When” and “where” are used to ask about time and place, respectively. For example, “When is your birthday?” or “Where did you go on vacation?”
“How” is used to ask about the manner or method of doing something. For example, “How do you make a cake?” or “How did you learn to play the guitar?”
In conclusion, understanding the different types of WH question words is essential for effective communication in English. By using these question words, we can ask for specific information and have meaningful conversations.
WH Question Words in English
asking for information about something
- What is your name?
asking for a reason, asking why
- What did you do that for?
asking about time
- When did he leave?
asking in or at what place or position
- Where do they live?
asking about choice
- Which color do you want?
asking what or which person or people (subject)
- Who opened the door?
asking what or which person or people (object)
- Whom did you see?
asking about ownership
- Whose are these keys?
- Whose turn is it?
asking for reason, asking what…for
- Why do you say that?
making a suggestion
- Why don’t I help you?
asking about manner
- How does this work?
asking about condition or quality
- How was your exam?
- How far is it from Australia to New Zealand?
length (time or space)
- How long will it take?
- How many cars are there?
- How much money do you have?
- How old are you?
WH Question Words in English | Image
Common Mistakes with WH Question Words
Incorrect Word Order
One common mistake with WH question words is incorrect word order. In English, the order of words in a question is different from the order in a statement. For example, in a statement, we might say “She is going to the store.” But in a question, we would say “Where is she going?” Notice that the subject and verb are inverted in the question.
However, sometimes people make mistakes with the word order in WH questions. For example, they might say “Where she is going?” instead of “Where is she going?” This mistake is easy to make, but it can make your question sound awkward or confusing.
To avoid this mistake, always remember to invert the subject and verb in your WH questions. If you’re not sure, try saying the question as a statement first and then invert the subject and verb.
Wrong WH Word Usage
Another common mistake with WH question words is using the wrong word. In English, there are several different WH question words, each with a specific meaning. For example, “who” is used to ask about a person, “what” is used to ask about a thing or idea, “when” is used to ask about time, and so on.
However, sometimes people use the wrong WH word in their question. For example, they might say “Who time is it?” instead of “What time is it?” This mistake can make your question sound nonsensical or confusing.
To avoid this mistake, make sure you understand the meaning of each WH question word and use the right one for your question. If you’re not sure, look up the word in a dictionary or ask a teacher or native speaker for help.
In conclusion, paying attention to word order and using the correct WH question word can make your questions clearer and more effective. By avoiding these common mistakes, we can communicate more effectively in English.
Practice Exercises with WH Question Words
As we have learned, WH question words are used to ask questions in English. Now, let’s test our understanding with some practice exercises.
Fill in the Blanks
In this exercise, we will fill in the blanks with the appropriate WH question word.
Example: _____ is your name? (Answer: What)
- _____ did you go yesterday?
- _____ do you like to do in your free time?
- _____ is your favorite color?
- _____ did you buy at the store?
- _____ time is it?
Identify the Correct WH Word
In this exercise, we will identify the correct WH question word that fits the given question.
Example: _____ is your name? (Answer: What)
- _____ is the capital of France? (Answer: What/Which)
- _____ did you go to school? (Answer: Where)
- _____ do you want to eat for dinner? (Answer: What)
- _____ is the tallest mountain in the world? (Answer: What/Which)
- _____ did you go on vacation last year? (Answer: Where)
Remember, practice makes perfect! Keep practicing and you’ll become a master of WH question words in no time.
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