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WH Questions Words: Learn 8 WH Question Words with Helpful Examples

WH Questions Words: Learn 8 WH Question Words with Helpful Examples

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In the wide realm of the English language, we often find ourselves in search of information, and that’s where WH question words become our trusty tools. These special words allow us to probe deeper into the details of a conversation, giving us the ability to ask for specifics. Whether we’re curious about a location, time, reason, or person, WH questions open the door to the information we’re after.

Fundamentals of WH Questions Words

WH Questions Words: Learn 8 WH Question Words with Helpful Examples

Definition of WH Words

WH words form the basis of information-seeking questions. These words typically start with the letters “W” and “H,” and they prompt the delivery of specific types of answers, leading away from yes/no responses. WH words seek qualitative information and detail, crucial for clear and effective communication.

Types of WH Questions

Here’s a brief breakdown of the types of WH questions we often use:

  1. What: Inquires about things or information.
  2. Who: Asks about people.
  3. When: Pertains to time.
  4. Where: Seeks a place or location.
  5. Why: Asks for reasons or causes.
  6. Which: Chooses between options.
  7. Whose: Inquires about possession.
  8. How: Covers manner, state, or condition.

Common WH Questions Words


Usage: WHO is used to ask the person who did the action.


  • Who is next?
  • Who is answering the phone?
  • Who is your partner?
  • Who is the Present of Brazil?
  • Who will be the winner?
  • Who wrote the letter?


Usage: WHAT is used to ask for information.


  • What does this sentence mean?
  • What did she say?
  • What is this?
  • What dress are you wearing tonight?
  • What is the Capital of Brazil?
  • What did they do last night?


Usage: WHEN is used to ask the time of an event/action.


  • When did you go last night?
  • When will they come?
  • When does Anna arrive?
  • When can I see you again?
  • When is the next World Cup?
  • When is your birthday?


Usage: WHERE is used to ask for the location.


  • Where are you?
  • Where is the school?
  • Where were the keys?
  • Where do you live?
  • Where are we going?
  • Where is this?


Usage: WHY is used to ask for a reason/cause.


  • Why did you do that?
  • Why he didn’t come?
  • Why did you break the glass?
  • Why haven’t you called?
  • Why did Alex leave?
  • Why you didn’t choose that one?


Usage: HOW is used to explain a process.


  • How do you like that?
  • How does it work?
  • How‘s it going?
  • How do you do?
  • How do you learn English?
  • How has the weather been?
  • How was your mother?


Usage: WHICH is used when there is a choice.


  • Which one is better?
  • Which of these pens is the best?
  • Which ingredients do you need to make an apple pie?
  • Which author do you enjoy?
  • Which river is longer, the Nile or the Amazon?
  • Which pen is blue?


Usage: WHOSE is used to show possession.


  • Whose idea was that?
  • Whose keys are these?
  • Whose book is on the table?
  • Whose child is this that has a cough?
  • Whose bag is this?

Grammar Rules for WH Questions

Getting the word order right is essential for the question to sound natural in English. We generally follow this structure:

  1. WH Question Word
  2. Auxiliary Verb (if needed)
  3. Subject
  4. Main Verb
  5. Complements/Modifiers

Here’s a simple table to demonstrate:

WH Word Auxiliary Verb Subject Main Verb Complement/Modifier
Why did you leave the party early?
How are they traveling to New York?

Remember, when the WH word is the subject itself, we don’t need an auxiliary verb:

  • Who lives here?

Above all, practice will make our questions sound more fluent and natural. So let’s keep asking questions!

WH Questions in Different Contexts

Formal vs Informal Usage

Formal Situations:

  • In formal contexts, we often use WH questions with added politeness markers or complete sentences. For instance:
    • “Could you tell us where the meeting will be held?”
    • Whom should we contact for further information?”

Informal Situations:

  • On the other hand, when we’re in informal settings, our WH questions tend to be more direct and casual. For example:
    • “Hey, what’s up?”
    • Where‘s the party tonight?”

Written vs Spoken Contexts

Written Language:

  • In written English, our WH questions are typically full sentences, punctuated properly. For instance:
    • “We wondered, what are the main objectives of the project?”
    • How can we improve our performance?”

Spoken Language:

  • While speaking, we often use WH questions more spontaneously and sometimes don’t require a full sentence. We might also use intonation to convey the question:
    • What time’s dinner?”
    • How do we get there from here?” (rising intonation)

Frequently Asked Questions

How can you construct a sentence using a WH question word?

When constructing a sentence with a WH question word, we start with the WH word, follow it with the auxiliary verb if necessary, then the subject, and finally the main verb. For example, “What are you doing this weekend?”

Could you provide a list of the most commonly used WH question words?

Certainly! The most commonly used WH question words include who, what, where, when, why, which, and how. These words help us ask about people, objects, places, time, reasons, choices, and methods, respectively.

What distinguishes a WH question from other types of questions?

WH questions are distinct because they ask for specific information and are open-ended, unlike yes/no questions which typically garner a simple affirmative or negative response. They require more detailed answers and begin with a word that includes ‘WH’.

Can you give me some tips on how to effectively practice WH questions?

To practice WH questions, we can start by reading a text and formulating questions about its content using different WH words. Additionally, engaging in conversation and asking each other WH questions about our daily lives can help reinforce our understanding.

What are some examples of WH questions in different tenses?

Here are examples in three different tenses: “What did you do yesterday?” (past simple), “What are you doing?” (present continuous), and “What will you do tomorrow?” (future simple).

How can understanding WH question words improve English language skills?

Grasping WH question words expands our ability to gather information and engage in meaningful conversations. It enhances our listening comprehension and our capacity to ask and answer questions effectively.

Phyo Pa Pa Zin

Saturday 29th of July 2023

I study wh question easily and correctly. I know more information about this.

Ms. Rudy

Tuesday 23rd of May 2023

How do I get a copy of the chart? I'd like to use it with my deaf kindergartener.


Thursday 20th of April 2023

Thank you so much,finally I know how to use each wh questions


Wednesday 4th of January 2023

I love the simple explanation