An Introduction to Interrogative Pronouns – With Examples
  • 3-minute read
  • 14th November 2023

An Introduction to Interrogative Pronouns – With Examples

Pronouns are versatile words that help simplify language. To avoid repetition, we use them instead of nouns or noun phrases to refer to people, places, things, or ideas. We commonly use eight types of pronouns in writing, including interrogative pronouns.

In this post, we’ll tell you what interrogative pronouns are and how to use them. After that, we’ll show you example sentences for each of the five interrogative pronouns and then provide you with an opportunity for assistance if you’re still unsure of how to use these pronouns in your writing.

What Is an Interrogative Pronoun?

The word interrogative is related to questions, so we use interrogative pronouns to form questions. In fact, an interrogative pronoun appears in the above heading. The most commonly used interrogative pronouns are what, who, whom, whose, and which.

Not only do interrogative pronouns introduce questions; they also play an important role in the formation of different types of questions. You can use an interrogative pronoun to ask about people (who, whom, whose) and things (what, which).

Though less common, longer forms of the above words that end in ever are sometimes used for emphasis: whatever, whoever, whomever, whosoever, and whichever.

Interrogative pronouns can be singular or plural; it depends on what the pronoun is referring to.

How to Use an Interrogative Pronoun

We use interrogative pronouns to ask a specific type of question, either directly or indirectly. We often use them at the beginning of a question. When deciding which interrogative pronoun to use, you should determine whether the pronoun refers to the subject or object of the sentence.

Example Sentences Using Interrogative Pronouns

To better understand how interrogative pronouns function, we will look at a few example questions formed by each type of pronoun, along with a possible answer. The interrogative pronoun and the corresponding thing, concept, or person will be in bold for each example.

1. Who

We use the interrogative pronoun who when the answer is a person and the pronoun functions as the subject of the sentence:

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Q: Who is the new student?

A: Her name is Jane.

Q: Who won the competition?

A: Dwight won the competition.

2. Whom

This is also an interrogative pronoun that asks about a person, but we use this one as the object of the sentence:

Q: Whom did you invite to the conference?

A: I invited the president.

Q: Whom did Jim talk to about the menu?

A: Jim talked to Claire.

3. Whose

Whose is another interrogative pronoun that refers to a person, but we use it to ask about possession or ownership:

Q: Whose bag is this?

A: That is Bonnie’s bag.

Q: Whose fancy car is that?

A: It’s my car.

4. What

We use what, a versatile pronoun, when asking about things, concepts, or choices:

Q: What is your favorite color?

A: My favorite color is red.

Q: What should I order from the restaurant?

A: I think you should order a pizza.

It’s rare, but sometimes you can use what to ask about a person:

Q: What is your name?

A: My name is Laura.

5. Which

We use which when a limited number of options or possibilities are available. Although which normally refers to things, we can also use it in reference to concepts or people:

Q: Which of these sandwiches do you want?

A: I want the tuna sandwich.

Q: Which student didn’t do their assignment?

A: Jacob didn’t do it.

How Do I Know Whether I’m Using Interrogative Pronouns Correctly?

If the proper use of interrogative pronouns is still not clear to you, don’t worry! An easy way for you to check whether you’re using them correctly is to have a professional proofreader check over your writing.

A good proofreader is knowledgeable in all aspects of grammar, and they can provide you with feedback to help you avoid mistakes in the future.

The simplest way to find an excellent proofreader is to use Proofed’s online platform. You’ll get your document back in just 24 hours, and they’ll even proofread your first one for free!


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