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Interrogative Pronouns

Interrogative Pronouns
We use interrogative pronouns to ask questions. The interrogative pronoun represents the thing that we don’t know (what we are asking the question about).
There are four main interrogative pronouns: whowhomwhatwhich
Notice that the possessive pronoun whose can also be an interrogative pronoun (an interrogative possessive pronoun).
subjectobject
personwhowhom
thingwhat
person/thingwhich
personwhose(possessive)
Look at these example questions. In the sample answers, the noun phrase that the interrogative pronoun represents is shown in bold.
questionanswer
Who told you?John told me.subject
Whom did you tell?I told Mary.object
What‘s happened?An accident‘s happened.subject
What do you want?I want coffee.object
Which came first?The Porsche 911 came first.subject
Which will the doctor see first?The doctor will see the patient in blue first.object
There’s one car missing. Whose hasn’t arrived?John’s (car) hasn’t arrived.subject
We’ve found everyone’s keys. Whose did you find?I found John’s (keys).object
Note that we sometimes use the suffix “-ever” to make compounds from some of these pronouns (mainly whoeverwhateverwhichever). When we add “-ever”, we use it for emphasis, often to show confusion or surprise. Look at these examples:
  • Whoever would want to do such a nasty thing?
  • Whatever did he say to make her cry like that?
  • They’re all fantastic! Whichever will you choose?

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