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What are Interrogative Pronouns? | Examples & Quiz

Updated on November 28, 2015
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Muhammad Rafiq is a freelance writer, blogger, and translator with a Master's degree in English literature from the University of Malakand.

What are Interrogative Pronouns?
What are Interrogative Pronouns? | Source

What are Interrogative Pronouns?

An interrogative pronoun is a kind of pronoun which asks a question. There are five interrogative pronouns in English: what, which, who, whom and whose. Consider the following sentences:

  1. What is the name of the tallest mountain in the world?
  2. Which is the best drama of Shakespeare?
  3. Who was the person whom you helped?
  4. Whom did you give your camera?
  5. Whose is this book?

An interrogative pronoun is just like a relative pronoun, but what it does is different from a relative pronoun. A relative pronoun functions like a conjunction, which joins two sentences, while an interrogative pronoun asks a question and is used as a subject of the sentence. That’s why; it is different from a relative pronoun.

It should be noted that in Indirect Speech, the interrogative pronouns are used within the sentence. For example, consider the following sentences:

  1. She asked me what was happening there.
  2. He told him who was singing a song.
  3. They asked me whom I had given my camera.
  4. You told him whose was that book.

How to Identify Interrogative Pronouns?

You might be wondering as how to identify an interrogative pronoun. Don’t worry! It’s very simple. Just remember this rule of thumb: “pronouns are always followed by verbs.” The verb can be a main verb or an auxiliary verb. Whatever may be the case, the subject of the verb will be a pronoun. Have a look at the above sentences! All of the interrogative pronouns are followed by verbs. That’s why; they are called interrogative verbs. When they are followed by nouns, then they become adjectives. For example, the following sentences indicate that the interrogative pronouns used here are actually interrogative adjectives:

  1. What book do you want to read?
  2. Which route should we use?
  3. Whose watch is this?

The underlined words in the above sentences are nouns. Hence, the pronouns used before them function as interrogative adjectives.

Examples of Interrogative Pronouns

1. Which is your watch?
2. What is your name?
3. Who was speaking to you?
4. Whose watches are these?
5. Who spoke to you?
6. What was his name?
7. Which was your favourite book?
8. Whom do you want to invite?
9. Who will assist you in your assignment?
10. What was happening there?
11. Which route should we take to reach there?
12. Whose were those watches?
13. Who were calling you in the morning?
14. Which are the best pills for headache?
15. What were those little things?
16. Whom did you lend your camera?
17. Whom do you want to work with you on this project?
18. Which is your best holiday destination?
19. Who shall be your partner?
20. What was the best part of the movie?

© 2015 Muhammad Rafiq


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