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Understanding Questions Efficiently | Question Word Exercises with Answers

Expressing the right messages in the form of questions can be quite a challenging task, even more so with English, which is packed with complex grammatical structures and full with a myriad of confusing words and enigmas. A cornerstone of this complexity lies in choosing the correct question word.

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Question Word Definition

But what is a question word?  A question word is the word used to ask a question. In communication we often need to know different kinds of information. These different types of information can be gained by using different question words.

So, question words determine the type of information we need. They are generally located at the beginning of  a sentence.   When writing, you must punctuate this sentence with a question mark so that  our communication can take place well or our intention can be easily understood.

Question Word Illustration
Source: Kelly from Pexels

Question Word Lists

There are only a few question words in English such as: what, who, whom, whose, where, when, why, which, and how. Some of these basic question words can be supplemented with certain words to make it work.  For example, you can say: ‘how much’, ‘how many’, ‘how long’, ‘how high’, ‘how deep’, ‘how tall’, ‘how old’, ‘how soon’.

See the following question words with each functions.

What

What is used to ask about a thing or a noun in general.

Examples:

What is your name?

What’s going on?

What are you doing?

 

Who

Who is used to ask about a person (as a subject in a sentence).

Examples:

Who is that?

Who are you?

Who called you last night?

 

Whom

Whom is used to ask about a person (as an object in a sentence).

Examples:

Whom did you call last night?

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Whom do you work with?

Whom do you live with?

 

Where

Where is used to ask about a location.

Examples:

Where are you from?

Where were you born?

Where are you going?

 

When

When is used to ask about the time, such as year, month, date, day, part of the day etc.

Examples:

When were you born?

When’s your birthday?

When are you coming back?

 

Question Word Why

Why is used to ask about a reason or a purpose.

Examples:

Why do you love me?

Why are you here?

Why is the girl crying?

 

Question Word How

How is used to ask about the condition, the way something is done.  How is often used with another word such as much, many, tall, high, big, old, etc. to ask about the size, the amount, the number, the price, the height, etc.

Examples:

How are you?

How do you go to school?

How tall are you?

How much do you weigh?

How many books do you need?

 

More Question Word Samples

 

  1. What do you eat every day?
  2. Who’s coming to the meeting?
  3. Who else are  coming?
  4. Whom do you call every evening?
  5. Where do you live?
  6. When do we start our lessons?
  7. When’s your birthday?
  8. When were you born?
  9. Why do you like papeda?
  10. How do you come to school?
  11. What are you doing?
  12. What else do you need?
  13. Where does your father work?
  14. How many people do you meet every day?
  15. How old are you?
  16. How much do you weigh?
  17. How much does it cost?
  18. How much is it?
  19. How tall is she?
  20. How soon are you going to get married?

 

 Question Word Pattern in Sentences

 

Question Word Auxiliary Subject Verb
What, Who,

Whom, Where, When, Why, How

do, does, did, are, is, am, was, were I, you, they, we, he, she, it verb I or verb ing?

 

 Exception

When asking about the subject, the question word is followed by the verb.

Examples:

  1. Who lays bricks?
  2. How many people watched the football match?
  3. Who came here first?

Question Word in Formal Register

 In formal situation or in writing, we sometimes use preposition before the question word when we make a question.

See the following examples:

  1. At what time does the procession usually begin?
  2. From whom is the letter?
  3. In which city does he reside?

See Active and Passive Voice Exercises here.

Question Word Exercises

Choosing Correct Auxiliary

Complete the following questions with the correct auxiliary.

  1. What ….  you do every night?
  2. Where ….. your sister study?
  3. Whom …. your mother look after?
  4. When ….. you usually see your girlfriend?
  5. Why …. you like fish?
  6. Where …. the carpenter work every day?
  7. How much water …. you drink every day?
  8. How …. he play guitar?
  9. How many people … there in your class?
  10. What kind of music … you like?

 

Choosing Correct Question Words

Complete the following sentences with the correct question word .

  1. …… did you sleep last night? At Grandma’s house.
  2. …..… is your sister’s name? Alice.
  3. ……. did you chat with just now?
  4. .…… much is this car? It’s US $100,000.
  5. …….. do you hate her? Because she’s betrayed me twice.
  6. ……..  tall is your sister? One hundred and seventy cms tall.
  7. …..… was World War II? I’m not sure. 1942.
  8. …..…. did you have for lunch? Just rice and chicken.
  9. …… …….. cars do you have? Five.
  10. …… did you start learning English? 5 years ago.

 

Asking and Answering

Ask and answer with your friend.

You: Where does your father work?

Your friend: He works in the office/ in his farm/ in Manokwari.

 

Answers

Choosing Correct Auxiliary

  1. What do you do every night?
  2. Where does your sister study?
  3. Whom does your mother look after?
  4. When do you usually see your girlfriend?
  5. Why do you like fish?
  6. Where does the carpenter work every day?
  7. How much water do you drink every day?
  8. How does he play guitar?
  9. How many people are there in your class?
  10. What kind of music do you like?

 

Choosing Correct Question Words

  1. Where did you sleep last night? At Grandma’s house.
  2. What is your sister’s name? Alice.
  3. Whom did you chat with just now?
  4. How much is this car? It’s US $100,000.
  5. Why do you hate her? Because she’s betrayed me twice.
  6. How  tall is your sister? One hundred and seventy cms tall.
  7. When was World War II? I’m not sure. 1942.
  8. What did you have for lunch? Just rice and chicken.
  9. How many cars do you have? Five.
  10. When did you start learning English? 5 years ago.

 

Asking and Answering

Various answers are possible.

 

Other Exercises

Adjectives Ending in Ing and Ed

Comparison As …As

Possessive Pronouns

During and While

Singular and Plural Nouns

Definite Article II

Noun + Preposition

Modal

Adjective  + Preposition

Apostrophe

Question Tags Exercises with Answers

Wh- Questions

 


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  1. […] Comparative and Superlative Adjectives To Be Present Tense Verbs Object Bare Infinitive Present Perfect Continuous Present Simple Prepositions Linking Verbs Going To vs Future Simple Present Perfect vs Past Simple Some and Any Question Word Exercises with Answers […]

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