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Learn English > English lessons and exercises > English test #109455: Who - What - Which
Who - What - Which
Interrogative words : WHO, WHAT, WHICH ? (1)
Interrogative words or groups of words can be either pronouns ( = replace nouns and are placed before verbs) or adjectives (= be placed before a noun). They can either be subjects ou complements. These words introduced 'open' questions (which require a ‘developed answer', and not only a ‘yes ‘ or ‘no' question.)
1) WHO ? is used for a person.
ex : Who is that wonderful girl ? (Here, 'who' is the subject of the verb.)
ex : Who are you helping ? (Here, 'who' is a complement ot the verb ‘help', ‘you' is the subject.)
2) WHAT ? is used for an object, a thing. WHAT expresses a choice among many objects.
ex : What trees grow in this part of the world? (interrogative adjective which is a subject)
ex : What are you looking for? ( = interrogative pronoun which is a complement ; 'you' = subject of the verb : 'look for'.)
3) WHICH ? ; is used for an object too, but then, the choice is limited.
ex : Which fruit is yours? The apple, or the peach? ( interrogative pronoun, which is a subject)
ex : Which hand do you use? ( interrogative adjective, which is a complement.)
4) When should you USE AN AUXILIARY? Only if the interrogative word is a complement .
ex : Who gave you this cake? (who = a subject => no auxiliary)
ex : Who did you meet when you were in Paris? ( who = complement => necessity of an auxiliary.)
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