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    Learn English > English lessons and exercises > English test #5524: Question words (1)
    > Other English exercises on the same topic: Questions [Change theme]
    > Similar tests: - Questions : how to ask them - Vocabulary: asking and answering - Ask the question - Interrogative clauses - Who-What-Which - Direct and Indirect Interrogative forms ... - Direct or indirect interrogative clauses - Subject/verb inversions
    > Double-click on words you don't understand

    Question words (1)

    Question words


    Questions about the subject


    When we ask questions about the subject of a sentence, the word order in the question and the answer is the same:


    Ben designed this house.     

    Who designed this house?

    X Who did build this house?

    / Who built this house?


    • We use what, who, which, whose and how many in-questions about the subject.


    Questions about the object


    Questions about the object need an auxiliary verb (do, have, is, etc.) before the subject:


    Wren designed this cathedral.

    What did Wren design?


    • We use what, which, who, whose, when, where, how often, etc. in questions about the object.
    X Which cathedral Wren built?     
    / Which cathedral did Wren build?


    Here is a summary of question words with examples:


    Question word

    Example: subject question

    Example: object question


    Who is teaching you?

    Who do you know here? (Whom is very formal.)



    What caused the problem?


    What film did you see? 

    What kind of

    What kind of people live here?

    What kind of TV programmes do you watch?      



    Which book sold most?


    Which picture do you like?            



    Whose book won the prize?


    Whose book did you borrow?

    How many


    How many pupils came to the lesson?

    How many people did you see?


    Why did you get up so late?


    When did you go to England?


    How do I get to your house?

    How far

    How far is the college from here?


    How long


    How often


    How long does it take to get there?

    How often do you go swimming?


    Position of prepositions


    • Note the change in the position of a preposition in questions about the object:

    I gave the book to John, becomes: Who did you give the book to? or To whom did you give the book? (= formal)

    She sent the letter from India, becomes: Where did she send the letter from? or From where did she send the letter? (- formal)


    What or which?


    We use what when the choice is open. We use which when there is a limited choice:

    What colour do you like? (= open choice)

    Which colour do you prefer, red or blue? (= limited choice)

    What countries have you visited? (= open choice)

    Which countries in South America have you visited? (= limited choice)


    Ask a question about the information brackets in each of the following sentences using who, what, how, which  or another question word.

    Example:  There 's (a litre) of milk left.

           ==>  How much milk is left?


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    English exercise "Question words (1)" created by felin with The test builder. [More lessons & exercises from felin]
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    1. We live (in the old town.)

    2. I gave the book to (Valerie.)

    3. (Michael) lent me a car.

    4. I got married (20 years ago.)

    5. I'd like (the green) pullover, please.

    6. (A madman) murdered the President.

    7. I go to the cinema at least (once a week.)

    8. The journey takes (about six hours) from here.

    9. To get to my house, (you take the bus and get off at Wood Green.)

    End of the free exercise to learn English: Question words (1)
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