Definition and Examples of Interrogative Words in English

Interrogative words are words used to ask questions or to request information. In English, these words are used frequently and can be divided into five categories: wh- questions, yes/no questions, tag questions, choice questions, and indirect questions.

Wh- Questions

Wh- questions begin with the letters “wh” and are used to ask for specific information. These words include who, what, when, where, why, and how. For example: Who was the last president? What time is it? When is the meeting? Where is the bank? Why did you do that? How did you get here?

Yes/No Questions

Yes/no questions are used to ask for a simple yes or no answer. These questions typically begin with the auxiliary verbs “do” or “did.” For instance: Do you understand? Did you finish the project?

Tag Questions

Tag questions are used to confirm information or to make a statement. They are typically made up of a statement followed by a question. For example, She’s in class, isn’t she? You didn’t forget, did you?

Choice Questions

Choice questions are used to ask for one item from a list of choices. These questions typically begin with the words “which” or “what.” For instance: Which color do you prefer? What time do you usually wake up?

Indirect Questions

Indirect questions are used to ask for information in a more polite or indirect way. These questions typically begin with the words “could” or “would.” For example: Could you tell me the time? Would you mind repeating that?

Interrogative words are a vital part of English and are used frequently to ask questions and request information. By understanding the different types of interrogative words, you can improve your ability to communicate effectively in English. 

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