Question Words Who, What, When, and Where
Lesson objectives: Learn question words in English.
Goals: Learn how to ask questions using question words to refer to people, places, things, times, choices, manner or process, possession, and so on.
Prerequisite: Lesson requires a basic understanding of the verb to be in the present.
“Who” asks for specific information about people. For example, there are two people in the following sentence: “Pedro” and “my brother.”
Pedro is my brother.
You can ask two questions using who:
Who is Pedro? — My bother.
Who is your brother? — Pedro.
- Examples using “Who” to ask about people
- Who is coming to the party?
- Who is the president of the United States?
- Who wants pizza tonight?
- Who is that man? — Roberto’s father.
“What” asks for specific information about things, ideas, or actions. For example, there is one “thing” in the following sentence: “my computer.”
My computer is in my office.
You can ask this questions using what:
What is in your office? — My computer.
- Examples using “What” to ask about things
- What is in the box? — A present for you.
- What is in the cup? — Coffee.
- What is that? — Roberto’s retractable knife.
- Examples using “What” to ask about ideas
- What is a retractable knife? — It’s a tool used for cutting.
- What are “oxidizers?” — They’re a kind of chemical.
- What are you saying? — I’m saying that I love you...
- Examples using “What” to ask about actions
- What are you doing? — I’m studying English.
- What is happening? — The president is speaking on television.
“When” asks for specific information about the time. For example, there is one time in the following sentence: “on Monday.”
The party is on Monday.
You can ask this questions using when:
When is the party? — On Monday.
- Examples using “When” to ask about the time
- When are we leaving? — Tomorrow.
- When is the concert? — August 15.
- When is a good time to talk to you? — Tuesday afternoon.
“Where” asks for specific information about a place or location. For example, there are two one time in the following sentence: “in my office.”
My laptop is in my office.
You can ask this question using where:
Where is your computer? — It’s in my office.
- Examples using “Where” to ask about the place or location
- Where is Denmark? — In Europe.
- Where is the concert? — It’s in Los Angeles.
- Where are your parents? — They're at home.
Complete this exercise to practice who, what, when, and where.
Other Lessons on Question Words
This list of lessons includes many other question words.