INTERROGATIVE PRONOUNS

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THE INTERROGATIVE PRONOUNS ‘WHO’ ‘WHOM’ ‘WHAT’ ‘WHICH’ ‘WHOSE’

We are going to look at how to use the above five interrogative pronouns. Let us first look at the meaning of interrogative pronouns.

Meaning of interrogative pronouns

Interrogative pronouns are pronouns that interrogate, that is, they are pronouns that are used to ask questions.

HOW THESE PRONOUNS ARE USED.
We are going to look at how to use the above mentioned pronouns;

  1. WHO
    This pronoun is used to ask questions about a human noun that functions grammatically as a subject. That is to say that, it is used to ask questions about a person who performs the action expressed by a verb.

Usage Examples

  1. Who broke the plate?
    In an attempt to answer this question, our answer will function grammatically as the subject of the verb ‘broke’.
    Answer; John broke the plate.
    So we observe that the answer ‘John‘ is our subject.
    Let us look at more examples;
  2. Who came here?
  3. Who did the work?

2.WHOM
This is the exact opposite of ‘WHO’. It is used to ask questions about a person understood to have the grammatical function of object. What it means is that, when we want to ask questions about the noun (person) that receives the action expressed by a verb in a sentence, we use ‘WHOM’.

USAGE EXAMPLES

  1. Whom did he insult?
    In an attempt to answer the question above, our answer will function grammatically as object of the verb ‘insult’
    Answer; He insulted Ama.
    In the answer above, Ama receives the action expressed by the verb ‘insult’.
  2. Whom did the teacher send?
  3. Whom did they call?
  4. Whom do we appoint?

Take note of how ‘WHO’ and ‘WHOM’ are used because most people often interchange the two, especially, ‘WHO’ for ‘WHOM’.

  1. WHAT
    This interrogative pronoun is used to ask questions that we expect the answer to be an abstract concept or an object instead of a person.
    It can ask questions about nouns that function grammatically as either subjects or objects.
    USAGE EXAMPLES
  1. What do you want? Here, our answer can be an object (thing) or abstract noun.

Answer 1; I want food.

Answer 2; I want peace.

We observe that in answer 1, an object/thing is the answer, however, in answer 2, an abstract noun is our answer.

2. What did the man do?

3. What can we buy for dinner?

4.WHICH
This interrogative pronoun is used to ask a question in which there are lots of choices or possibilities that can answer the question.

USAGE EXAMPLES

a. Which of the students stole the book?
It means there are several students, and it is possible that one of them stole the book, in this case, there are several possibilities or choices as to what the answer can be.

b. Which of the men did you give the money to?

5. WHOSE
This is the only possessive interrogative pronoun. It is used to ask questions about possession or ownership.

USAGE EXAMPLES

  1. Whose is the pen on the table?
  2. Whose are the items in the room?

Take note of how ‘WHAT, WHICH and WHOSE’ are used as interrogative pronouns, because in another lesson, we will be call them INTERROGATIVE ADJECTIVES in similar and different contexts.

We will be honoured to have your questions either here or on our Telegram platform.

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