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English Question Words

Question Words Explained


Question words are used to ask about specific qualities, times, places, people, etc. They are different from yes / no questions (Do you live in France?). This chart provides question words, the use and example sentences. Study the question words, understand the uses and then look at the examples. Try to think of a few examples of your own. At the end, take the quiz on the next page testing question words.


Use: Asking about people


Who do you like?
Who studies Russian?


Use: Asking about things or activities


What does he do at weekends?
What is that?

What kind of / type of

Use: Asking about specific things or characteristics


What type of car do you drive?
What kind of person is he?

What time

Use: Asking for a specific time


What time is it?
What time does the show begin?

What ... like

Use: Asking about characteristics


What was the weather like?
What is Mary like?


Use: Asking about general or specific times


When do you like going out?
When does the bus leave?


Use: Asking about places


Where do you live?
Where did you go on vacation?


Use: Combined with many words to ask questions about specific characteristics, qualities, quantities, etc. For example: How much (price, quantity), How long (length), How often (frequency)


How often do you go to the movies?
How long was the film?
How much does it cost?


Use: Asking to specify a thing or person from a number of things or people


Which book did you buy?
Which boy won the race?

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