Question Words in English

English Teachers: If you would like to use this Question Words wall chart in your classroom, then you can purchase a copy here: Question Words Wall Chart and Flash Cards.

The most common question words in English are the following:


WHO is only used when referring to people. (= I want to know the person)


WHERE is used when referring to a place or location. (= I want to know the place)


WHEN is used to refer to a time or an occasion. (= I want to know the time)


WHY is used to obtain an explanation or a reason. (= I want to know the reason)

Normally the response begins with "Because..."


WHAT is used to refer to specific information. (= I want to know the thing)


WHICH is used when a choice needs to be made. (= I want to know the thing between alternatives)


HOW is used to describe the manner that something is done. (= I want to know the way)

With HOW there are a number of other expressions that are used in questions:

How much – refers to a quantity or a price (uncountable nouns)

How many – refers to a quantity (countable nouns)

How often – refers to frequency

How far – refers to distance

Next activity

Try our interactive games to practice Question words:
Question Words 1 and Question Words 2.

Download our free Question Words Worksheet (in PDF).
You can check the answers to this worksheet here: Answers to the Question Words Worksheet.

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