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Wh-questions Asking for Information

Wh-questions Asking for Information
Why are you running? What are you running for? How fast can you run?

What is a Wh-question

A Wh-question begins with a question word. This lesson will show you how to use them. Question words are who, what, which, whose, where, when, why and how. We use a Wh-question to ask for information. You can see the different with the lesson Short Questions and Answers.

Understand the structure of Wh-question

The structure of the Wh-questions are similar to the Yes/No questions, but we add a question word at the beginning.

Wh-question + Auxiliary verb + Subject + (verb)?

An auxiliary verb is a form of be, do or have or a modal verb, such as can, could, may

Question WordAuxiliarySubjectVerb
What aretheyplaying?
Whodothey play with?
Whose bookdidyouborrow?
Whendidyousee them?
Whydon’tyoutell me?

The main verb be also comes before the subject in questions.

  • How old are you?
  • What was that sound?
  • Where is Peter?

If there are more than one auxiliary verb, only the first one comes before the subject.

  • The rabbit have been running – Where have the rabbit been running?
  • I should have told you about the mistake – What should I have told you?


Wh-questions in Present Simple and Past Simple tenses.

We use the auxiliary verb “do” with the verb in Present Simple and Past Simple.

Wh-question + do/did + Subject + Verb?

  • When do we meet at the airport?
  • Why did you lie to me?
  • How do you get to school?
  • Where did you see him?
  • What do you do for your living?
  • Which one do you prefer?
  • Whose course did you take?


Wh-questions in Future Tense

We use the auxiliary “will/shall” with the verb in Future Tense

Wh-question + will + Subject + Verb?

  • When will we meet at the airport?
  • Why shall I go to work so early?
  • How will you get to school?
  • Where will you meet him?
  • What will you do for your living?
  • Which one will you buy?
  • Whose course will you take?


Question Phrases for Wh-questions

What and How can go with a noun or an adjective to make a question phrase. Look at the example below.

  • What kind of movies do you like?
  • What colour is your jacket?
  • What time do you finish your exercise?
  • How many candies do you have?
  • How much did you spend at the tour?
  • How much time do you spend for the test?
  • How far can you run?
  • How long does the movie last?
  • How old is your father?
  • How come I didn’t see you at school? 


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