Skip to content
Home » Adjectives in English » Interrogative adjectives

Interrogative adjectives

What are interrogative adjectives? They are: whose, what, which, where, why and how. Interrogative adjectives modify or qualify nouns, and are used for interrogation, that is to say, we use them to ask questions about someone or something.

  1. Whose – indicates possession.
  2. What – is a general question word for general information relating to anything.
  3. Which – is used for specifying.
  4. Where – indicates direction.
  5. Why – general question word that seeks an explanation for something.
  6. How – indicates the manner as to how something or someone was done.

Whose: indicates a possessive

  • Whose bag is that sitting in the corridor?
  • I don’t know whose friend is sitting outside?

What: question word that seeks general information

  • What is your name?
  • What school do you go to?

Which: used for specifying 

  • Which pen would you prefer, the blue or the red one?
  • Which is the smallest country in the world?
  • Which option works best for you?

Where: used to indicate a direction

  • Where do you go to college?
  • Where is James? I haven’t seen him all day.
  • Where does Anne live?
English courses

Why: general question word that seeks an explanation or reason

  • Why don’t cats and dogs always get along?
  • Why are you acting this way?
  • Why is Peter coming so early?

How: seeks the manner regarding how something is done

  • How does Maria know about the divorce?
  • How does the political situation work in your country?
  • How can we make sure this doesn’t happen again?

Interrogative adjectives with context

  • What are you up to1 Maria?
  • I’m writing an email to someone.
  • Who are you writing to? Is it someone special? A secret lover?
  • Nope2, none of those crazy ideas. I’m writing an email to a company called, English Reservoir over3 some doubts I’m having with an English learning course that I bought from them a few days ago.
  • What is English Reservoir?
  • Oh4, English Reservoir is the company I use to learn English with.
  • Wow5! Sounds so exciting. How6 do you like the course?
  • I love it. Their courses are so wonderful. They make it fun to learn English grammar.
  • How do they do that?
  • Their courses teach English grammar, but with fun, animated tutorials that you can either7 stream online or download them onto your computer.
  • So, why do you like them so much then?
  • Their courses are so interactive, fun, and they teach English grammar with proper context and explanations. It’s basically the opposite of a boring grammar book.
  • I love how it sounds! Where did you discover them anyway8?
  • A friend recommended them to me, and now I follow their Facebook page also.
  • Awesome9, I’ll check them out10.


  1. Be up to: what someone or something is doing. Remember, be needs to be conjugated.
  2. Nope: is a more informal way of saying no, a more informal way to negate in English.
  3. ‘’An email to English Reservoir over’’: over is very similar to about and indicates the subject or thing.
  4. Oh: this word is an interjection. Interjections don’t really have any meaning. It’s a way to express oneself, sort of like a reaction.
  5. Wow!: this is another interjection. The word itself has no real meaning, only in this case to express excitement.
  6. How: an interrogative adjective indicating the manner as to how something was done.
  7. Either: this word lets you choose between two options. I’ll have either the Apple phone or the Android phone. Two options with either.
  8. Anyway: this is an adverb that native English speakers use very frequently. In the example above it just means in any case.
  9. Awesome: Something or someone can be awesome. A very popular word among most people.
  10. Check out: phrasal verb meaning examine. This phrasal verb can also be separated with the object going in between check and the preposition out.

See also