The Interrogative Pronouns are used in asking questions. They are who, which, what, and how.
Antecedents. An interrogative pronoun does not have an antecedent expressed in the sentence.
Case. Who has the following case forms.
Which and what retain the same form for both the nominative and objective cases and have no possessive form.
Like other pronouns, the case of an interrogative pronoun is determined by its use in the sentence—subject of a verb, object of a verb, etc.
Who wants coffee? (Nominative case—subject of the verb).
Who was Charles Bukowski? (Nominative case—predicate pronoun).
Whose is that? (Possessive case—denoting possession).
Whom will you hire? (Objective case—object of the verb).
Whom did you collect money for? (Objective case—object of the preposition).
Position in the Sentence. As a general rule, the interrogative pronoun is placed at the beginning of the sentence even when it is a predicate pronoun or the object of the verb. When used as an object of a preposition, in formal English, the preposition usually precedes it: as, “From whom did you learn that?” (In informal English, especially in conversation and social media, the preposition is often placed at the end of the sentence.)
Interrogative Pronouns in Indirect Questions. Interrogative pronouns are used in both direct and indirect questions: “Tell me whom you met.” “I asked her what she baked.” In indirect questions the syntax of a direct question is expressed in a way somewhat different from that previously used by the speaker. Indirect questions most often follow verbs like ask, tell, wonder, etc. Thus, “Tell me whom you met” is the indirect form of the direct question, “Whom did you meet?” The question mark is omitted after an indirect question.
Distinction Between Interrogative and Relative Pronouns. Who, which, and what may be either interrogative or relative pronouns. In direct questions the interrogative pronoun is easy to spot. In indirect questions, the classification of who and which also offers little difficulty because as relatives these pronouns will have antecedents; as interrogatives they will not.
Pour the wine which you selected (relative).
Tell me which you selected (interrogative).
What used as a relative or interrogative pronoun does not have an antecedent. Its classification is determined by whether or not a question is implied.
We know what he did (relative).
She asked me what he said (interrogative).
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