80+ List of Question Words and Helpful Examples

Here is our top list of question words that can help you with your writing.

It’s essential to understand how question words work to learn the basics of a new language. Knowing how they are used in contexts and concepts makes it easier to form sentences and relay ideas well.

Question words are necessary for proper communication, mainly when asking for instructions and getting to know others. Going through this guide will help you understand question words and improve your vocabulary.

What Are Question Words?

List of Question Words: Five Ws and One H
The “Five W’s and One H” are the first to come to mind whenever anyone mentions question words

Question words lay the foundation so children can participate in conversations, exhibit knowledge, and develop critical thinking skills. In adults, question words are crucial to getting the information we need about a specific subject, such as directions or steps to achieve a goal.

The “Five W’s and One H” are the first to come to mind whenever anyone mentions question words. However, for an in-depth discussion of this topic, we’ll use the four main types of question words instead: General or Yes/No, Special, Disjunctive or Tag/Tail, and Choice. Each type’s meanings, uses, rules, and characteristics are different, but they are all utilized in writing and communication.

Here is a list of different question words in the English grammar:

AmHowWere
Am + OrHow + OrWeren’t
AreHow ComeWhat
Are + OrHow FarWhat + Or
Aren’tHow LongWhat … For
CanHow ManyWhat Kind
Can + OrHow MuchWhat Time
Can’tHow OftenWhen
CouldHow OldWhen + Or
Couldn’tHuhWhere
DidIsWhere + Or
Did + OrIs + OrWhich
Didn’tIsn’tWhich + Or
DoMayWho
Do + OrMayn’tWho + Or
Don’tMightWhom
DoesMightn’tWhose
Does + OrMustn’tWhose + Or
Doesn’tNeitherWhy
EitherNeedn’tWhy + Or
HadOughtn’tWhy Don’t
Hadn’tShall + OrWill
HasShouldWill + Or
Hasn’tShould + OrWon’t
HaveShouldn’tWould
Have + OrWasWould + Or
Haven’tWasn’tWouldn’t

Do you want to take your writing to the next level? See the best grammar resources to improve your writing.

General or Yes/No Question Words

General word questions are the most basic type. They can be answered logically and briefly with a “yes” or “no.” More extended responses are also possible depending on the verb used in the sentence. The rule of Yes/No questions is straightforward. You just have to answer the question the way it was asked. Additionally, auxiliary and modal words come before the verb in this kind of question and must have a rising intonation at the end part of the sentence.

  1. Am

Am I at the right wedding venue for Chris and Erica?

  1. Are

Are we going to watch the movie “The Gray Man” tomorrow?

  1. Can

Can I call my parents to ask permission to enter the competition?

  1. Could

Could you help me with my psychology homework?

  1. Did

Did mom tell you that we must return to our old house?

  1. Do

Do you know the latest news on the upcoming storm?

  1. Does

Does Niana like performing in front of many people?

  1. Is

Is it okay to sit next to you for a while?

  1. Had

Had Cedric completed his math lesson homework?

  1. Has

Has Gabriel been reading the same book for a week?

  1. Hasn’t

Hasn’t my parcel arrived yet?

  1. Have

Have you ever thought about the real definition of being happy?

  1. Haven’t

Haven’t I introduced you to my family?

  1. May

May I talk to the manager of this restaurant?

  1. Might

Might I interrupt for a minute to ask you a question?

  1. Should

Should we email the company and let them know about the situation?

  1. Was

Was the school director’s idea good and feasible?

  1. Were

Were you at Walmart yesterday?

  1. Will

Will the food delivery arrive soon?

  1. Would

Would you like to drink coffee with me?

Special Questions Using Wh-Question Words

Special question words are the well-known Five W’s. People add these words to the beginning of a sentence to ask a specific question. In turning a statement into this form, you must change a part of the sentence with the Wh-question words. Usually, you will need to reverse the word order, but this is not always the case. Here’s a list of other Wh-question words you should know and examples of how to use them in constructing questions.

  1. What

What was the date of Princess Diana’s death?

  1. What … For

What did the protestors do that for?

  1. What Kind

What kind of child would want his parents to go away?

  1. What Time

What time do buses usually leave and arrive at this station?

  1. When

When will you review for your final exam?

  1. Where

Where is the right way to Doctor Adams’ clinic?

  1. Which

Which of these books is the best to read?

  1. Who

Who are you to tell me what to do with my life?

  1. Whom

Whom should I call to complain about school fees?

  1. Whose

Whose house are you staying in at the moment?

  1. Why

Why do you keep getting low grades this year?

  1. Why Don’t

Why don’t you two talk about the issue and fix your relationship?

  1. How

How did you know I don’t live with my parents anymore?

  1. How Come

How come I never see you at the dog park?

  1. How Far

How far is your workplace from where you live?

  1. How Long

How long have you worked as a real estate agent in this area?

  1. How Many

How many innocent people have been punished and sentenced to death because of unfair justice?

  1. How Much

How much would you sell the land your grandparents bequeathed to you?

  1. How Often

How often do you think about going back in time to correct the wrong things you’ve done?

  1. How Old

How old was Nicole when you noticed her talent for solving math problems?

Disjunctive or Tag/Tail Question Words

The tag or disjunctive questions have two parts: positive and negative statements. In formulating tag questions, the positive statement may come before the negative or vice versa. In this type of question, it’s important to note that the first part of the sentence gives the expected answer. Remember that you can only use disjunctive questions to clarify information or disprove something if there are doubts. 

  1. Aren’t

The nursing students are to visit the hospice today, aren’t they?

  1. Can’t

Mikaela can read her favorite book all day, can’t she?

  1. Couldn’t

My brother couldn’t cook it for me, could he?

  1. Didn’t

They cleaned the whole classroom as punishment, didn’t they?

  1. Don’t

You don’t like the food served at the restaurant, do you?

  1. Doesn’t

The plane always leaves at precisely 8:45 in the evening, doesn’t it?

  1. Either

Either team played well, didn’t they?

  1. Hadn’t

Melissa arrived from the market before he left, hadn’t she?

  1. Huh

It’s really disappointing, huh?

  1. Isn’t

It’s hilarious that she thought her plan would work, isn’t it?

  1. Mayn’t

Her parents may allow her to attend the ball, mayn’t they?

  1. Mightn’t

Eric might come over tonight, mightn’t he?

  1. Mustn’t

Teenagers must stay at home to avoid kidnapping, mustn’t they?

  1. Neither

Neither of you will watch our play, won’t you?

  1. Needn’t

I don’t need to do that for money, needn’t I?

  1. Oughtn’t

Simon ought to let me know about the company’s decision, oughtn’t he?

  1. Shouldn’t

Father shouldn’t be so busy right now, should he?

  1. Wasn’t

Our getaway yesterday was pretty fun, wasn’t it?

  1. Weren’t

My parents were watching the TV, weren’t they?

  1. Won’t

Leo would bring alcohol to the party, won’t he?

  1. Wouldn’t

You would like to try a new job, wouldn’t you?

Choice Question Words

Choice question words, as the name suggests, give the responder several options to choose from as a response. They are almost the same as multiple choice questions in examination papers. Like disjunctive questions, it also has two parts. However, the conjunction “or” connects each piece instead of tags. Choice questions can be general, specific, or open-ended, meaning in this type of question, you can use both general and special question words. 

  1. Am + Or

Am I the only one in this class who wants to finish this film project or not?

  1. Are + Or

Are you sure you can travel alone, or do you want me to accompany you?

  1. Can + Or

Can you help me pick my outfit for tonight’s party; should I go for something preppy or punk rock?

  1. Do + Or

Do you like to eat strawberry or chocolate cake?

  1. Did + Or

Did her parents buy that car, or did she use her savings?

  1. Does + Or

Does Layla like playing with other kids or being alone?

  1. Is + Or

Is he a transfer student or a new young teacher?

  1. Have + Or

Have you told her about the surprise party, or did you forget?

  1. How + Or

How do you want us to go there, traveling by car or riding a bus?

  1. Shall + Or

Shall I remind you of our club meeting on Friday, or do you already have it on your calendar?

  1. Should + Or

Should I let him mourn alone at his house or accompany him even if he doesn’t want to?

  1. What + Or

What do you prefer, healthy life with no money or an endless amount of cash with persistent illness?

  1. When + Or

When do you want to book our vacation, in October or during the Christmas holidays?

  1. Where + Or

Where do you want to go on our date, to the cinema or the freedom park?

  1. Which + Or

Which band performs better, the boy band or the all-girls band?

  1. Who + Or

Who do you think suffers more when a family member is addicted to harmful drugs, the addict or his family?

  1. Whose + Or

Whose idea did the management go with, ours or the other team?

  1. Why + Or

Why do you think Lian is always sad: because of her grades or family problems?

  1. Will + Or

Will Chyna join the cheerleading tryouts tomorrow, or she’ll skip again like last year?

  1. Would + Or

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Author

  • Maria Caballero is a freelance writer who has been writing since high school. She believes that to be a writer doesn't only refer to excellent syntax and semantics but also knowing how to weave words together to communicate to any reader effectively.