A question word is a word used in asking open questions - that is, questions which ask for information. They are also known as wh-words (as most of them, with the exception of how begin with wh-). Many of them are also used as relative pronouns.
When talking to students teachers should attempt to pose questions using question words to encourage longer and more descriptive answers from students.
List of question words
|what||things (unlimited choice)|
|which||things (limited choice)|
|whom||people (accusative case)|
|whether||two or more alternatives|
There are also some archaic question words:
- whence (from what place; from what source)
- wherefore (what for; why)
- whither (to what place; where)