Interrogative Adverbs

Interrogative Adverbs are those adverbs that are used to ask questions pertaining to why, where, when and how?



·         Why are the toys littered in the living room?

·         Where is my son?

·         When are you going to come back?

·         How can you do this to me?

Interrogative Adverbs fall in the following sub-categories:

1. Interrogative Adverbs of Time

‘When’ / ‘How’ suffixed with a ‘long’ or ‘often’ is used to denote an adverb of time.


·         When will the class end?

·         How long will you take to finish the work?


2. Interrogative Adverbs of Place:

The Interrogative Adverb of Place is used to enquire about a particular location.


·         Where is the school?


3. Interrogative Adverbs of Reason:

This is used to enquire about the probable reason or cause.


·         Why are you going to the office again?


4. Interrogative Adverbs of Manner:

The word “How” is used to ask about the manner in which the verb occurs.


How quickly can you finish the assignment?

5.  Interrogative Adverbs of Amount, Quantity and Degree:


·         How much cake have you got with you?

·         How many apples have they produced?

·         How much more time are you going to take?

Thus, we see that Interrogative Adverbs are used in sentences to frame different questions.



Ø  When is used to enquire about time of the action.


·         When are you arriving at the station?


Ø  Where is used to enquire about the location where the action is taking place.


·         Where shall we be meeting next week?


Ø  Why pertains to the cause or reason of the action taking place.


·         Why are you in such a hurry to reach the college?


Ø  How is used to ask question related to manner, time, quantity, amount and degree.


·         How do you start the car? (Manner)

·         How swiftly can you drive the car? (Time)

·         How old is your mother? (Degree of an Attribute)

·         How much sugar would you like to be packed? (Quantity)

·         How many pencils are to be put the box? (Amount)

·         How much is the fever now? (Degree)

·         How frequently do you take this supplement? (Frequency)

While using the Interrogative Adverb in a question, one must invert the Subject and the Verb, so that the verb precedes the Subject in the order of the sentence.

English Grammar and Composition

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