From A New English Grammar for Schools, by Thomas Harvey; Elementary Lessons in English by Nelly Lloyd Knox-Heath; and The Standard English Grammar, by William Fewsmith:
Interrogative pronouns are: who (whose, whom), which, and what when used in asking questions.
I. An interrogative pronoun is a pronoun used to ask a question.
Who comes here?
Whose is this?
Whom do you seek?
Which may she have?
What do you want?
1. “Who,” “Whose,” and “Whom,” ask about people only.
Who Banished Napoleon?
Who invented gunpowder?
2. “Which” asks about people, animals, or things.
Which is your son?
Which is faded?
3. “What” asks about animals and things.
What is he doing? (“doing” is a thing)
What time do we go? (“time” is a thing)
II. In asking about people,
1. “Who” asks for the name of the individual.
Who was that gentleman? — Franklin.
2. Which” asks for the particular individual meant.
Which Franklin? — Benjamin Franklin.
3. “What” asks for a description.
What was he? — A statesman, philosopher, and inventor.
III. An interrogative pronoun does not have an antecedent, because the noun or pronoun it refers to does not appear in the question itself.
1. Instead, it refers to some word in the answer to the question, called the subsequent.
Who was that gentleman? — Franklin.
2. The interrogative pronoun and its subsequent often, but not always, agree in person, number, and gender.
Who lost the book? — Mary.
Who — (Mary) who lost. — “Who” is an interrogative pronoun; it is singular, third person, feminine, because its subsequent “Mary” is.
Which escaped from the zoo? —
Which. — Which escaped. — “Which” is an interrogative pronoun; it agrees with some subsequent word (not mentioned) in some number, person, and gender which cannot be determined.
IV. An interrogative pronoun indicates case, and therefore should be of the same case as the noun or pronoun for which it stands. Its subsequent is the noun or pronoun that answers the question.
Who invented the telegraph? — Morse invented the telegraph.
Whose is this? — This is Jane’s.
Whom did Martha see? — Martha saw Albert.
Whom is this book for? — This book is for her.
Whom did you give it to? — I gave it to them.
Order of parsing interrogative pronouns
1. Is it a pronoun, and why?
2. Is it interrogative, and why?
3. Name its subsequent.
4. What is its case?
Models for parsing
Who goes there? — John.
“Who” is a pronoun, because it takes the place of a noun or pronoun; it is interrogative, because it is used in asking a question; its subsequent is “John,” because “John” answers the question, “Who?”; it is in the nominative case, because “who” is used as the subject of the sentence.
Which is yours? — The large one.
“Which” is a pronoun, because it takes the place of a noun or a pronoun; it is interrogative, because it is used in asking a question; its subsequent is “one,” because “one” answers the question, “Which?”; its in the nominative case, because “which” is used as the subject of the sentence “Which is yours?
What is that animal? — A muskrat.
“What” is a pronoun, because it takes the place of a noun or a pronoun; it is interrogative, because it is used in asking a question; its subsequent is “muskrat,” because “muskrat” answers the question, “What?”; it is in the nominative case, because it is used as a predicate nominative in the sentence “What is that animal?”
Previous Harvey's A New English Grammar Next
#grammar #writing #English #ESL #englishasasecondlanguage #languagearts #education #homeschool #pronoun #antecedent #grammarrules #teachingenglish #interogativepronouns #classesofpronouns