Interrogative Adverb Meaning, Examples & Exercises in English

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How many times do you want to question people and you are often confused with the usage of ‘where’, ‘why’, ‘how’ and ‘when’? That’s why one needs to understand the proper usage behind the Interrogative Adverbs, after all, it is a crucial part of English grammar. Well, worry not as you have come to the right place. In this blog, you will learn about the correct usage of the 3 W’s and 1 H of the Interrogative family. You will also get to learn about what is interrogative adverb, how it is used in sentences and daily life.

What is an Interrogative Adverb?

As mentioned above, Interrogative adverbs are used in sentences to ask questions. These include: ‘where’, ‘why’, ‘how’ and ‘when’. Once the interrogative adverb has been added to a question. One must invert the subject and verb so that the verb comes first.

What is an interrogative adverb

Here are some examples of how interrogative adverbs can be used:

  • Where is your brother?
  • When will your parents come to pick you up?
  • Why didn’t you get lunch today?
  • How is your mother doing now?

Also Read: Adverbs: Definition, Types, Use, Examples & Exercises

Common Interrogative Adverbs in English 

Here is a list of some common interrogative adverbs that can be used in sentences.

  • Where
  • When
  • How
  • Why
  • To what extent
  • How often
  • How much
  • How many
  • How far
  • How long

Now, let’s delve into each common interrogative adverb and understand the meaning behind each one of them:

Where: This adverb is used when one needs to ask another about the location or place of something. It helps one to identify the position of a specific object, person or event.

When: To inquire about the time or duration of an event or action.

How: This is used when one wants to seek information on the methodology and procedural aspects of an occurrence of an event.

Why: Used to facilitate the exploration of underlying factors and justification for a specific circumstance.

To what extent: This is used to inquire about the magnitude or score of veracity or validity about a particular subject or topic.

How often: It is used to ascertain the frequency at which an action or event.

How much: Refers to inquiries regarding the magnitude or extent of a particular entity. 

How many: Used to ascertain the numerical value of items or individuals.

How far: It is used to ask about the distance between two specific points. It also helps in determining the length or extent of a physical space or distance. 

How long: Used to determine the length of time something takes or lasts. It is used in determining the duration or period of an action or an event.

How to Use Interrogative Adverbs?

Interrogative adverbs are considered to be special kinds of adverbs which are used in sentences to ask questions. When using this kind of adverbs, they are often used at the beginning of the sentence or near the beginning of the sentence. They are then followed by a helping verb and then the subject. 

Here are some examples of Interrogative Adverbs:

  1. Why are you so late?
  2. How much flour do I need?
  3. How angry is the mother?
  4. How quickly can you read this?

Types of Interrogative Adverbs with Examples

Interrogative Adverbs of many types. Here is the list of types of interrogative adverbs that can be incorporated into sentences.

Interrogative Adverbs of Time ⏲️

Interrogative adverbs of time fulfil the function of inquiring about temporal aspects. In this category, adverbs like ‘how long’ and ‘when’ are included. By using the word ‘when’ we seek accurate information about a specific occurrence time of an event. While the word ‘how long’ enables one to explore the extent of an activity.

Example: When will go to the shop to buy groceries?

How long have you been awake?

Also Read: Adverb of Time: Explore Meaning, Usage & Examples

Interrogative Adverbs of Place 🏖️

In this, the adverbs of place are utilized to elicit information about the spatial location or positioning of an object or an event. The primary purpose behind this adverb is to inquire about the site where an action unfolds. The adverbs included in this are: ‘When’, ‘Whither’ and ‘Whence’.

Examples: When will you come here?

Whither are we bound?

Those already here should be sent back whence they came.

Interrogative Adverbs of Manner

Under this, they are adverbs that ask about the way or manner in which a particular action has been performed. They help us inquire about the way something happens or how it is done. Adverbs like ‘in what way’ and ‘how’ fall under this category. 

Example: In what way is this topic relevant to the subject we are studying?

How will you come to my house?

Also Read: Adverbs for Manner: Meaning, Definition, Examples, Exercises

Interrogative Adverbs of Reason

This kind of adverb serves as a reason to inquire about the cause or motive behind a particular situation. Adverbs like ‘how’ and ‘why’ are used under it to seek explanations behind events or actions. 

Example: How are you travelling today?

Why didn’t you call me?

Interrogative Adverbs of Degree

These are the types of adverbs that are used to inquire about the extent or intensity of something. The main use of these adverbs is to seek information about the degree or amount of a quality or condition. Moreover, they help us to understand the intensity, extent and magnitude of an action or a state. The adverbs used in this are “ how many”, “how much” or how far”

Example: How many women are left in the boat?

How far are we now?

How much coordination is necessary?

Examples of Interrogative Adverbs

Check out the list of examples of interrogative adverbs which will help you give an idea of them:

  1. When will the function start?
  2. Why is he crying?
  3. How did you solve this problem?
  4. When did you arrive at the party?
  5. Why did you miss the convocation?
  6. Where did you find the lost key?
  7. How did you complete the assignment so quickly?
  8. When will the concert take place?
  9. Is it cold outside?
  10. What’s the time?

Here are some more examples for you.

Bonus Interrogative Adverbs Exercise for Practice

Highlight the correct interrogative adverbs from the following sentences.

  1. When was this pastry made?
  2. How long will this meeting last?
  3. Where is he going?
  4. How can I fix this?
  5. How can people attend the party?
  6. Why wasn’t everyone invited to the party?
  7. When will it rain again?
  8. Where should this painting go?
  9. When will my package be delivered?
  10. How will you get there?

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What is an example of an interrogative adverb of time?

Here are some examples of interrogative adverbs of time:
1. When will Rahul arrive?
2. What time is it?

What is an interrogative adverb?

An interrogative adverb is where it is used to ask questions which is then followed by adverbs.

List 5 examples of interrogative adverbs.

The examples of interrogative adverbs are as follows:
1. Is it cold outside?
2. Did you like the soup?
3. What’s the time now?
4. Where is the toilet?
5. What is your name?

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