What are Interrogative Adjectives? Examples, Usage, and Exercise

Imagine you’re at a bakery, and you see an array of delicious cakes. Your friend asks, “Which cake do you want?” Here, the word “which” is an interrogative adjective. It helps your friend identify the specific cake you’re interested in. Interrogative adjectives are words like “which,” “what,” and “whose” that introduce questions and provide more details about nouns.

What are Interrogative Adjectives?

Interrogative Adjective Definition: An interrogative adjective is an adjective that modifies a noun in a question, providing additional information about the noun by narrowing down the focus or specifying which person or thing is being referred to. Common examples of interrogative adjectives include “which,” “what,” and “whose.”

Let’s break them down:

  • Which: Used when there’s a choice or selection, like picking a cake from the bakery.
  • What: Used for general inquiries, like asking about someone’s favorite flavor.
  • Whose: Used to show ownership or possession, such as finding out whose cake it is.

Interrogative Adjective Examples

Here are 10 example sentences using interrogative adjectives:

  1. Which movie should we watch tonight?
  2. What color is your new car?
  3. Whose backpack is in the hallway?
  4. Which restaurant serves the best seafood in town?
  5. What book are you currently reading?
  6. Whose phone is ringing?
  7. What time does your flight depart?
  8. Which of the two dresses do you prefer?
  9. Whose idea was it to start this project?
  10. What song are they playing on the radio?

Usage of Interrogative Adjectives

Let’s dive deeper into the usage of interrogative adjectives, exploring each of them— “which,” “what,” and “whose” — in more detail, using real-life situations and examples to make it easy to understand.

“Which” – For Choices and Options

“Which” is the interrogative adjective to turn to when you need to narrow down your options or make a choice. Think of it as your selection tool. Here are some scenarios and examples:

Scenario 1: Shopping for a Phone

Imagine you’re at an electronics store, surrounded by a range of dazzling smartphones. You want to know which one is the latest model. You ask the salesperson, “Which model is the latest?” In this case, the adjective “which” serves to pinpoint your request for details regarding phone models. It’s like expressing, “I’m seeking information on a specific option.”

Scenario 2: Choosing a Movie

You’re planning a movie night with friends, and you have a list of movies to pick from. You ask, “Which movie should we watch?” Here, the word “which” enables you to make a selection from the available options. It’s all about pinpointing your preference.

Here’s a table summarizing “which” in action:

QuestionMeaning
Which movie should we watch?Choosing from a list of movies.
Which book did you like the most?Picking from a collection of books.

“What” – For General Inquiries

Unlike “which,” “what” is your go-to interrogative adjective for broader, more general questions. It’s like casting a wide net to gather information. Let’s explore some everyday examples:

Scenario 1: Meeting Time

You’re part of a team, and you need to know when the next team meeting is. You ask, “What time is the meeting?” Here, “what” helps you to ask a general question about the meeting’s timing without specifying any particular option.

Scenario 2: Favorite Color

You’re chatting with a new friend, and you want to get to know them better. You ask, “What’s your favorite color?” Here, “What” helps you to inquire about something as open-ended as a color preference.

“Whose” – Ownership and Possession

When it comes to finding out who owns or possesses something, “whose” is your trusty interrogative adjective. It’s like a detective’s magnifying glass for ownership inquiries. Here are some real-life examples:

Scenario 1: Mystery Backpack

You find an unattended backpack at a park. Curious about its owner, you ask, “Whose backpack is this?” “Whose” helps you uncover the person who possesses the mysterious backpack.

Scenario 2: Barking Dog

You’re trying to figure out who the owner of a barking dog is in your neighborhood. You may ask your neighbor, “Whose dog has been barking since morning?” Here, “whose” helps you pinpoint the owner of the noisy dog.

Differences Between Interrogative Pronouns and Interrogative Adjectives

“Now, you might wonder, “Are these adjectives the same as the interrogative pronouns?” Well, not quite.

Interrogative pronouns are words that stand in for nouns and help us seek information about people or things. They can function as both subjects and objects in sentences. The common interrogative pronouns include “who,” “whom,” “whose,” “which,” and “what.”

Examples of Interrogative Pronouns:

  • Who is at the door? (Subject of the sentence, replacing a person or people)
  • To whom did you give the gift? (Object of the preposition, replacing a person)
  • Whose book is this? (Subject of the sentence, replacing the owner)
  • Which do you prefer, tea or coffee? (Subject of the sentence, replacing options)
  • What is your favorite color? (Subject of the sentence, replacing a thing)

Interrogative adjectives, on the other hand, are words that modify nouns in question, providing additional information about the nouns. They help us specify which person or thing we’re referring to. The common interrogative adjectives are “which,” “what,” and “whose.”

Examples of Interrogative Adjectives:

  • Which book are you reading? (Modifying the noun “book” to specify which one)
  • What movie did you watch last night? (Modifying the noun “movie” to ask about the type)
  • Whose car got stolen last night? (Modifying the noun “car” to inquire about ownership)

Interrogative Adjective Exercise

Choose the correct interrogative adjective (which, what, whose) to complete each question or sentence.

  1. ______ color do you like for your bedroom walls, blue or green?
  2. ______ book are you reading these days?
  3. ______ dog is barking loudly outside my window?
  4. ______ time does the concert start tonight?
  5. ______ movie did you watch last night, the comedy or the thriller?
  6. ______ car is parked in front of the house, the red one or the black one?
  7. ______ idea was it to organize the charity event?
  8. ______ restaurant do you recommend for our anniversary dinner?
  9. ______ smartphone model are you considering buying?
  10. ______ sports do you enjoy playing in your free time?

Answer Key

  1. Which
  2. What
  3. Whose
  4. What
  5. Which
  6. Which
  7. Whose
  8. Which
  9. What
  10. Which

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