Interrogative pronouns

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The interrogative pronoun (also: interrogative [um], question pronoun, interrogative pronoun, interrogative pronoun ) is a word that plays the role of a pronoun in a question sentence and at the same time identifies the sentence as a supplementary question, be it as a direct or indirect (embedded) question. The non-pronominal counterpart to question pronouns are the interrogative adverbs (question adverbs). Both groups are combined in German as "W-words" .


Was hast du nur getan?“ „Wer hat das getan?“
„(Ich frage mich), wer so etwas tun würde.“

Since all languages ​​allow the formation of supplementary questions, all languages ​​also have question pronouns. However, they are not distinguished by indefinite pronouns in all languages . The interrogative pronouns of German , who / what (with their declined forms: whose, whom, whom), as well as which etc. have, at least in the spoken language, uses as indefinite pronouns, can therefore also be synonymous with anyone, any etc. Es However, there is a syntactic difference in German that question pronouns must appear at the beginning of a sentence.


„Wen hast du getroffen?“ (Ergänzungsfrage, markiert durch wen)
„Hast du wen getroffen?“ (= Hast du irgendwen getroffen? — keine Ergänzungsfrage)

See also


  • Helmut Glück (Ed.): Metzler Lexicon Language. 4th, updated and revised edition. Keyword: "interrogative pronouns". Metzler, Stuttgart / Weimar 2010, ISBN 978-3-476-02335-3 .

Web links

Wiktionary: Interrogative pronouns  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations