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Interrogative pronouns

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Interrogative pronouns are the pronouns you use to ask questions. The placement of question words is actually a little easier than it is in English, because Chinese doesn't move them around like English does. Instead, the question words stay "in-situ," that is, where the answer to the question will go.


The Pronouns

These are the main interrogative pronouns, often called "WH-words" in English because most of them start with those letters.

Question words
English Chinese Pinyin
who shéi
what 什么 shénme
where 哪里 nǎlǐ
when 什么时候 shénme shíhou
why 为什么 wèishénme
how 怎么 zěnme

The words to ask about quantity are 多少 and 几. 多少 is a versatile interrogative pronoun and can cover any number, but 几 is generally used for numbers 1 - 9. Additionally, 几 requires a measure word, but 多少 doesn't need one. Interrogative pronouns can act as indefinite references meaning "anything," "anyone," "something" or "someone." e.g. 谁都喜欢中国菜.

Sources