Interrogative Adverbs – Examples

Adverbs are words used regularly while forming a sentence. They belong to the eight parts of speech in English grammar and are a group of words that help us convey a complete idea precisely with additional information.

Adverbs have divisions in themselves. Different types of adverbs perform different functions that help us modify and qualify a sentence with unique senses. In this post, we will focus on one such division of adverbs known as interrogative adverbs. As the name suggests, we can figure out that these are the type of adverbs used to interrogate something in a sentence.

However, this type includes words that ask different questions pertaining to time, place, reason, and manner. So, let us get into a detailed discussion to know them thoroughly.

What are interrogative adverbs?

We know adverbs change and modify a verb by adding more meaning to it. When such an adverb is placed in a sentence to interrogate or ask a question concerning something, they are said to be interrogative adverbs.

Interrogative adverbs are words like why, when, where, and how. So, whenever we use an interrogative adverb, we always inquire or question about a particular something present in the sentence.

This type of adverbs is generally used at the beginning of a sentence. The sentence begins with a question, and the next word following it is always a verb. This means we must always invert the subject with the verb in a sentence when an interrogative adverb is present. These are then answered with prepositional phrases or sentences.

Let us look at some examples.

  • Why are you running?
  • Where is my bag?
  • When are you leaving?

As we can see, the interrogative adverbs ask questions in the sentences, and the format of adverb+verb+subject is constant. It is also to notice that the verbs following an interrogative adverb are mostly auxiliary or helping verbs.

Usage of interrogative verbs

As mentioned earlier, interrogative adverbs are a specific group of words used to ask different types of questions pertaining to time, place, manner, and reasons. We will now discuss them in detail.

Interrogative adverbs of time

When an adverb is used in a sentence to ask questions related to time, it is said to be an interrogative adverb of time. “When” is the main adverb used to ask time-related matters. However, the adverb “how” is also very often used in this category.

  • When will the exam start?
  • How long will this practice be?

Interrogative adverbs of place

When an adverb is used in a sentence to ask questions relating to a place or location, it is said to be an interrogative adverb of place. “Where” is the main adverb of place.

  • Where is my pen?
  • Where did you go?

Interrogative adverbs of reason

When an adverb is used to ask questions concerning the reason why something happened, it is said to be an interrogative adverb of reason. The word “Why” is the main interrogative adverb of reason.

  • Why are you playing now?
  • Why is your pant dirty?

Interrogative adverbs of manner

When we use an adverb word to ask about the manner of the occurrence of a verb, it is said to be an interrogative adverb of manner. “How” is mainly used as this type of adverb. However, “how” is a tricky word. It has many other uses as well, such as inquiring about the amount, quantity, and degree of something.

  • How can you do that?
  • How many chocolates are left?

These are the basic uses of interrogative adverbs, and as we can notice, they all ask questions in different contexts.

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