What Are Interrogative Adverbs? (with Examples)

What Are Interrogative Adverbs? (with Examples)

The interrogative adverbs are why, where, when, and how. They are used to ask questions. For example (interrogative adverbs shaded):
  • Why are there empty beer bottles in the garden?
  • Where is your sister?
  • When are you going to grow up?
  • How can you eat a freezer full of pizzas in one evening?
Note: When an interrogative adverb starts a question, the second word is the verb.

Different Types of Interrogative Adverb

Interrogative adverbs are used to ask different types of questions. For example, when is used to ask about time-related matters, where is used to ask about place-related matters, and why is used to ask about reasons. The quirky one is how, which can be used to ask about matters related to manner, time, quantity, amount and degree.

Interrogative Adverbs of Time

When an interrogative adverb is used to ask about a time-related matter, it is known as an interrogative adverb of time. Typically, the interrogative adverb will be when, but how is also used to ask time-related questions. For example:
  • When will this film end?
  • How long is left until the end of the film?
  • How often do you come to the cinema?

Interrogative adverbs of Place

The interrogative adverb where is used to ask about a place. For example:
  • Where is the cinema?

Interrogative Adverbs of Reason

The interrogative adverb why is used to ask about a reason. For example:
  • Why are you watching this film again?

Interrogative Adverbs of Manner

The interrogative adverb how is used to ask about manner (i.e., the manner in which the verb occurs). For example:
  • How quickly can you get home?

Interrogative Adverbs of Amount, Quantity, and Degree

The interrogative adverb how is used to ask for amounts, quantities, and degrees. For example:
  • How much coke have you got left?
  • How many sweets have you eaten?
  • How much more coke are you going to drink?

See Also

What is a relative adverb? What is an interrogative pronoun? What is an interrogative adjective? What is an indirect question? What is a declarative sentence? What is an interrogative sentence? What is a noun clause? Glossary of grammatical terms