Interrogative Adjectives

Interrogative Adjectives

What are interrogative adjectives? Need help understanding what are interrogative adjective and what aren’t? Check out our page and find interrogative adjectives examples and learn how weave to weave interrogative adjectives into your own writing.

efore we get into interrogative adjectives, let’s take a step back. When you think of an “adjective” what is the first thought that comes to mind?  Yellow flowers?  A beautiful sunset? A fast car?  In the preceding examples, the role the adjectives “yellow,” “beautiful,” and “fast” is attributive, meaning they modify or describe a noun (or a pronoun). They paint a nice picture in our mind.

Interrogative Adjectives Examples: She filled the vase with yellow flowers.
Interrogative Adjectives Examples: A beautiful sunset marked the end of a perfect day.
Interrogative Adjectives Examples: John didn’t care what he received for graduation as long as it was a fast car.

Sometimes adjectives are found in the predicate of a sentence.  In this case the adjective describes a preceding noun and is linked to it with a verb.  Like this:

Interrogative Adjectives Examples: The flowers in the vase are yellow.
Interrogative Adjectives Examples: The sunset was beautiful.
Interrogative Adjectives Examples: The car John received for his birthday was fast, just like he wanted.

Though these examples may be the first type of adjective use you think of, there are certainly other, and equally important, kinds of adjectives as well.

Interrogative adjectives are words similar to interrogative pronouns, but they can’t stand on their own.  In other words, they serve to modify another term, specifically a noun.  The words “which” and “what” are the two interrogative adjectives and are used in interrogative sentences to modify nouns found in the question.

Interrogative Adjectives Examples: Which coat is Paul’s? (“which” is an interrogative adjective that modifies coat)
Interrogative Adjectives Examples: What CD is Sarah listening to? (“what” is an interrogative adjective that modifies CD)

Interrogative adjectives also modify noun phrases.  For example:
Interrogative Adjective Examples“What program” is the direct object of the verb phrase “are watching.”

More sentence examples of interrogative adjectiveswhat is an Interrogative Adjective?

Interrogative Adjectives Examples: Which book on gardening do you recommend?
Interrogative Adjectives Examples: Which team scored the highest points in the academic bowl?
Interrogative Adjectives Examples: What recipe made the finals in the cook off?

The important point to keep in mind is that interrogative adjectives stand for the thing we do not know.

Interrogative Adjectives Examples: Which coat is Paul’s?

Here we want to know specifically the coat that belongs to Paul.

Interrogative Adjectives Examples: What CD is Sarah listening to?

Here we want to know specifically the CD that Sarah is listening to.

Examples of “what” and “which” used NOT as interrogative adjectives

Remember, the interrogative adjectives “what” and “which” are used to ask a question.  But just because you see these two words in a sentence ending in a question mark, don’t assume they are interrogative adjectives.  They could be interrogative pronouns.

Interrogative Adjectives Examples: What are you doing this weekend?
Interrogative Adjectives Examples: Which is Karen’s mother?

The above are examples of “what” and “which” used in the pronoun form. In these two cases, the words are NOT used as adjectives.

As long as “what” or “which” modify a noun or pronoun, and is found in an interrogative sentence, identifying them in a sentence is a simple task!

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