The use of WH- questions in language has been studied for many years, with the aim of understanding how these interrogative forms are used and why they are so prevalent in human communication. In this article, we will discuss the linguistic properties of WH- questions, their role in communication, and their implications for language learning and development.

WH- questions are a type of interrogative form used to refer to unknown or uncertain information. They are composed of a WH- word (e.g., what, who, where) followed by an auxiliary verb (e.g., do, did, will) and a subject (e.g., you, I). WH- questions are used to request information or to seek clarification, and can often be used to elicit a response from the listener. WH- questions are distinct from other types of questions in that they do not require a yes or no answer, but rather provide an opportunity for the listener to provide new information about the topic.

The use of WH- questions is an important aspect of language development. Research has found that children as young as two years old are able to produce and understand basic WH- questions (Luk, 2018). As children grow, they become increasingly proficient in using WH- questions to ask for information, to seek clarification, and to engage in conversation (Liu, 2016). Furthermore, research has found that the use of WH- questions is associated with higher levels of language proficiency (Luk, 2018).

WH- questions are also important for language learning and teaching. Teachers can use WH- questions to encourage students to think critically about a topic and to explore their own knowledge and understanding. In addition, WH- questions can be used to engage students in meaningful dialogue and to encourage them to express their own opinions and ideas.

In conclusion, WH- questions are an important part of language development, language learning, and communication. They provide an opportunity for learners to ask for information and seek clarification, and for teachers to engage students in meaningful dialogue. Understanding the use of WH- questions is essential for language learners and language teachers alike.


Liu, Y. (2016). The role of WH- questions in language learning. TESOL Quarterly, 50(1), 117-139.

Luk, G. (2018). WH- questions in early language development. Language Learning, 68(1), 144-176.

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