Difference Between Interrogative Pronoun and Interrogative Adjective

Main Difference – Interrogative Pronoun vs. Interrogative Adjective

Interrogative Pronoun and Interrogative Adjective are terms or words that are used to form questions. It is these words that help us differentiate between a statement and question. Interrogatives can be classified into various categories according to their grammatical functions. Interrogative Pronoun and Interrogative Adjective are two such classifications. The main difference between Interrogative Pronoun and Interrogative Adjective lies in their grammatical functions. As implied by their names, interrogative pronoun is  a pronoun and, therefore, replaces a noun while interrogative adjective is an adjective that modifies the noun. In this article, we are going to look at the difference between interrogative pronoun and interrogative adjective in detail.

What are Interrogative Pronouns

Before discussing interrogative pronouns, let us first see what a pronoun is. A pronoun is a word that can be used to replace a noun. So we can come to the conclusion that interrogative pronoun is an interrogative which acts as a pronoun. There are five interrogative pronouns in the English language. They are,


What is your favourite movie?

What did he say?


Which are the best options?

Which is the greater?


Who gave this to you?

Who do you think will win the race?


Whom shall we nominate?

To whom am I speaking?


There are only four cars. Whose is missing?

By adding the suffix –ever, you can use these pronouns to show emphasis or surprise.

Whoever, Whatever, Whichever, Whomever

Whoever told you that?Main Difference - Interrogative Pronoun vs Interrogative Adjective

It is important to notice that these interrogatives can also fall into other grammatical classifications. If you observe the below-given sentences carefully, you’ll note that the same word can have different functions.

Which is the best car? – Interrogative pronoun

The car which was involved in the accident was severely damaged. – Relative pronoun

Which car will you drive? – Interrogative adjective

What are Interrogative Adjectives

Adjectives are words that modify or qualify a noun or pronoun. Thus, an interrogative pronoun is an adjective that modifies a noun. Interrogative adjectives are always followed by a noun. What, which, and whose are examples of interrogative adjectives. Notice how they are used in the following sentences.

What book are you reading?

Which book are you reading?

Whose book are you reading?

The difference between what and which as interrogative adjectives, is somewhat difficult to understand. In the first example, the speaker is not aware of the available options, but in the second example, the speaker is aware of the available choices.Difference Between Interrogative Pronoun and Interrogative Adjective

Difference Between Interrogative Pronoun and Interrogative Adjective

You might have understood by now that some interrogatives act both as pronouns and adjectives. Given below are some example questions that use such interrogatives. Comparing these question pairs will help you to clarify the difference between interrogative pronoun and interrogative adjective.

Example 1:

Which is your book?

Which book is yours?

Example 2:

What is the color of her hair?

What color is her hair?

The difference between interrogative pronoun and interrogative adjective can be summarized as below.


Interrogative Pronoun can stand alone.

Interrogative Adjective modifies a noun; therefore, it cannot stand alone.


Interrogative Pronouns generally follow a verb.

Interrogative Adjectives generally follow a noun or pronoun. 


Examples of interrogative pronoun include what, which, who, whose and whom.

Examples of interrogative adjectives include what, which and whose.

Difference Between Interrogative Pronoun and Interrogative Adjective - infographic

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