Interrogative Pronouns in Russian Language

There are nine types of pronouns in Russian language. One of them is interrogative pronouns. When giving questions, we use interrogative pronouns to ask: Кто ‘who’, Что ‘what’, Чей ‘whose’, Какой ‘which’, Который ‘that (pronoun used to indicate a specific person or thing)’, and Сколько ‘how many’.

Interrogative Pronouns

I. When giving questions about persons or animals we could use ‘Кто?’, meanwhile, when talking about inanimate objects, use ‘Что?’. The pronouns of Кто and Что do not have any gender or number. The words that associated with pronouns can stand in singular or plural.

For examples: Кто пришёл? ‘Who did come?’

Пришёл Антон. ‘Anton came.’
Пришла Анна. ‘Anna came.’
Пришли Антон и Анна. ‘Anton and Anna came.

Pay Attention!

  • If after pronoun of ‘Кто?’ the verb is used in the form of past tense, then it will be regardless of gender and number of persons, in questions, it stands in masculine gender and singular.

For examples: Что случилось? Что там разбилось?

‘What happened? What was broken there?’
Расбился стакан. ‘The glass was broken.’
Расбилась чашка. ‘The cup was broken.’
Разбились тарелки. ‘The plates were broken.’

  • If after pronoun of ‘Что?’ the verb is used in the form of past tense, so, it will be regardless of gender and number of things, in questions, it stands in neutral gender.

II. When asking about sign or attribute stuffs, use pronoun of ‘Какой?’ (Какая? Какое? Какие?)

Examples:

– Какой язык вы изучаете? Русский.
‘What language do you learn? Russian.’

– Какая сегодня погода? Тёплая.
‘How is the weather today? Warm.’

– Какое у вас настроение? Прекрасное!
‘What do you feel? Very good!’

– Какие перчатки вы себе купили? Кожаные.
‘What kind of gloves did you buy by your own self? Leather.’


** The pronouns of какой, какая, какое, and какие are also used for cheers:

– Какой сегодня прекрасный день!
‘What a very good day today!’

– Какое свежее утро!
‘What a fresh morning!’

– Какая чудесная погода!
‘What a good weather!’

 – Какие яркие краски!
‘What a bright color!’

The pronoun of какой is adjusted with nouns in gender, number and case, also inclined as an adjective.

III. When asking about an object, occupying a certain place in a row of similar ones, use pronoun of который? (которая?, которое?, которые?) . In addition, the pronoun of который? is adjusted with nouns in gender, number and case as well as inclined as an adjective.

Pay attention!

Different questions – different answers.

Examples:

a. Дайте мне книгу! ‘Give me a book!’

    Какую? ‘What kind of?’

    Ту, большую, в тёмном переплёте. ‘That, the big one, the black cover.’

    Которую? ‘Which one?’

    Третью слева. ‘Third on the left.’

b. Какая ваза вам нравится больше всего? ‘What kind of vase do you like most?’

    Вон та, высокая, светлая. ‘Over there, the big one, with light colored.’

   Которая? ‘Which one?’

   Третья справа. ‘Third on the right’.

** Pronoun of который? could be used for asking about time as well.

Examples: Скажите, пожалуйста, который час?

‘Tell me, please, what time is it now?’
Сейчас час. ‘It is 1 o’clock now.’
Сейчас четыре часа. ‘It is 4 o’clock’ now.’
Сейчас шесть часов. ‘It is 6 o’clock now’.

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IV. When you ask the owner of some stuffs, use pronoun of Чей? (Чья?, Чье?, Чьи?)

Examples:

– Чей это зонт? Это мой зонт.
‘Whose umbrella is it? It is my umbrella.’

– Чья это шапка? Это Шашина шапка.
‘Whose hat is it? It is Shashina’s hat.’

– Чье это платье? Это Катино платье.
‘Whose dress is it? It is Katino’s dress.’

– Чьи это перчатки? Это перчатки моей подруги.
‘Whose gloves are these? These are my friend’s gloves.’

The pronoun of Чей is adjusted with nouns in gender, number and case also inclined as an personal pronoun of он (она, они). The case form of pronoun of Чей is so rarely used.


V. When asking stuffs in large quantities, use the interrogative pronoun of Сколько?.

Examples:

– Сколько у вас книг?
‘How much books do you have?’

– Сколько дней вы провели в Москве?
‘How many days did you spend in Moscow?’

** The noun after pronoun of cколько?, stand in genetive case:

a. In plural, if it is a question about several separate objects or a noun, having the plural form only.

*Cколько дней, месяцев, лет, веков, рублей, денег, книг, тетрадей, сил, знаний…? (How many days,            months, years, centuries, roubles, money, books, notebooks, forces, knowledges…?)

For examples:

– Сколько у вас книг? Много.
‘How many books do you have? Many of them.’

– Сколько дней вы провели в Москве? 5 дней.
‘How many days did you spend in Moscow? 5 days.

b. In singular, if it is a question about a certain amount, (measurement) of any products, name which is used only in singular or an abstract noun, having the singular form only.

*Сколько мяса, молока, хлеба, зерна, угля, нефти, руды, здоровья, энергии…? (How much meat, milk, bread, grain, coal, oil, ore, health, energy…?)

For examples:

– Сколько мяса купить на обед? Один килограмм.
‘How much meat did you buy for lunch? One kilogram.’

– Сколька молока вы купили? 3 бутыолки.
‘How much milk did you buy? 3 bottles.’

Those explanations above told about the interrogative pronouns in Russian language. You could learn it bit by bit and never give up! You also could try other lessons about pronouns in this website: Russian Personal Pronouns – All Form with Cases, The Reflective Pronouns in Russian Language, How to Use Demonstrative Pronouns in Russian Language, etc. Let’s have fun with Russian! See you later!

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