Interrogative Pronouns in German Grammar

Introduction

Interrogative pronouns are also called question words. The interrogative pronouns in German grammar are wer, was, wem, wen, and wessen. They replace the noun or pronoun that we are asking after in questions.

Learn about German question words on Lingolia then put your knowledge to the test in the exercises.

German Question Words – wer/was/wem/wen/wessen

The interogative pronouns wer, was, wem, wen and wessen replace the nouns or pronouns we are asking after:

  • We use wer to ask after people in the nominative case.
    Example:
    Wer hat das gesagt?Who said that?
  • We use wen to ask after people in the accusative case.
    Example:
    Wen habt ihr angerufen?Whom did you call?
  • We use wem to ask after people in the dative case.
    Example:
    Wem hast du das Buch gegeben.To whom did you give the book?/Who did you give the book to?
  • We use wessen to ask after people in the genitive case.
    Example:
    Wessen Tasche ist das?Whose bag is that?
  • We use was to ask after things in all of the german cases.
    Example:
    Was ist das?/Was hast du gegessen?what is that?/What did you eat?