Understanding German Interrogative pronouns (with Exercise)

German interrogative pronouns are used instead of nouns and pronouns in question sentences. This article will demystify this topic of german grammar once and for all.

The interrogative pronouns in German grammar are:
wer, was, wem, wen, and wessen. 

The below table gives you an overview of interrogative pronouns. Feel free to save it in your cheat sheet.

table for the German interrogative pronouns

Don’t worry this topic is not that complicated. Actually, the hardest part, I think, is to figure out the cases. The rest is quite easy. Well, besides knowing the gender of the noun 😀

interrogative Pronouns:

Wer, was? – Nominativ

When you ask for the subject (nominative) then the interrogative pronouns are wer (asking for a person) or was (everything else)


Wer hat die Tür geöffnet? (Who opened the door?)

Was steht auf dem Tisch? (What is on the table?)

Wen, was? – Akkusativ

When you are asking for the direct object (accusative) then we use wen (asking for a person) or was again (for everything else)


Wen hast du gefragt? (Who did you ask?)

Was wirst du kaufen? (What will you buy?)

Wem? – Dativ

When you are asking for the indirect object (dative) then we use wem. You are usually asking for a person here.


Wem hast du ein Buch gekauft? (For whom did you buy a book?)

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Wessen? – Genitiv

And last but not least the genitive. Here we always use wessen.


Wessen Jacke liegt auf dem Tisch? (Whose jacket is on the table?)

Interrogative Pronouns: Exercise

Alright, let’s practice what you have learned. You can always repeat the exercise.

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