Easy Learning Italian

Interrogative pronouns - Easy Learning Grammar Italian

What is an interrogative pronoun?
In English the interrogative pronouns are who…?, which…?, whose…?, whom…? and what…?. They are used without a noun, to ask questions.

1  The interrogative pronouns in Italian

  • These are the interrogative pronouns in Italian:
Chi?Who? Whom?
Che?What?
Cosa?What?
Che cosa?What?
Quale?Which? Which one? What?
Quanto?How much?
Quanti?How many?
  • Chi, che, cosa, and che cosa never change their form.
Chi è?Who is it?
Chi sono?Who are they?
Che vuoi?What do you want?
Cosa vuole?What does he want?
Che cosa vogliono?What do they want?
  • Note that there is no difference between che, cosa and che cosa.
  • Quale is used for the masculine and feminine singular, and quali is used for masculine and feminine plural.
Conosco sua sorella. – Quale?I know his sister. – Which one?
Ho rotto dei bicchieri. – Quali?I broke some glasses. – Which ones?
  • Quanto and quanti have feminine forms.
Farina? Quanta ce ne vuole?Flour? How much is needed?
Quante di loro passano la sera a leggere?How many of them spend the evening reading?

2  che cos’è or qual è?

  • che cos’è? and qual è? both mean what is? but are used in different ways:
  • Use che cos’è? or che cosa sono? when you’re asking someone to explain or identify something.
Che cos’è questo?What’s this?
Che cosa sono questi? –
Sono funghi.
What are these? –
They’re mushrooms.
  • Use qual è? or quali sono?, not che, when you ask what is?, or what are?
    to find out a particular detail, number, name, and so on.
Qual è il suo indirizzo?What’s her address?
Qual è la capitale della Finlandia?What’s the capital of Finland?
Quali sono i loro indirizzi?What are their addresses?
  • Note that quale becomes qual in front of a vowel.

3  chi?

  • Use chi for both who and whom.
Chi ha vinto?Who won?
Chi hai visto?Whom did you see?
  • When there is a preposition in your question put it in front of chi.
A chi l’hai dato?Who did you give it to?
Con chi parlavi?Who were you talking to?
A chi si riferiva?To whom was he referring?
  • Use di chi è? or di chi sono? to ask who things belong to.
Di chi è questa borsa?Whose is this bag?
Di chi sono queste chiavi?Whose are these keys?
Key points
  • chi, che cosa, quale and quanto are the interrogative pronouns in Italian.
  • Use chi for both who and whom.

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