We use questions with "who" to ask "what person". "Who" is always referring to a person. It is important to remember that "who" can be the subject or object of these questions.
A) Who did you invite to the party? ("Who" as the object)
B) I invited Mary to the party.
A) Who did it? ("Who" as the subject)
B) Mary did it.
Here are the sentence patterns that we must know. Who + be verb...?
We can put an adjective, noun, or prepositional phrase after the "be verb".
Who + do/does + subject + verb...?
- Who is she?
- Who was on the phone?
- Who will be your partner?
- Who is that?
- Who was late?
- Who do you like at your company?
- Who does she exercise with?
We can also make past tense questions with "did" and future tense questions with "will"
- Who will she work with on the project?
- Who will they invite to the party?
- Who did you go with?
- Who did you tell about this?
Here is the sentence pattern when "who" is the subject. Who + verb....?
Bonus Tips and Points
- Who will come?
- Who ate my cake?
- Who works here?
1. Compare the questions and answers when "who" is used as a subject and when it is used as the object.
Here are some examples of when "who" is an object in the sentence.
A) Who did you invite to the party?
B) I invited Mary and Tom to the party.
A) Who will she go with?
B) She will go with Ben.
A) Who do you usually play basketball with?
B) I usually play basketball with Gary, Nick, and Jack.
Now, see how the questions and answers are different when "who" is used as the subject. In these questions and answers, we are asking "who" performs the action.
A) Who invited you?
B) Mary invited me.
A) Who went with Ben?
B) Mary went with Ben.
A) Who brought the basketball?
B) Nick brought the basketball.
2. We can also make "who" questions with other verb tenses.
Real-World English Conversations
- Who were you talking to?
- Who have you been studying with?
- Who is laughing?
- Who had you talked to before you came here?
- Who will you be inviting?
A) Who was on the phone?
B) Nobody important. It was a wrong number.
A) Who were you talking to a minute ago?
B) That was my old high school friend. Study these free English lessons to improve your English speaking. If you learn these common sentence patterns well, then your English speaking will improve greatly and you will be able to have fluent conversations in English in the near future! Study the lessons well, practice using the sentences and questions at home and in real life, and make sure to come back to review the material so you do not forget. If you do these three things, then you will be speaking English like a native English speaker in no time!