The question words wer, wen, wem and wessen
To ask about a person in German, we use one of the following words: wer, wen, wem or wessen.
These correspond to the different grammatical cases.
- We use wer (who) to ask about the subject of the verb.
-Wer ist das? -Das ist Anna.
‑Who is that? ‑That's Anna.
- We use wen (whom) to ask about the object of the verb.
-Wen rufst du an? -Ich rufe Magda an.
‑Whom are you calling? ‑I'm calling Magda.
- We use wem (whom, to whom) to ask about the indirect object of the verb, or the object in the dative case.
-Wem schenkst du ein Fahrrad? -Ich schenke meiner Tante ein Fahrrad.
‑Whom are you giving a bike to? ‑I'm giving my aunt a bike.
-Mit wem sprichst du? -Mit dem Mann.
-Who are you talking to (literally: With whom are you speaking)? -My husband (literally: With my husband).
- We use wessen (whose, whom) to ask about the object of the verb in the genitive case, or about possession.
-Wessen Auto ist das? -Das ist Tims Auto.
‑Whose car is that? ‑It's Tim's car.
Note: wem can also be used to ask about an inanimate object, but it's very rare.
-Mit wem spricht Caroline? -Mit dem Kühlschrank.
-Whom is Caroline speaking to? -To the refrigerator.
Still facing difficulties with 'The question words wer, wen, wem and wessen'? Improve your German with Wunderbla - try our German lessons for free now and receive a free level assessment!
What our users say:
Improve your German further and test Wunderbla, online German lessons.