1

They live in a big house.

How can I ask a question for "big"?

What kind of house do they live?

OR

What kind of house do they live in?

2
  • 4
    If you're specifically interested in "quantifying" the size of the house in question, What size house do they live in? is the most precise way of asking to make sure you don't get an answer like They live in an old house. Nov 24, 2015 at 15:26
  • I think the simplest way to think of it is to ask yourself: do you "live a house" or do you "live in a house"? You live in a house, so you would ask "What kind of house do they live in?"
    – stangdon
    Nov 24, 2015 at 15:45

2 Answers 2

4

You cannot omit the preposition in in your question. People live in a specific type of building. Your second question is correct.


If you're interested in other ways of phrasing your question:

Instead of kind you can also use synonyms such as type or sort:

What kind/sort/type of house do they live in?

And using a different word order, you can still make correct questions:

  • In what kind of house do they live?
  • They live in what kind of house?

The second one of the two questions above will more often be found in spoken language rather than in written language, and the intonation of the speaker will indicate more clearly that we're dealing with a question.

If you want to make it a bit more complex, here are a few rephrased questions, with the same meaning:

  • What is the kind of house they live in?
  • What is the kind of house in which they live?
2

I think what you're asking for would generally be of this type of question:

Is the house they live in big?

Or of this:

How big is the house they live in?

"kind" is very similar in meaning to the word "type" and has such a broad range of applications in formation of interrogative sentences in English that you can bet your bottom dollar you'll get all sorts of possible responses to questions starting with it. So, in response to the question "What kind of house do they live in?", don't be surprised to get something along these lines:

— What kind of house do you guys live in?
— Oh, I live in an apartment building in the city, but my sister lives with our parents in a private two-story house in the suburbs.

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