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Lesson Notes

Closed questions

As you might remember from the previous lessons, closed questions are formed using the "ли" particle.

If the main verb in the sentence is "to be" (съм) in the present tense, "ли" comes before the verb:

"Жена ли си?" - Are you a woman?

For other verbs, the "ли" particle comes after the verb:

"Ядеш ли месо?" – Do you eat meat?

Open questions

You typically build those by starting with a question word. Question words in Bulgarian fall into two categories:

Interrogative pronouns

Interrogative pronouns have 3 different gender forms as well as a plural form. To choose the correct one always take into consideration the gender and number of the noun you are asking about.

English Masc. Fem. Neu. Plr.
Who? Кой? (1) Коя? Кое? Кои?
Which? Кой? Коя? Кое? Кои?
Whose? Чий? Чия? Чие? Чии?
What? Какъв? Каква? Какво? (2) Какви?


(1) The singular masculine pronoun has two forms, like "who?" and "whom?", in English. Use "кой?" when asking about a person that is the subject and "кого?" when they are the object of the sentence.

(2) Use the neuter form when asking "какво е това?" (what is this?), "какво ядат?" (what do they eat?), etc., since in these cases there is no particular noun to set the gender.


"Кой си ти?" - Who are you?
"Чии са котките?" - Whose cats are they? (Whose are the cats?)
"Каква бира пиеш?" – What beer do you drink?

Another way of asking about possession is to use "на кого":

"На кого са котките?" - Whose cats are they?
(literally, "of whom are the cats?")

However, contrary to "чий", "на кого" can't be used in an adjectival position (you can say "Чия котка е това?" but not "На кого котка е това?").

Interrogative adverbs

Interrogative adverbs do not change forms:

English Bulgarian
How? Как?
When? Кога?
Why? Защо?
Where? Къде?
Where ... to? Накъде?
Where ... from? Откъде?
How much/many? Колко? (3)


"Как си?" - How are you?
"Кога ядат?" - When do they eat?
"Къде е оризът?" - Where is the rice?
"Защо нямаме куче?" - Why don't we have a dog?
"Откъде си?" - Where are you from?


(3) When asking about a masculine noun not representing a person, use the numeral plural form:

How many men? – Колко мъже? (normal plural)
How many bananas? – Колко банана? (numeral plural)


Exercise 1

кой, кого, какъв


Exercise 2

колко, чий


Exercise 3

кога, къде, откъде, накъде, време


Exercise 4

защо, как