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I. Theory

Wo-compounds, like da-compounds, combine wo-, or wor-, with a wide array of prepositions. Wo-compounds are used to show prepositions involved in questions. In English, we would say: “What are you writing with?” In German this would be: “Womit schreibst du?” Although wo generally means “where”, it usually is translated as “what” in these situations.

Worauf wartest du?
What are you waiting for?

Woher kommst du?
Where are you from?

*Worüber denkst du nach?
What are you thinking about?

*Here, we see wor- instead because the preposition starts with a vowel.

II. Wen/Wem

Wo-compounds can only be used when the object of the preposition isn’t a person. In these instances, either wen + accusative preposition or wem + dative preposition is used.

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