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Difference between What and Which When I want to ask something, I never know when I have to use What or which.... I think that when we say 'which' we are asking like "Which (things) among all these things... ?" For example: Which languages (among all the languages in the world) can you speak? But I think that I've already seen "What language can you speak?" So I don't know ^^
Feb 18, 2016 3:43 PM
Answers · 3
Which: Used to ask or talk about a choice between two or more things ex: Which of these do you like? What: used to ask for information about something. ex: What's this? Which color do you like? Red OR Black? What color do you like?
February 18, 2016
If a noun comes after the word, "which" is better when the choice is small, and "what" is better when the choice is large. However in practice, the two are very often interchangeable. If the word is NOT followed by a noun, use "what": "What do you want for dinner?" (good) "Which do you want for dinner?" (bad!)
February 18, 2016
Yes, you basically have the right idea; "which" as a question is used to select from a fixed set of choices. Thus, from a menu, "Which dessert will you choose?", but "What is your favourite dessert?" I think with a world-wide set of languages, it's a bit of a grey area: is it truly a fixed, limited set? Personally, I would probably use "what" in that case, but if you where talking about, say, class offerings at school or university, then "which" would be better. Also, "which" can be used as a relative pronoun ("That's the dessert which I like"), and also as a determiner ("I had the lamb and the apricot mousse for lunch, which dessert is a favourite of my wife" [sorry, that's a bit contrived!]), and "what" isn't used for either purpose.
February 18, 2016
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