You are here

Interrogative determiners: 'which' and 'what'

Level: intermediate

The interrogative determiners are which and what.

which is a specific determiner

Here are three books. Which book do you think is the most interesting?
They have four boys. Which boy is the oldest?
I can’t remember which house Janet lives in.
Which restaurant did you go to?


what is a general determiner

What food do you like?
I don’t know what job she does.

Interrogative determiners 1


Interrogative determiners 2




Hello swxswx,

There is no particular rule regarding this; it is the same as any use of 'the' rather than 'these' or 'those'. We use 'the' when the two items are defined in some way ('the two houses at the end of the street' / 'the two questions we are discussing' / 'the two sentences at the start of the text'), whereas we would use 'these' when we are identifying one group in opposition to another ('these two and not those two'). However, please note that the choice is very much context-dependent and, in many cases, the speaker can use either form and can choose the one they prefer, or which they consider most appropriate for their intended meaning or emphasis.

Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Hi AdamJK,
While undergong these exercise nice and looks useful after few days getting demolish from brain, could u give some tips to use it day to day activities.

 Hi Anandhan
The best way to remember is to practice. When you realize you've been making a mistake in your speaking or writing (using 'what' when you should use 'which,' for example), try to do it correctly the next time you speak or write. Gradually, your English will improve.

Do you have an opportunity to speak English in your town/city?

The LearnEnglish Team

It´s a very nice web.
Thank you for your lessons and resources.

the rules are correctly explain!

 I feel pleasure during your exercise program ... but I desire to learn more communication ...

I don't understand why ' what' is used in the question 'what university did you got to'. I thought the question is asking about a 'specific' university which the listener goes to.

The word 'specific' refers to the possible options, not to the final result. I would say that it depends on whether the speaker is familiar with all the universities that the listener could have gone to. In reality, many native speakers use the two forms interchangeably.
Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

Some time that when I look at this article, I think that I already know it and no need to learn it again. But this day, when I learned it, I realized that there are so many things I did forgot. Thanks to incidence help me read it one more time. From now on, I will review any grammar points what I though I knew them.

I've enyojed a lot....!! Great idea....