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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

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Interrogative determiners 2

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Comments

Hello zeeshan-hussain,

It's hard for me to comment without seeing the whole sentence, as both 'those' and 'which' are possible, depending on how the sentence ends. If it was a relative clause then 'which' is necessary and 'those' is not possible as 'those' is not a relative pronoun.

You can learn more about relative clauses here.

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Which is corect?
Which course are offering? or What course are you offering?

Thanks for you help.

At EBEH FELIX

You can only use "which" when you have a list choice known to your listener, else you make use of "what" since it will be a general question out of all causes which may not even be known to your listener.

Hello IBEH FELIX,

The second sentence is correct (with 'you').

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello,

If i want to ask someone about the brand of the watch the person is wearing, then which of the following would be more appropriate :
That's a nice watch, what brand is it ? or That's a nice watch, which brand is it ?

Thanks.

Hello ash_grooovy,

Both are grammatically correct. The difference is that 'what' here is open and we would use it when we are asking about any brand. We would use 'which' when we are asking about a limited number of options (brand x or brand y).

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks for your time.

What's the difference between these?
Which restaurant did you go to?
What university did you go to?
both are specific

Hello 

As we say on the page, 'which' is usually specific: it asks for a choice from a known group. 'What' is usually more general: it asks for a choice without restrictions. For example:

Which is your favourite film? [showing three or four to choose from]

What is your favourite film? [you can choose any film]

If the speaker says 'Which restaurant...?' then I would understand that we are choosing from a restricted group: the ones on a particular street, or the ones we were talking about before, for example.

If the speaker says 'What university...?' then I would assume the speaker has no idea which universities were possible, likely or accessible, and is asking generally.

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

What about if i live in England and what will the question if somebody wants to know my city. Will the question be: what city or which city? Thanks in advance

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