# 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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Hello Peter,

Could you please check if my understanding is correct:
What films do you like?
Which film did you watch?

Thank you very much
Basem

Hello Basem,

Those sentences are correct. However, you could also say 'Which films do you like?' if you were standing in front, for example, of a collection of films, and you could say 'What films did you watch?' if you were asking in general without any set of films in mind. The key is whether you are asking 'out of these possible films' (which) or 'out of all films without limit' (what).

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Very clear! Thank you so much
Basem

Why used what instead of which (university did you go to?)

The answer to this is on the page above:

We use "which" as a determiner to ask a question about a specific group of people or things

When we are asking a general question we use "what" as a determiner

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi,

I understand that what is general and which is a limited group or more specific.

My question is why as a native speaker is "What's your blood type" more natural sounding that "Which is your blood type?"

I know that I can say "Which blood type do you have?" I'm just having trouble explaining why "which is your blood type?" sounds wrong.

Thanks

Hi teacherwithqs,

We generally use 'which' when there is a limited set of options and they are presented before us. Thus, if you were simply asking a person about their blood type then you would say 'What...?' However, if you had, say, a chart in front of you with the various blood types on it then you would tend to say 'Which...?'

One way to think of this is that 'Which...?' really means 'Which of these...?'

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi Team.
Which ones of these interrogative sentences is correct?
1. Why isn't there "to" after verb "want" in the sentence?
2. Why after verb "want" there's no "to" in the sentence?
Would you like to explain, please?
Thank you.

Hello Nizam,

1 is almost correct -- instead I'd say 'Why isn't there a 'to' after the verb 'want' in the sentence?'. 2 is almost correct, also -- instead I'd recommend 'Why is there no 'to' after the verb 'want' in the sentence?'.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Mr Kirk,
Why in your first sentence you used the article 'a' before 'to' and why not in your second sentence.
All the best