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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Submitted by DrikaRodrigues on Fri, 14/09/2012 - 07:48

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Very useful! I understood! 

What kind of music do you like? - general

Which is you favorite rock 'n roll band? - specific

Right???? =D

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Submitted by jesurethinam s on Tue, 08/05/2012 - 02:47

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Hi friends.i am happy to join in this site.i hope that i will definitely gain momentum in english language fluency.may i ask one ? . why should we add s to the 3rd person singular's present tense verb? Is there any specific reason for this. please anyone answer me

Hello jesurethinam s!

The short answer is: no, there is no reason, and students all over the world have problems with it!

 

The long answer is to do with the history of English. In Old English, which was close to German, verbs and words changed all the time – for tense, singular and plural, for subject and object – but modern English slowly stopped doing things this way.

 

However, some of the changes froze – and this is why we add -s, and also why we use I, he, and she as subjects, but me, him, and her as objects. English is just a bit of a mess! :)

 

Hope that answers your question!

 

Jeremy Bee

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by shehryar on Tue, 20/03/2012 - 15:44

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Hi guys,

I have joined this website just a few days back and since I have found it very useful. However, please let me understand the meaning of "General" and "specific" in an easier way. I mean what is the limit of information to make something specific or general.

I shall be needing your help every now and then.

Thanks

Shehryar

Hello Shehryar!

 

Welcome to the site, and I'm glad you've find it useful. Generally, a good place to start is the Cambridge Online Dictionary. You'll find a search box on all our pages.

 

In answer to your specific question, however, look at these two statements:

general: Students often find English difficult (Which students? What difficulties?)
specific: My Taiwanese students often say the tense system is the most difficult part of English. (these students this difficulty.)

 

Does that help?

 

Best wishes

 

Jeremy Bee

The Learn English Team

hello 

i an easy way "general" word we use to indicate a group where as "specific" is use to indicate something in that group

for example..

what kind of movies do you like?

i like action movies.

which is your favorite action movie?

"wwe finals" ......................................

 

hope i am clear to you.

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Submitted by Carlos Andrés … on Mon, 23/01/2012 - 18:27

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Good morning Adam

I don’t understand why the question “which restaurant did you go to?” is written with which, don’t you think that’s too general and that’s why we also may use “what” just like: “what restaurant did you go to?”?.

Thank you.