Context: A survey on reading habits over the phone
A representative is asking a customer about his reading habits over the phone
Rep. " Sir, which of the following magazines do you read? Better homes and gardens , Sports illustrated, Good housekeeping etc. "
" Sir, which magazines do you read? I'll name a few-- Better homes and gardens , Sports illustrated, Good housekeeping etc.
I read a few definitions on the use of "which" and "which of. " Are both used in when the choice is limited? If they are , what is the difference?
My understanding( from what I've read ) is that which is used when the choice is very limited ( two or three) ' I have three mags with me , sports illustrated , Time and Newsweek, which one would you like to read?
And which of ( the) is used when the choice is limited but implies a set , group, etc.( little more than two or three) - I'll read the names of a few mags - Sports illustrated , Time, Newsweek, good housekeeping, Reader's digest etc.
Am I correct?
The choice of word is between 'which' and 'what'
You would use 'what' if the question had been:
"What magazines do you read?"
You let the person tell you the names, from all the published magazines in the world.
You use 'which' when you give the person a list from which they choice. It doesn't matter whether I give the names of 3 magazines, or name all the magazines in the world - but to use 'which' I must offer a selection from which he chooses.
How this is phrased is then another point.
" Sir, which of the following magazines do you read?" - and then you give the list to be selected from.
I offer a box of chocolates. There is a definite number of chocolates in a box. I ask, "Which one would you like?"
"What's your favourite movie?" - of all the movies made that you have seen.
"Which is your favourite Indiana Jones movie? The first, second or third?"