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    • Join Date: May 2010
    • Posts: 3
    #1

    Which of both vs. which of the two

    I would like to know whether this sentence is correct:

    Ask XXX to determine which of both XXX is the most suitable to...

    I know that <which of the two> is a better option, but I need to know whether <which of both> is acceptable or just wrong.

    Please note that this is a technical text to be used in the United States.

    Thank you in advance,

    victoria_2010

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    • Join Date: Mar 2007
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    #2

    Re: Which of both vs. which of the two

    "Which of both" is almost meaningless to me.

    If you do say "which of the two" it does require that "the two" will have been specifically defined immediately prior.

    You can say "which of the two methods" or "which of the two audiences, or whatever noun would describe those "two" whatevers.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.


    • Join Date: May 2010
    • Posts: 3
    #3

    Re: Which of both vs. which of the two

    Thanks, Barb_D.

    The context where this phrase appears is exactly the one you mention (i.e. there is a prior reference to two elements.)

    I understand that <which of both> is totally uncommon. Would you consider it a gross mistake?

    Thanks again,

    victoria_2010

  2. euncu's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Which of both vs. which of the two

    What's wrong with "which one of them" ? It's better to work around both, rather than pushing it.

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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      • American English
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      • United States
      • Current Location:
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    • Join Date: Mar 2007
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    #5

    Re: Which of both vs. which of the two

    Victoria, there are few things involving words that I consider to be gross. I save that for people's inhumanity toward each other.

    However, I would assume one of these two things: The person was not a native speaker of English, or the person revised their sentence but forgot to go back and fix the original phrasing.

    So I wouldn't spend much time thinking about which of the two [] it was, but simply consider it an error and keep reading without a major loss of comprehension. I may have to go back and read it twice to make sure, but it would be fine in the end. Do I consider it wrong? Yes. Would I be horrified, shocked, and so appalled I would not keep reading? No.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.


    • Join Date: May 2010
    • Posts: 3
    #6

    Re: Which of both vs. which of the two

    I appreciate your opinion as a native speaker.

    victoria_2010

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