Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. #1
    nyggus is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Poland
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    2,086

    What/which matters most

    Hello,

    Do the following sentence differ in meaning (or anything else)?

    1. Among the things I'm working on, what matters most?

    2. Among the things I'm working on, which matters most?

    Thanks,
    nyggus

  2. #2
    Skrej's Avatar
    Skrej is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Posts
    3,688

    Re: What/which matters most

    I see no discernible difference between them.
    Wear short sleeves! Support your right to bare arms!

  3. #3
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    61,237

    Re: What/which matters most

    I'd be inclined to use "which" because you're offering options. If the listener is expected to choose just one of the things the speaker is working on (the use of the word "most" suggests that that is the case), you would need to be able to add the word "one" to the end of the question and that only works in the second.

    Among the things I'm working on, which one matters most?
    Among the things I'm working on, what one matters most?

    Note that I would find it more natural to start with "Of the things ...".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  4. #4
    nyggus is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Poland
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    2,086

    Re: What/which matters most

    Thanks. I took the second sentence,

    Among the things I'm working on, what matters most?

    from Roy Peter Clark's "HELP! for Writers". I am sure he chose the wording on purpose, but I've always felt which sounds better in such constructions and should be preferred. Now, seeing that it was R.P. Clark who chose what...

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •