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  1. Lenka's Avatar

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    #1

    what/which

    What countries have you already visited? (It's meant in general)

    I don't understand why "which" was not used instead. If you ask "what" than you are asking about the quality of something, aren't you?
    Well, I am not right probably... Am I?

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    #2

    Re: what/which

    Which refers to a choice out of a group whether animate or inanimate:
    Which countries (those in question)?
    We have two Mr Browns which of them do you wnat tom talk to?

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: what/which

    Quote Originally Posted by Lenka View Post
    What countries have you already visited? (It's meant in general)

    I don't understand why "which" was not used instead. If you ask "what" than you are asking about the quality of something, aren't you?
    Well, I am not right probably... Am I?
    One would use "which" in that statement if there was a list of countries that were being discussed. If the speaker is talking about any countries, then "what" is correct.

  3. Lenka's Avatar

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    #4

    Re: what/which

    OK, Thank you!

  4. retro's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: what/which

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    One would use "which" in that statement if there was a list of countries that were being discussed. If the speaker is talking about any countries, then "what" is correct.
    Mike,

    I'd also have some questions.

    Do "Which teacher do you have for history?" and "Which is your favorite subject?" which my dictionary has without any possible answers, indicate that the students may know all the teachers and that it is clear how many subjects are taught?

    Also, if one asks another about their favorite basketball team when it is clear that he likes NBA, should he say: "Which is your favorite team?", but when it is not specified which championship he likes, should it be asked "What is your favorite team?"?

    Thank you!

  5. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: what/which

    Quote Originally Posted by Lenka View Post
    OK, Thank you!
    You're welcome, Lenka.

  6. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: what/which

    Quote Originally Posted by retro View Post
    Mike,

    I'd also have some questions.

    Do "Which teacher do you have for history?" and "Which is your favorite subject?" which my dictionary has without any possible answers, indicate that the students may know all the teachers and that it is clear how many subjects are taught?

    Also, if one asks another about their favorite basketball team when it is clear that he likes NBA, should he say: "Which is your favorite team?", but when it is not specified which championship he likes, should it be asked "What is your favorite team?"?

    Thank you!
    The asker does not need to every teacher or every subject to use "which". Both parties know that it is a finite list. However, "what" would also be appropriate. This is up to the speaker and how he views the possibilities. The same goes for the teams.

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  1. what/which
    By blacknomi in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 28-Jun-2004, 18:54

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