what/which

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blacknomi

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TDOL: May I borrow a pen from you?

Mike: Sure. I have two pens. This pen has black ink. That pen has red ink. Which do you want?

TDOL: That one. Thanks.


One student asked me if she can use "what do you want" here. I don't see any semantically wrong. I'd say it's better to use "which" in this context because Mike has two pens for TDOL to choose.

Am I right?
 

MikeNewYork

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blacknomi said:
TDOL: May I borrow a pen from you?

Mike: Sure. I have two pens. This pen has black ink. That pen has red ink. Which do you want?

TDOL: That one. Thanks.


One student asked me if she can use "what do you want" here. I don't see any semantically wrong. I'd say it's better to use "which" in this context because Mike has two pens for TDOL to choose.

Am I right?

"Which" would be better for two reasons. First, the choice is bewteen a finitie number of identified items. Second, without using the noun (pen) or a pronoun (such as one), "What do you want" can mean something totally different than a choice of pens.

Which (pen/one) do you want. -- the best
What pen do you want. -- marginal
What do you want. -- poor
 

Tdol

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I agree with Mike here. ;-)
 

blacknomi

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Thank you very much, Dear Mike. @->--

Thanks there, Tea-Doll :)
 

MikeNewYork

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blacknomi said:
Thank you very much, Dear Mike. @->--

Thanks there, Tea-Doll :)

You're very welcome. :wink:
 
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