Whatever - whichever

Kotfor

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Which answer is correct and why?

I have money. I could choose __________ dress looked nice on me.

  1. whichever
  2. whatever
  3. which
  4. that
The test says that "whichever" is correct and I agree. But why is "whatever" impossible? I think it's also acceptable.
 
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In informal speech yes, whatever sounds correct but it is not. The only correct answer here is 'whichever.'

We say 'whatever' when referring to a choice between a lot of different, or endless things. On the other hand, 'whichever' refers to a choice from a limited number of things.

Example: I have money. I can buy whatever I want.
I have money. I can choose whichever dress looked nice on me.
 

Kotfor

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OK, but I don't see that the context unequivocally indicates to a limited number of dresses?
 

Matthew Wai

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The word 'choose' may suggest that a number of dresses are optional to the speaker.

Not a teacher.
 
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