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39 Who, what or which?

AWhat or which?

We can use what or which before a noun.

WHAT

What sport do you play? What books do you read?

We use what when there is a wide choice of possible answers. We ask What sport? because there are lots of different sports.

What sport?

(Tennis or golf or football or hockey or ... ?)

WHICH

Which way do we go here? Which finger did you break?

We use which when there is a limited number of possible answers. We ask Which way? because there are only two or three ways to go.

Which way?

(Right or left?)

After which we sometimes say the possible answers.

Which cafe did you go to, Snoopy's, the Coffee Pot or the Tea Gardens? Which phone shall I use, this one or the one in the office?

Sometimes what and which are both possible.

What day/Which day is your evening class? What train/Which train will you catch?

What platform/Which platform does the train go from? What part/Which part of Italy are you from?

B Patterns with who, what and which

We can use who, what and which without a noun.

Who sent the fax? What do you think of our plan? Which is quicker, the bus or the train?

We can use what and which before a noun, but not who.

Which secretary sent the fax? NOT Who-secretary-sent the-fax?

We can use which with one or ones, or with of.

You can have a photo. Which one would you like?

You can have some of the photos. Which ones would you like? Which of these photos would you like? But

we cannot use who or what before of.

Which of the secretaries? but NOT Who-of the secretaries?

Who always means a person.

Who did you see? (a person) What usually means a thing. It can mean a person only when it comes before a noun.

What did you see? (a thing) What doctor/What film did you see? (a person or a thing) Which can mean a person or a thing.

Which doctor/film did you see? (a person or a thing)

102 One and ones

39 Exercises

1 What or which? (A)

The questions you are asking have a number of possible answers.

If the list of answers is incomplete, ask a question with what. If the list is complete, use which.

?(Do you play the piano, or the violin, or the guitar, or ...?)

What musical instrument do you play ?

?(Did you go to the Little Theatre or the Theatre Royal?)

Which theatre did you go to ?

1(Did you take the morning flight or the afternoon flight?)

2(Did you stay at the Grand Hotel or the Bristol?)

3(Do you like classical music, or jazz, or rock music, or ...?)

4(Did you buy 'Time' magazine, or 'Newsweek', or a computer magazine, or ...?)

5(Do you work for EuroChemicals, or ICM, or SenCo, or ...?)

6(Are you learning English, or Spanish, or Arabic, or Japanese, or ...?)

2 What or which? (A)

Rita is moving into a new flat. Trevor has come to see the flat and help her move in. Complete his questions. Put in what or which. ► Trevor: What number is this building? Rita: Forty-two.

1Trevor: I didn't realize there were only three floors…………….. .. floor is your flat on? Rita: The first floor.

2Trevor: It's a very nice flat ..................... room will be your living-room?

Rita:

This one here, I thought.

3 Trevor:

................... colour are you going to paint it?

Rita:

Oh, I don't know yet.

4Trevor: .................... time is your furniture arriving? Rita: Three o'clock, they said.

5 Trevor:

I'll need some petrol.....................

way is the nearest petrol station?

Rita:

Turn left at the end of the street.

 

3 Who, what or which? (B)

Detectives Wilson and Taylor are looking into the murder of Lord Weybridge at his country house. Put in who, what or which.

Wilson: (►) Which of the guests in this house is the murderer, do you think, Taylor?

Taylor: I don't know yet. (1)……………….. had the opportunity? (2)……………… of the guests had the chance to do it?

Wilson: (3)……………….. happened after dinner last night? That's what we have to find out.

Taylor: There must be a motive for the murder. (4)………………… motive could the murderer have? Wilson: Love or money - they're the usual motives. (5)………………… of them is it, I wonder?

Taylor: (6)…………………did Lord Weybridge leave his money to? That's the question, Wilson.

TEST 8 Questions (Units 34-39)

Test 8A

Put the words in the right order and ask the question. ► everyone / is / ready Is everyone ready ?

1been / have / where / you

2do / postcards / sell / you

3belong / calculator / does / this / to / who

4are / here / how / long / staying / you

5is / like / new / office / what / your

6are / flights / full / of / the / which

7carnival / does / start / the / time / what

8decided / has / holiday / Nancy / on / what

Test 8B

Put in the correct question word or phrase. ► What did you buy? ~ A box of chocolates.

1………………………… is this building? ~ It's about two hundred years old. 2 …………………………does your team play in? ~ Red. 3………………………….bag are you carrying? ~ Judy's.

4 …………………………money do you earn? ~ About £250 a week. 5…………………………hand do you write with? ~ My right hand. 6……………………….of shop do you work in? ~ A toy shop.

7 ………………………..first stepped on the moon? ~ Neil Armstrong, wasn't it? 8 ………………………..is your mother? ~ She's much better, thank you.

9 ……………………… is it to the post office? ~ About two hundred metres. 10 ………………………do you take a holiday? ~ Once a year.

11………………………..name will you give the baby? ~ We haven't thought of one yet.

Test 8C

Write the sentences correctly.

Would you like to go sailing?

Would-like-you:to go sailing?

1Do you be-a student here?

2How many-cakes have eaten you?

3Enjoyed-you your walk?

4Where your-friends have gone?

5What kind of music-do-you like?

6Does-Peter plays tennis?

7About what are you-talking?

8 What has it happened?

Test8D

Read about each situation and write down the question.

?You want to know if it is raining.

Is it raining ?

?You need to ask Polly where she lives.

Where do you live?

1You would like to ask Nancy where she bought her coat.

2You want to ask Susan if Amy can swim.

3You want to ask Simon which band he likes best.

4On the phone you want to know who you are speaking to.

5You need to know how much video recorders cost.

6You are asking permission to come in.

7You need to find out how long the journey takes.

8You want to ask Adrian what he locked the door for.

9You want to ask what happens next.

10You want to suggest that you all go out together.

Test 8E

Write the questions to which the underlined words are the answers.

Christopher is going to London by train.

How is Christopher going to London ?

1The Smiths have got three cars.

2Janet works at the supermarket.

3Andrea is learning English because she will need it in her job.

4The film was really romantic.

5The meeting will take place next Tuesday.

6Tessa switched off the computer.

7Mr lohnson's burglar alarm was ringing.

8Anna went to the dance with Martin.