In preparation for an upcoming law school entrance exam, I've been taking a number of practice tests, sections of which being English Proficiency. On one of them, I came across this item:

Directions: Choose the answer which will produce the most effective sentence.

When Leonard was just starting to work out, he was given a limited choice of which food to eat--fruit smoothie, vegetable salad, or soup.

A) he was given a limited choice of which food to eat

B) he was given a limited choice of food to eat

Apparently, the correct answer was B. However, the reviewer does not provide the grammar rules that dictate the answers to its items, so I've come here.

What are the rules when using an "a choice of..." phrase? When is it right to use the word "which"?

  • I see nothing wrong with "A", but "B" is probably more common.
    – Colin Fine
    Jan 2 '18 at 19:27
  • I think, "which" food to be eaten was already defined by the word "limited".It's just my guess. So the "which" is not necessary to say again.
    – Raj 33
    Jan 2 '18 at 19:45
  • Neither sentence is ideal. In my view, the word "limited" is redundant. The choice is between three items (fruit smoothie, vegetable salad, soup) so the choice is already limited.
    – debbiesym
    Jan 2 '18 at 20:08
  • books.google.com/ngrams/…
    – Khan
    Jan 2 '18 at 20:16

When you say "he was given a limited choice of food", it means that he was given a limited variety of food from which to choose or select".

As the use of "which" is redundant, the sentence B is appropriate.

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