What is the difference between the following sentences.
1.Tell me how many books you have.
2.Tell me whatever books you have.
English Language Learners Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for speakers of other languages learning English. It only takes a minute to sign up.Sign up to join this community
This asks for the number.
Alice: How many books do you have?
Bob: I have about twenty or thirty books.
This asks to identify the specific object or objects.
Alice: What books do you have?
Bob: Mostly fantasy and science fiction.
This invites the listener to identify a particular object. Whatever implies that you want to identify one object within a larger set of objects:
Alice: Show me a book.
Bob: Lets see... which one?
Alice: Whatever book is your favorite.
Whichever implies that you want to identify one object within a smaller set of objects:
Alice: Hand me that book.
Bob: Which book?
Alice: Whichever book you are not reading.
This sounds similar to whatever but is usually used to emphasize a negative.
Alice: How many books do you have, Charlie?
Charlie: I have no books whatsoever.
Note that there is no whichsoever.