# Differences how many and whatever in the following context

What is the difference between the following sentences.

1.Tell me how many books you have.

2.Tell me whatever books you have.

• In what situation are you saying this: Tell me whatever books you have. Normally you would say: Tell me what books you have. Also do you realize that how many is asking for the number, not the identity of the books. So basically how many is a different question than what. – Brandin Oct 19 '18 at 6:48
• What do you think the difference is. How would you answer these questions? You will make your question better if you edit your question. – James K Oct 19 '18 at 6:55

• how many

This asks for the number.

Alice: How many books do you have?

Bob: I have about twenty or thirty books.

• what

This asks to identify the specific object or objects.

Alice: What books do you have?

Bob: Mostly fantasy and science fiction.

• whatever, whichever

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.

• whatsoever

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.