Usually people say, "Which is your favourite show?" and "Which color is this?"

But some people also say, "What is your favourite show?" and, "What color is this?"

Can you tell me what is the usage of which and what is the usage of what? Is which only used when we give some choice or not?

4 Answers 4


“Which” is used when the question is a choice between a known set of options:

  • Which of these cars is yours?
  • Which do you prefer, chicken or fish?

“What” is used when the response is not restricted:

  • What color is your car?
  • What do you want for dinner?

When you have a number of choices you should use which and it is formal, but you can also use what in its place but it sounds less formal.


I had the same question the other day, it turns out that "Which" and "What" can sometimes be used interchangeably for indirect questions.

In school, you learn that you should use "Which" for 2 or more options, and "what" for only one.

In real life, you can use both which and what for questions that don't require anybody to choose from a range of different options. So, both should be okay in certain cases.

  • I think it is the other way around: "which" is used if you choose from a limited number, "what" is used if you choose from an unlimited number.
    – anouk
    Commented Jan 19, 2020 at 18:32

Which is for choosing an option between some options

What is for identifying something

  • 1
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    – choster
    Commented Nov 23, 2020 at 16:14

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