There is something that has been bothering me: the nuance between "Whichever and Which"

For instance:

Choose which/ever time that suits you best to talk to me

Take which/ever of these chocolates you would like.

Strike out which/ever option is not good for you.

What's the difference?

  • 1
    I would say the most natural options are whichever, which, and whichever. For one, which is seldom paired with that in the type of construction of the first sentence, so that means whichever is more natural there. (Although you could replace both with the.) As for the second two sentences, I sense only a slight difference between the two—and I can't point to any syntactic reason for a preference as I did with the first sentence. (Although, in the third sentence, you could again use the. But that's not true of the second sentence.) May 29, 2020 at 4:01

4 Answers 4


Whichever - any one from a limited set. (determiner/pronoun);

Use "Whichever" when you refer to the choice from more than one option, and you disregard what the choice is going to be.

Collins Dictionary has a good definition:

You use whichever in order to indicate that it does not matter which of the possible alternatives happens or is chosen.


Q: Which shirt you want to chose today?
A: Whichever

Which - is also a determiner-pronoun, and it is used in question-alike constructs, when you want to clarify/specify/identify, which particular object/subject you are referring to.

You use "which" in questions when there are two or more possible answers or alternatives.


Q: Give me that ball please;
A: Which ball would you like me to give you? black or blue?


Whichever is a derived term of which.

Which when mentioned, usually provides you with options/alternatives/possibilities to choose from.

For e.g You see questions like, which of the following is the correct answer?

In such questions, you have options provided to you to choose from. And the questioner is dependent on the input provided by you. On the basis of your input, you will be given marks or deducted marks.

Whichever on the other hand, similar to which, provides you with multiple options to choose from. However the questioner or the presenter is not dependent or affected by your input. You can choose from all the available options, but the other person won't be affected by your choice.

For e.g. Choose whichever dress you like.

Hence coming back to your question, your statements will be proper when you write them in the following manner:

Choose whichever time that suits you best to talk to me.

Take whichever of these chocolates you would like.

Strike out whichever option is not good for you.


The difference between "which" and "whichever" is the same as the difference between "what" and "whatever". The suffix means that the choice does not matter.

  • If you were giving someone a choice of times to meet with you, you would ask "which time would you like".

  • If you wanted to indicate that all the options were suitable for you, you might say "I can be there whichever time you choose".

All of your examples could use "which" as they are all open invitations to make a choice, but using "whichever" indicates that there is no consequence to the asker - any of the times will be suitable for them, they don't mind which chocolates you take, and they don't mind which options you strike out.


That seems as the same situation as”when” and “whenever” When will be just at this /that particular time(one time) Whenever is always when you /others are doing something regularly(e.g.yearly,daily,monthly,biannually)

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