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What is the difference between "what" and "which" here? Which one do we prefer? Do they mean the same?

  1. What towns do we go through on the way?

  2. Which towns do we go through on the way?

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  • 1. To know the towns passed through: what towns do we go through? 2. To know the towns in a set of possibilities that are passed through: Derby, Taunton, Swindon, and Newport, which [towns] do we go through? Jun 12, 2020 at 16:59

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We usually use which when we are asking about a fixed or limited number of things, and what when we are not.

Often, however, we can use either which or what with little difference in meaning (like in this case).

What towns do we go through on the way? (the speaker doesn’t know the area)

Which towns do we go through on the way? (the speaker knows the area and the towns in it)