A classmate and I were practicing speaking where he used a saying "the early bird catches the worm", I did hear this idiom though I didn't know where it originated, so I asked

Do you know what country it originates from?

Is this sentence clear and natural?

Should have I said it like this?

Do you know which country it originates from?

  • 1
    Either of them would be improved by inserting from either after originates or before what. – mdewey Jul 10 '20 at 14:20
  • @mdewey Thanks for your reminder. I’ve just updated it. – PutBere Jul 10 '20 at 14:32
  • What country in the world? Which country, Spain or Japan? – Michael Harvey Jul 10 '20 at 16:14

See this question for more detail.

Those both sound natural to me if the answer could be any country. However, if you have narrowed down the set of possible answers, I would be more inclined to say “which” sounds more natural. It also depends on the phrasing of your question.

Usage of either word will be understood by a native English speaker, and using the ‘wrong’ one will only sound a little awkward.

  • Yeah, native speakers use both. "Which" is a little more formal/proper. – codi6 Jul 10 '20 at 21:45

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