Let's consider a sentence:

Take whichever you want.

Does that mean:

  1. Take whichever one you want.


  1. Take whichever ones you want.

I think the sentence is ambiguous and could be used instead of both (1) and (2), which are both unambiguous. I think context would clarify the meaning of the sentence in question.

  • 2
    I think I would understand it to mean 'whichever one', unless it was obvious from the circumstances that it was OK to take several items. Sep 19, 2021 at 12:56
  • 1. means choose one out of many; 2. means choose more than one out of many. There is no ambiguity in either.
    – Lambie
    Sep 20, 2021 at 14:07
  • Thank you all, especially Kate, whose replies are always very helpful. 1 and 2 are not ambiguous, Lambie, but I think (a) is. Kate and Jontia seem to be saying that and actually they are not contradiction you. The question is about (a), not 1 and 2.
    – azz
    Sep 21, 2021 at 11:58

1 Answer 1


It's ambiguous because you have not specified if the selection should be singular.

Webster and others define which;

what one or ones of a group
what particular one or ones

In the examples they make clear you use the subject to clarify the one or ones in context.

which tie should I wear
kept a record of which employees took their vacations in July

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