2

I want to ask if there is a difference between "which one do you like?" and "which do you like?".

I think both sentences are correct, Is that right?

1
  • "Which do you like?" means you can go "I like this one, and that one, and the other one over there!" if I say "which five do you like?" it specifies a number, I am asking for 5 things. You have a case asking for one, and a case asking for an unspecified amount.
    – Alec Teal
    Commented Aug 17, 2015 at 23:25

2 Answers 2

7

Which one do you like? should be used if whoever you are asking can choose only one of something.

Which do you like? should be used if the person you are asking can choose one or more of something, or if the choices involved are not "things" (e.g. We can go to the park or go home. Which do you want to do?)

1
  • 5
    In the example you provide of choices which are not things, "which one" is perfectly acceptable. In fact, not using "which one" implies more than one of the options can be chosen, as you previously stated, but your example is requiring a single option to be selected.
    – talrnu
    Commented Aug 17, 2015 at 17:58
1

Which do you like? is a good example of an ellipsis in the English language. All the languages I have studied have them and the meaning is always inferred based on context.

Here, the word being omitted is either "one" or "ones". Consequently, sometimes these two sentences are identical and sometimes they are slightly different and it is a function of the context.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .