Also found in: Legal, Idioms, Wikipedia.


 (wĭch, hwĭch)
1. What particular one or ones: Which of these is yours?
2. The one or ones previously mentioned or implied, specifically:
a. Used as a relative pronoun in a clause that provides additional information about the antecedent: my house, which is small and old.
b. Used as a relative pronoun preceded by that or a preposition in a clause that defines or restricts the antecedent: that which he needed; the subject on which she spoke.
c. Used instead of that as a relative pronoun in a clause that defines or restricts the antecedent: The movie which was shown later was better.
3. Any of the things, events, or people designated or implied; whichever: Choose which you like best.
4. A thing or circumstance that: He left early, which was wise.
1. What particular one or ones of a number of things or people: Which part of town do you mean?
2. Any one or any number of; whichever: Use which door you please.
3. Being the one or ones previously mentioned or implied: It started to rain, at which point we ran.

[Middle English, from Old English hwilc; see kwo- in Indo-European roots.]
Usage Note: The relative pronoun which can sometimes refer to a clause or sentence, as opposed to a noun phrase: She ignored him, which proved to be unwise. They swept the council elections, which could never have happened under the old rules. More than 80 percent of the Usage Panel approved both of these examples in our 2009 survey. Sometimes which clauses of this sort are presented as separate sentences. These are technically sentence fragments, and they often pack a rhetorical punch: "I was caught for a week on the Siachen Glacier, in a giant blizzard. There is no harsher place on this earth; it belongs to no one. Which won't keep people from squabbling over it someday" (Andrea Barrett). While this example is perfectly acceptable, writers who want to avoid this use of which and adhere to the traditional rules can usually substitute this for it at the start of a new sentence, though often at the loss of some dramatic flair. · Note that which clauses that modify whole sentences can sometimes create ambiguities. The sentence It emerged that Martha made the complaint, which surprised everybody may mean either that the complaint itself was surprising or that it was surprising that Martha made it. This ambiguity may be avoided by using other constructions such as It emerged that Martha made the complaint, a revelation that surprised everybody. Remember that which is used in this way only when the clause or sentence it refers to precedes it. When the clause or sentence follows, writers must use what, particularly in formal style: Still, he has not said he will withdraw, which is more surprising. Still, what is more surprising, he has not said he will withdraw. See Usage Notes at that, what, whose.


a. used with a noun in requesting that its referent be further specified, identified, or distinguished from the other members of a class: which house did you want to buy?.
b. (as pronoun): which did you find?.
c. (used in indirect questions): I wondered which apples were cheaper.
a. whatever of a class; whichever: bring which car you want.
b. (as pronoun): choose which of the cars suit you.
3. used in relative clauses with inanimate antecedents: the house, which is old, is in poor repair.
4. as; and that: used in relative clauses with verb phrases or sentences as their antecedents: he died of cancer, which is what I predicted.
5. the which archaic a longer form of which, often used as a sentence connector
[Old English hwelc, hwilc; related to Old High German hwelīh (German welch), Old Norse hvelīkr, Gothic hvileiks, Latin quis, quid]
Usage: See at that


(ʰwɪtʃ, wɪtʃ)

1. what one?: Which of these do you want? Which do you want?
2. whichever: Choose which appeals to you.
3. (used relatively in restrictive and nonrestrictive clauses to represent a specified antecedent): This book, which I read last night, was exciting. The socialism which Owen preached was unpalatable to many. The lawyer represented five families, of which ours was the largest.
4. (used relatively in restrictive clauses having that as the antecedent): Damaged goods constituted part of that which was sold at the auction.
5. (used after a preposition to represent a specified antecedent): the house in which I lived.
6. (used relatively to represent a specified or implied antecedent) the one that; a particular one that: You may choose which you like.
7. (used in parenthetic clauses) the thing or fact that: He hung around for hours and, which was worse, kept me from doing my work.
8. what one of (a certain number or group mentioned or implied)?: Which book do you want?
9. whichever; any that: Go which way you please, you'll end up here.
10. being previously mentioned: It rained all day, during which time we played cards.
[before 900; Middle English; Old English hwilc, hwelc=hwe- (akin to hwā who) + -līc body, shape, kind; c. Old Saxon (h)wilik, Old High German hwelīk, Old Norse hvīlīkr, Gothic hwileiks literally, of what form]
usage: The relative pronoun which refers to inanimate things and to animals: The house, which we had seen only from a distance, impressed us even more as we approached. The horses which pulled the coach were bay geldings. Formerly, which referred to persons, but this use, while still heard (the friend which helped me move), is now nonstandard. The “rule” taught by some usage guides, that which should be used only with nonrestrictive clauses, has not taken hold generally. In edited prose a majority of the clauses in which which is the relative pronoun are restrictive: Facts which we had ignored turned out to be critical. See also that.


Which can be a determiner or a pronoun.

1. asking for information

You use which when you are asking for information about one of a limited number of things or people. A noun phrase beginning with which or consisting of the pronoun which can be the subject, object, or complement of a verb. It can also be the object of a preposition.

Which type of oil is best?
Which is her room?

Be Careful!
When the noun phrase is the object of a verb or preposition, you put an auxiliary verb after the object, followed by the subject and the main verb. When the noun phrase is the object of a preposition, the preposition usually goes at the end of the clause.

Which hotel did you want?
Which station did you come from?
2. used in reported clauses

Which is often used in reported clauses.

Do you remember which country he played for?
I don't know which to believe.
3. used in relative clauses

Which can be a relative pronoun in both defining and non-defining relative clauses. In relative clauses, which always refers to things, never to people.

We heard about the awful conditions which exist in some prisons.
I'm teaching at the local college, which is just over the road.

In relative clauses, you can use either which or who after a collective noun such as family, committee, or group. After which you use a singular verb. After who you usually use a plural verb.

He is on the committee which makes decisions about planning.
They are a separate ethnic group who have their own language.

Be Careful!
When which is the subject of a non-defining clause, don't use another pronoun after it. Don't say, for example, 'He stared at the painting, which it was completely ruined'. You say 'He stared at the painting, which was completely ruined'.

amelyikmelyikmelyik ?
hver, hvor, hvaîasem, er
어느어느 것
kuris tikkuris yra kuris
cái màcái nào


1. (in direct and indirect questions, reported speech)
Which/which one/which ones in direct and indirect questions and after expressions of (un)certainty and doubt (e.g. no sé) usually translate as cuál/cuáles:
which do you want? (offering one) → ¿cuál quieres?; (offering two or more) → ¿cuáles quieres?
I can't tell which is whichno sé cuál es cuál
which of you did it?¿cuál de vosotros lo hizo?
which of you is Kathleen?¿cuál de vosotras es Kathleen?
I don't know which to chooseno sé cuál escoger
tell me which you like bestdime cuáles te gustan más
I don't mind whichno me importa cuál
2. (relative)
2.1. (replacing noun)
In relative clauses where which defines the noun it refers to, you can usually translate it as que. Note that in this type of sentence which can be substituted by that in English:
the letter which came this morning was from my niecela carta que llegó esta mañana era de mi sobrina
it's an illness which causes nerve damagees una enfermedad que daña los nervios
do you remember the house which we saw last week?¿te acuerdas de la casa que vimos la semana pasada?
the bear which I sawel oso que vi
If which is the object of a preposition, you can either translate it as que (usually preceded by the definite article) or as ARTICLE + cual/cuales. Use the second option particularly in formal language or after long prepositions or prepositional phrases:
your letter, which I received this morning, cheered me uptu carta, que or (more frm) la cual he recibido esta mañana, me ha levantado el ánimo
the bull which I'm talking aboutel toro del que or (more frm) del cual estoy hablando
the meeting which we attendedla reunión a la que or (more frm) a la cual asistimos
the hotel at which we stayedel hotel en el que or (more frm) en el cual nos hospedamos
the cities to which we are goinglas ciudades a las que or (more frm) a las cuales vamos
he explained the means by which we could achieve our objectiveexplicó los medios a través de los cuales podíamos alcanzar nuestro objetivo
If instead of defining the noun the which clause merely adds additional information, you can translate which using either que or ARTICLE + cual/cuales:
the oak dining-table, which was a present from my father, seats 10 people comfortablyla mesa de roble, que or la cual fue un regalo de mi padre, admite cómodamente diez comensales
2.2. (replacing clause)
When which refers to the whole of a preceding sentence or idea, translate as lo que or lo cual:
it rained hard which upset herllovió mucho, lo que or lo cual le disgustó
they left early, which my wife did not like at allse marcharon pronto, lo cual or lo que no agradó nada a mi mujer
After a preposition only lo cual can be used:

after which we went to beddespués de lo cual nos acostamos
from which we deduce thatde lo cual deducimos que ...
1. (in direct and indirect questions, reported speech)
When which is used as an interrogative adjective, translate using qué + NOUN when the possibilities are very open or cuál/cuáles de + ARTICLE + PLURAL NOUN when the possibilities are limited:
which house do you live in?¿en qué casa vives?
which day are they coming?¿qué día vienen?
I don't know which tie he wantsno sé qué corbata quiere
which picture do you prefer?¿qué cuadro prefieres?, ¿cuál de los cuadros prefieres?
which option do you prefer?¿cuál de las alternativas prefieres?
which way did she go?¿por dónde se fue?
which one?¿cuál?
I don't know which one to chooseno sé cuál escoger
tell me which ones you like bestdime cuáles te gustan más
2. (relative) look which way you willmires por donde mires ...
he used "peradventure", which word is now archaic (frm) → dijo "peradventure", palabra que ha quedado ahora anticuada
in which caseen cuyo caso
he didn't get here till 10, by which time Jane had already leftno llegó hasta las 10 y para entonces Jane ya se había ido


(in questions)quel(le)
Which picture do you want? → Quelle photo voulez-vous?
Which flavour do you want? → Quel parfum veux-tu?
I know his brother. - Which one? → Je connais son frère. - Lequel?
I know his sister. - Which one? → Je connais sa sœur. - Laquelle?
in which case → auquel cas
(= which one(s)) → lequel(laquelle), lesquels (lesquelles)pl
Which of these are yours? → Lesquels sont à vous?
Which would you like? → Lequel voulez-vous?
Tell me which you want → Dites-moi lesquels vous voulez.
I don't mind which → Peu m'importe lequel.
not to know which is which → ne pas savoir lequel est lequel(laquelle)(laquelle)
Even the twins' teacher doesn't always know which is which → Même le professeur des jumeaux n'arrive pas toujours à savoir lequel est lequel.
(after preposition)lequel(laquelle)
the chair on which you are sitting → la chaise sur laquelle vous êtes assis
the box in which the keys are kept → la boîte dans laquelle les clés sont rangées
the charity to which he donated money → l'œuvre de bienfaisance à laquelle il a fait un don
of which → dont
the book of which you spoke → le livre dont vous avez parlé
after which → après quoi
rel pron
(subject of relative clause)qui
the apple which is on the table → la pomme qui est sur la table
the CD which is playing now → le CD qui passe maintenant
He knew, which is incredible
BUT Il le savait, ce qui est incroyable.
(object of relative clause)que
the apple which you ate → la pomme que vous avez mangée
the CD which I bought today → le CD que j'ai acheté hier


(interrog) → welche(r, s); which one?welche(r, s)?; (of people also)wer?; I can’t tell which key is whichich kann die Schlüssel nicht auseinanderhalten
(rel) → welche(r, s); … by which time I was asleep… und zu dieser Zeit schlief ich (bereits); look at it which way you will …man kann es betrachten or sehen, wie man will …; … he said, which remark made me very angrysagte er, was mich sehr ärgerte
(interrog) → welche(r, s); which of the children/bookswelches Kind/Buch; which is which? (of people)wer ist wer?, welche(r) ist welche(r)?; (of things)welche(r, s) ist welche(r, s)?, welche(r, s) ist der/die/das eine und welche(r, s) der/die/das andere?; which is for which?was ist wofür?
(rel) (with n antecedent) → der/die/das, welche(r, s) (geh); (with clause antecedent) → was; the bear which I sawder Bär, den ich sah; at which he remarked …woraufhin er bemerkte, …; it rained hard, which upset her planses regnete stark, was ihre Pläne durcheinanderbrachte; which reminds me …dabei fällt mir ein, …; from which we deduce that …woraus wir ableiten, dass …; after which we went to bedworauf or wonach wir zu Bett gingen; the day before/after which he left heran dem Tag, bevor er sie verließ/nachdem er sie verlassen hatte; the shelf on which I put itdas Brett, auf das or worauf ich es gelegt habe


(witʃ) adjective, pronoun
used in questions etc when asking someone to point out, state etc one or more persons, things etc from a particular known group. Which (colour) do you like best?; Which route will you travel by?; At which station should I change trains?; Which of the two girls do you like better?; Tell me which books you would like; Let me know which train you'll be arriving on; I can't decide which to choose.
relative pronoun
(used to refer to a thing or things mentioned previously to distinguish it or them from others. able to be replaced by that except after a preposition: able to be omitted except after a preposition or when the subject of a clause) (the) one(s) that: This is the book which/that was on the table; This is the book (which/that) you wanted; A scalpel is a type of knife which/that is used by surgeons; The chair (which/that) you are sitting on is broken; The documents for which they were searching have been recovered.
relative adjective, relative pronoun
used, after a comma, to introduce a further comment on something. My new car, which I paid several thousand pounds for, is not running well; He said he could speak Russian, which was untrue; My father may have to go into hospital, in which case he won't be going on holiday.
whichˈever relative adjective, relative pronoun
1. any (one(s)) that. I'll take whichever (books) you don't want; The prize will go to whichever of them writes the best essay.
2. no matter which (one(s)). Whichever way I turned, I couldn't escape.
which is which(?)
which is one and which is the other (?). Mary and Susan are twins and I can't tell which is which.


أيّ který hvilken, som welcher ποιος cuál mikä lequel, quel koji che, quale どの, どれ 어느, 어느 것 welke hvilken, som jaki, który qual который som, vilken/vilket/vilka อันไหน hangi cái mà, cái nào 哪个