I. What + noun (What colour … ? / What kind … ? etc.)
- What colour is your car?
- What colour are your eyes?
- What size is this shirt?
- What make is your TV set?
- What time is it?
- What day is it today?
- What kind of job do you want? (or What type of job … ? / What sort of job ..?)
What without a noun:
- What‘s your favourite colour?
- What do you want to do this evening?
II. Which + noun (things or people):
- Which train did you catch – the 9.50 or the 10.30?
- Which doctor did you see – Doctor Ellis, Doctor Gray or Doctor Hill?
We use which without a noun for things, not people:
- Which is bigger – Canada or Australia?
We use who for people (without a noun):
- Who is taller – Bill or Gerry? [not ‘Which is taller?’)
III. What or which?
We use which when we are thinking about a small number of possibilities (perhaps 2, 3 or 4):
- We can go this way or that way. Which way shall we go?
- There are four umbrellas here. Which is yours?
What is more general:
- What is the capital of Argentina?
- What sort of music do you like?
- What colour are his eyes? (not ‘Which colour?’)
Which colour do you prefer, pink or yellow?
- What is the longest river in the world?
Which is the longest river – the Mississippi, the Amazon or the Nile?
IV How … ?
- ‘How was the party last night?’ ‘It was great.’
- ‘How do you usually go to work?’ ‘By bus.’
You can use how + adjective/adverb (how tall / how old / how often etc.):
- HOW tall are you?’ ‘I’m 1 metre 70.’
- HOW big is the house?’ ‘Not very big.’
- HOW old is your mother?’ ‘She’s 45.’
- HOW far is it from here to the airport?’ ‘Five kilometres.’
- HOW often do you use your car?’ ‘Every day.’
- HOW long have they been married?’ ‘Ten years.’
- HOW much was the meal?’ ‘Twenty pounds.’