What's the difference between "What color is this?" and "What's this color?". If someone is asking a kid, which one is more appropriate? Should he use "Which" instead of "What"?

  • Are you mainly interested in the meaning or would you like to know about the detailed grammar too? – Araucaria - Not here any more. Oct 17 '14 at 17:23
  • My question has been clearly answered so for. However, everyone is welcome to give more information or suggestions. Thanks. – Josep Garcia Oct 18 '14 at 9:16

"What colour is this?" Can have two meanings.

  1. What is this colour called?
  2. What colour is this item?

"What's this color" only has the first meaning. "Which colour is this?" also only has the first meaning.

"Which's this colour" is not good English.

So use the least ambiguous, most accurate option. That's most appropriate for anybody, regardless of age.

Of course, the answer to either form of the question will be the same.

  • 1
    There’s nothing wrong with “Which’s this colour?”, except for the fact that which is is not usually contracted. Assuming that ‘this colour’ is already available within the scope of the conversation (say you’re deciding on a design for something, comparing colour schemes, and you’re pointing to a colour sample), “Which (of the items/things/whatever) is this colour?” is just like asking “Which one is blue?”. It is not quite parallel to the other structures mentioned, of course; but it’s perfectly cromulent English. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Oct 18 '14 at 11:57

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