It doesn't matter what wagon you board; you will love the journey.

In this sentence do I use what or should I say which?

marked as duplicate by Mari-Lou A, Dan Bron, user140086, tchrist, vickyace Jun 18 '16 at 19:26

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • 1
    In this sentence, it makes no difference. There is apparently a selection of wagons, so which can work; but what is also OK. – John Lawler Jun 15 '16 at 21:37
  • @Barmar: I call your attention to John Lawler's comment to the accepted (and top-rated) answer to that earlier post: That's in questions. Which and what are also used in certain types of relative clauses, and their usage is not simple. So this is not a duplicate answer for any new question giving examples with non-question uses of which and what. – FumbleFingers Jun 15 '16 at 22:43
  • ...the other answer simply flags up an incredibly fine distinction that not all speakers would even recognize, and which doesn't appear to directly relate to the issue as raised here. – FumbleFingers Jun 15 '16 at 22:45
  • @FumbleFingers That question was pretty general, but now I see that the answers are specific to using the words in questions. I've retracted my close vote. But if you search for title:what title:which you'll find quite a few other similar questions. One of them is probably a good duplicate for this. – Barmar Jun 15 '16 at 22:55
  • @Barmar: The implications of John's (obviously prescient) comment are that we probably need multiple questions on which, what. Perhaps someone will think through how to edit the titles of the two we're focused on right now to make it more obvious exactly what aspects they address. We really do need to make it easier to find dups and to make it easier to see which earlier questions we find in our searches are merely "related". – FumbleFingers Jun 15 '16 at 23:03

I agree that there is almost no difference between the two words. However, it seems to me that which here implies there are several cars to choose. While what might imply difference kinds of cars. Eg. Sedan, CRV, SUV etc. Hope it would help you out~

  • I think the second implication is only when you say something like what kind of car, I don't think it's inherent. You can also say which kind of car. – Barmar Jun 15 '16 at 22:57
  • @Barmar: But OP's context doesn't refer to a kind of wagon. Personally, I think William here is effectively making the same fine distinction as sirmirzo on the earlier question. That's to say which works better when it refers to one of the available [contextually-established] alternatives, whereas [no matter] what tends to imply whatever, any of all feasible alternatives (not limited to those which have been contextually established as the ones from which you may choose). – FumbleFingers Jun 15 '16 at 23:13

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