Is there a certain time to use which and what?

Can you use which to specify more than one quantity?

"Which books do you like?"

Or do you use "What books do you like?"

Thank you!
Which vs. what is a bit of a tricky question. "Which" is used when there are a finite number of choices. For example, if I showed you three pairs of pants and wanted to know your preference among them, I would ask you "Which pair do you like best?" "What", on the other hand, is used when there are many or infinite choices. If I wanted to know your favorite color, I'd say "What's your favorite color?"

So in your example, if you were asking about, say, the books on a particular shelf, you'd use "which". If you wanted to know someone's preference among all the books in the world (or a sufficiently large subset), you'd say "What books do you like?"

Incidentally it was very difficult to avoid using "what" and "which" in my explanation of which word to use.
That helped a lot! Thanks so much for explaining it to me!
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I know that CalifJim (one of the moderators in the forum) loves to define this matter as follows: what identifies; which selects. You might want to look at other examples by searching for which vs. what in the forum.


What is the capital of India vs which is the capital of India?

Which one of the two is correct?and why?thank you!

BBC Radio 4 has a quiz / panel show discussing films. It really grates on me when they ask, for example, “What film starred <insert famous actor name> as an old sea captain who couldn’t swim?” rather than “Which film...”
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We definitely ask as what is the capital of india