Another of my favourites.

And no, "Another of my favourites" isn't a complete sentence, nor a complete paragraph. And strictly speaking you shouldn't use the conjunction "And" at the beginning of a sentence, let alone do it in two consecutive sentences like I just have. However, some rules need breaking, especially when writing for the Internet.

However, (there's another old rule broken) when discussing which words to use, it's nice to use the right ones when there is no advantage in using the wrong ones.

The words which and what are often wrongly used interchangeably, and I was guilty of misusing them frequently.

Which route should I take to work this morning, the bus route or cut across the field?

What route should I take to work this morning, the bus route or cut across the field?

The correct sentence starts with which, in that which is used specifically where there is a defined number of choices.What is used when the choice is less limited.

"Which colour jacket shall I wear," suggests that there is a known choice of colours: the red one or the green one.

"What colour jacket shall I wear," suggests that there is an unlimited set of possibilities.

If you're asking a girlfriend about her shoes for a night out, you might say, "Which shoes are you wearing?" This shows that you can visualise a small range of possibilities. The answer might be "THE (specific) blue ones".

If you ask "What colour shoes are you wearing?" then the answer may be "I'm wearing A (non-specific) blue pair".

Lastly, your boss asks you to produce two invoices, one for company A and one for company B. At some point during the morning he stands behind you and leans over. "Which are you doing", he asks. "Company B" you'll answer.

If he comes up behind you, leans over and says "What are you doing," you're probably in some sort of trouble.

Tasks 0/2 completed
1. Think of further examples where you might use each word.
2. I can't think of anything else.

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christine2 Premium
I will leave now, because I am constantly picking up grammar and spelling mistakes in others, as well as on the news, in newspapers, in books, on the radio...
Not that mine is perfect, but I must have had VERY GOOD TEACHERS as I was painfully and deliberately acquiring English as my second language...I would never have had the guts to put anything up as training but I find it hilarious and can only commend you, Paul.I feel like I have found a soul mate griping about the same thing. I hope you have given a tutorial on my pet hate: the misuse of the words to lay and to lie. My patients always tell me they were laying down...their life, perhaps? And working in Ashton-under - Lyne near Manchester one of my patients proceeded to tell me: "I were just eating me tea, when..."
Coming from South Africa I never thought that i would need an interpreter for English, but there I did!
Paul Dean Premium
In Manchester (as elsewhere in England) people will happily admit to being "sat in front of the telly". I never occurs to them that by the same grammatical rules they should "get up and go for a walked". People seem particularly poor at tenses.

When ever I hear the word "sat" on telly I shout the word "sitting!" My wife just sighs.

I'll try to do "me" and "I" tomorrow, along with the correction to "me and him went out".
mrbill74 Premium
I'm forever correcting my girlfriend's comments, and it's reached the point where I simply brace myself after doing so--I KNOW she's going to smack me! These comments here remind me of a grammar course I enjoyed while still at AT&T. By the end of class, we came to three resolute conclusions:

1) It's not 'Lay Lady Lay', it's 'Lie Lady Lie';
2) It's not 'Lay Down, Sally', it's 'Lie Down, Sally'; and
3) It's not 'I Feel Good!', but 'I Feel Well'.

I may not have used the proper punctuation above, but this discussion is about grammar, right? :-)
speedking Premium
Hi Christine, good to hear from a fellow South African and great to meat up with you at WA ! I'm very new to all of this, but having a lot of fun doing it .Paul reminds me of one of my English teachers way back when in 'lekka" ol' SA.........keep up the good work Paul , there's always something new to learn.
RandyKR Premium
You should try to don' t lett it buggya so much.
teacup Premium
Another one that bothers me is the misuse of the words I and me. Please clarify for those who obviously don't know any better.
mamalama Premium
As a home-school mom, I deal with grammar issues pretty regularly but I didn't have the guts to create grammar lessons for the WA community. This is a great service to many. Thanks a lot!
jespinola Premium
Interesting.. I will check my grammar :)
techhound Premium Plus
Hey Paul, great lesson. How about "Yore" being added to the last section? LOL.

Best Regards,
Paul Dean Premium
I'll do "yore" when I do "y'all". (No I won't).
techhound Premium Plus
LOL. Nice!