Who vs. Which

'Which' and 'who' are interrogative words that are used to ask questions or in some cases, they are used as relative pronouns to connect two clauses. Read more.

"Who" vs. "Which" in the English Grammar

What Are Their Main Differences?

The most important difference between 'who' and 'which' relies on what they refer to. 'Who' is used to talk about people, while 'which' is used to talk about either things or people. There is always confusion about whether we can use which for people or not. The answer is yes, but keep in mind that there should be a choice between limited options.

Differences

Who and Which as Interrogative Determiners

As determiners require, there must be a noun followed by interrogative determiners. 'Which' can be used as a determiner 'cause it is possible to use a noun after it. But We can never use a noun after 'who'. So, as a result, 'who' is 'not' a determiner.

Which hat do you pick? (Not "Who hat do you pick.")

Which balloon is yours? (Not "Who balloon is your?")

Which and Who in Restrictive or Non-restrictive Clauses

Technically, we use 'who' on both restrictive and non-restrictive clauses, but we use 'which' in non-restrictive clauses. However, we can use which in restrictive clauses in the informal English language, too.

I wanted a good washing machine, which did all the basics, and the company recommended one that ticked all the boxes.

The doctor appreciated the man who donated his heart.

The firefighter, who was the hero, saved millions of lives over years.

Comma

Do not forget to put a comma on both sides of a non-restrictive clause.

WHO

WHO stands for World Health Organization.
'WHO' works worldwide to promote health, keep the world safe, and serve the vulnerable. Their goal is to ensure that a billion more people have universal health coverage.

Similarities

Who and Which as Interrogative Pronouns

  • 'Who' and 'which':

are used as interrogative pronouns to ask questions. You can ask about people by using 'who,' while you can ask about people, animals, and things by using 'which.'

Who on earth would eat mango with chicken soup?

Who the hell is the tall boy?

Which should I take as a bridesmaid?

I can not make a difference between the two brothers. Which is taller? Kilian or Damon?

Who and Which as Relative Pronouns

  • 'Who' and 'which':

are used as relative pronouns to connect two clauses. Relative clauses share essential or non-essential information about people, things, objects, etc.

The man who invented the electricity had a sick mother.

The wall, which is full of pictures, dedicates to my family tree.

Cristiano Ronaldo, who is a famous football player, is actually too kind and generous.

Who and Which in Indirect Questions

  • 'Who' and 'which':

are both used as interrogative pronouns in indirect questions. Sometimes we use indirect questions to ask something politely.

Can you tell me which shirt is yours? black or red?

Would you mind telling me who I am supposed to meet?

Indirect Questions

Remember not to use interrogative sentences after 'who' and 'which' in this case. The following sentence should be in the indicative form.

I wonder who the man is. (Not "I wonder who is the man.")

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