Where vs. Which

Where and which are wh-words and we have seen the used commonly, but what is their difference? In this lesson, we will discover more about them.

"Where" vs. "Which" in the English grammar

What Is Their Main Difference?

The main difference between 'where' and 'which' is that 'where' is a relative adverb and 'which' is a relative pronoun.

Where

'Where' has many functions. We will have a look at them now. If you want to learn more about this word, check out our lesson dedicated to this word here.

Interrogative adverb

'Where' can function as an interrogative adverb. It is used to ask about the place of something. Take a look at the following examples for clarification:

Where do polar bears live?

Where is my pen?

Relative Adverb

'Where' can also be used as a relative adverb describes a noun or noun phrase. We use it to express location.

This is where we first met.

The company where I work was founded in 1987.

Conjunction

'Where' is also used as a conjunction. Conjunctions connect clauses together and they have different types. 'Where' is classified as a subordinating conjunction.

I used to sit where you sit now.

Where is water, there is life.

Which

'Which' has many functions in the English grammar that we will discover now. If you want to learn more about this word, check out our lesson dedicated to this word here.

Interrogative Determiner

'Which' can function as an interrogative determiner. It asks about a specific thing in a set of things. Note that 'which' is considered as a specific determiner.

Which car is yours?

Which book is mine?

Interrogative Pronoun

'Which' functions as an interrogative pronoun. It asks about the subject, the object, or the object of a preposition.

The green car is hers. → Which is hers?

I want the salad with tomatoes. → Which do you want?

I believe in forgiving and forgetting. → In which do you believe?

Relative Pronoun

'Which' is a relative pronoun. We use it to give additional information about something.

The class, which lasted for less than 30 minutes, ended with a fight.

I can't find that jacket which was really expensive.

Differences

Parts of Speech

As mentioned earlier, the main difference between 'where' and 'which' is in their parts of speech. 'where' is a relative adverb and 'which' is a relative pronoun.

I can never remember where you come from.

The table which was broken is getting fixed.

Indication

'Where' mainly talks about the location of something while 'which' mainly focuses on people or things.

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