Which vs Who in English Grammar
Which and who are two words in the English language that might appear to be similar when it comes to their meaning, but strictly speaking they differ in their usage. ‘Who’ is normally used to refer to human beings, either male or female. On the other hand ‘which’ is used to refer to other living beings such as animals, insects, plants and objects in general?
Here are a few examples
1. Which is the fastest animal in the world?
2. Of these three bags, which is yours?
3. Which of these is not a fruit?
In the examples given above the usage of ‘which’ can be clearly seen. The word ‘which’ is used to refer to an animal, a bag and a fruit respectively. In short it can be said that the word ‘which’ is used as a kind of interrogative pronoun.
Look at these examples
1. Who is inside the room?
2. Who is your friend?
3. Who is the President of the United States of America?
In the examples given above the usage of ‘who’ can be clearly seen too. The word ‘who’ is used to refer to the person in the room, the friend and the President of the United States of America. In short can be said that the word ‘who’ is used as a kind of interrogative pronoun.
It is thus understood that both ‘which’ and ‘who’ are used as interrogative pronouns to refer to different individual things.
‘Who’ and ‘which’ are used as pronouns in sentences such as ‘he is the person who I met last night’ and ‘this is the bird which escaped from the cage’. Hence in these two sentences the words ‘who’ and ‘which’ are used as demonstrative pronouns. ‘Who’ and ‘which’ have varied usages between them.