guess which

  • maxiogee

    It invites the listener to make a guess, but it tells them that they already have enough evidence to make the right choice.

    "I was offered a full Sunday dinner and plenty to drink by my parents, but in my flat I had some old bread and dry cheese and the end of a bottle of milk - guess which one I chose."


    We need more context to explain the meaning of the whole sentence, but the meaning of "guess which" is standard. There must have been reference to two Harley's previously - possibly one of them is a person and the other is a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

    Kat LaQ

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    Hi simonjaj,
    maxiogee has given a very nice explanationof "guess which".
    But it doesn't make sense to me, either. What is the context? Are you sure the phrase is correct?

    Some sentences that DO make sense:
    Guess where Harley is hiding.
    Guess which girl Harley likes.
    Guess which one is Harley.


    Senior Member
    italian, Italy
    Thanks Juri, but Harley is a person, anyway I understood the meaning of the sentence, where however "high" doesn't mean "alto".


    Senior Member
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    If no one gives you a simple, orthodox explanation, I will go into one of my ruminations about phrasal verbs-- controversially claiming that "to guess which" and "to guess what" are of that class.

    Our use of "guess," especially in the imperative mood, is very idiomatic, and it depends on set structures many of whose parts are not overtly stated, but implied.

    I'm still chewing on this one-- and when I first read the question I thought it was so simple I had to wonder why you had to ask, as I'm sure many native speakers will also do.

    But let's wait for someone to come up with the kind of answer you need, especially if you have test questions that need to be answered correctly-- explanations like that are not my strong point, especially when I see a construction ("guess which x is y") that strike me as mysterious, almost beyond logical explanation.


    Senior Member
    British English
    If "Harley" is a person, then it doesn't make sense to me, unless there are two or three Harleys and the question is asking "Which Harley do you think is high (ie intoxicated)?"


    Senior Member
    English (England)
    Maybe if he is high = stoned with some drug or other he thinks there is more than one of him?

    Another thought occurs - perhaps he has a very changeable personality and he is saying "guess which Harley is high, the nice one or the nasty one?" eg guess which mood I'm in at the moment.