'Which' vs 'Witch': What's the Difference?

By Katie Moore, updated on September 1, 2023

‘Which’ vs ‘Witch’: What’s the difference? You might have heard of the tongue twister “Which witch is which?” That actually is a great demonstration of the confusion between these two words. Words that sound the same can be tricky to master, but we’re here to help you learn which witch is which. 

Pressed for time? Here’s a quick overview of what you’ll learn:

  • ‘Which’ is a word that asks for information about a specific thing
  • ‘Witch’ is a word that refers to a person with evil magic powers

What’s the Difference Between ‘Which’ vs ‘Witch’?

At first glance, the obvious difference between these two words is their spelling. While this can be helpful when reading, it won’t help when the words aren’t in front of us. This is due to the fact that these words are homophones.

  • Homophones are words that have different definitions, and are spelled differently but are pronounced the same. The word comes from the Latin ‘homo’ meaning “same” and ‘phone’ meaning “sound.”

Some other examples of homophones are:

Homophones are often confusing at first because it can be hard to match the proper spelling to its definition without context. But there are some tricks we can use to tell them apart. First is their parts of speech. Parts of speech refer to a word’s function within a sentence.

  •  ‘Which’ is a pronoun and determiner, meaning it is a word placed before a noun to provide context on quantity or quality. 
  • ‘Witch’ is primarily a noun, meaning it describes a thing, or in this case, a person. 

Knowing the difference between how the words work in a sentence can help you decipher which word to use in a given situation. You can also use spelling as a clue. 

  • ‘Which’ is typically a question word; many question words begin with ‘wh-.’ For example, you have when, what, where, and why.

Remembering this trend can help remind you of the function of ‘Which’ and remind you of the definition of that spelling. 

Language hints and other tricks can be useful when starting to get to know new words, but they don’t give us the whole picture. Let’s take a closer look at ‘Which’ vs ‘Witch’ individually. 

Definition of ‘Which’: What Does it Mean?

According to Oxford Languages, ‘Which’ is a pronoun and determiner that means:

  • (determiner) Asking for information specifying one or more people or things from a definite set
    • “Which are the best varieties of grapes for long keeping?”
  • (pronoun) used referring to something previously mentioned when introducing a clause giving further information
    • “A conference in Vienna which ended on Friday.”
  • (pronoun) what or ones out of a group, used as an interrogative
    • “Which of those houses do you live in?”

Synonyms of ‘Which’

  • That
  • Whatever 
  • And that
  • Whichever

Phrases with ‘Which’

  • Which way
  • Which is which
  • Which is why
  • Which one

Definition of ‘Witch’: What Does it Mean?

According to Oxford Languages, ‘Witch’ is a noun that means:

  • A person thought to have magic powers, especially evil ones, is popularly depicted as a woman wearing a black cloak and pointed hat and flying on a broomstick
    • "She dressed up in a witch costume."
  • A follower or practitioner of Wicca or modern witchcraft
  • A derogatory term for an ugly or unpleasant woman 
    • “He can marry the old witch for all I care.”
  • An edible North Atlantic flatfish that is worth some commercial value

As a verb, the word ‘Witch’ can also mean:

  • Cast an (evil) spell on
    • “She had somehow witched the house.”
  • (of a woman) to enchant a man
    • “She had witched Jake.”

The term ‘Witch’ is connected to ‘witchcraft,’ which has a wide range of meanings in mythological, religious, and folkloric contexts — but they all relate to the practice of magic. 

Synonyms of ‘Witch’

  • Sorceress
  • Enchantress
  • Magician
  • Hag
  • Necromancer
  • Occultist
  • Wiccan
  • Crone
  • She-devil

Antonyms of ‘Witch’ 

  • Muggle
  • Mundane
  • Commoner
  • Angel
  • Fairy
  • Disenchant
  • Angel
  • Stunner

Phrases with ‘Witch’

  • Wicked witch
  • Witchcraft
  • Witches brew
  • Witches broom
  • Old witch

Pronunciation: How to Pronounce ‘Which’ vs ‘Witch’

While homophones cause confusion in many areas, learning to say the words is much easier since you learn to pronounce two for the price of one. Use the guide below to practice saying ‘Which’ vs ‘Witch’ aloud. 

Use this phonetic spelling of ‘Which’ and ‘Witch’ as a guide: 

  • ‘Wih-ch’ (the vowel ‘i’ is a short, mid vowel like in the word “kid,” and the ‘t’ in ‘Witch’ is technically silent) 

Note that in some areas, there are dialects and accents that pronounce the ‘h’ in ‘Which’ and make that ‘wh-’ beginning sound noticeably different than just the ‘w-’ by itself. This is not super common, but it does appear, so don’t let it confuse your pronunciation or understanding of the word. 

How to Use ‘Which’ vs ‘Witch’ in a Sentence

The final step to learning new words is making sure you can actually use them. With homophones, it’s especially important to specify spelling while writing, and make sure you’re using the correct word in the correct context. Context clues are helpful when determining which definition is being used, so below, you’ll find some sample sentences that demonstrate that. 

‘Which’ Example Sentences

  • Which way should I go to get to the nearest supermarket that has my special coffee?
  • She couldn’t decide which top to wear, so she called her friends to ask for help. 
  • There was a major accident on the highway which is why they were late for the party. 
  • The family dressed their identical twins in matching outfits and couldn’t tell which kid was which

‘Witch’ Example Sentences

  • Since The Wizard of Oz was her favorite movie, she wanted to dress like the Wicked Witch of the West for Halloween. 
  • In colonial times, if women were suspected of using magic on men, they were labeled witches and were burned at the stake. 
  • He hated the woman who lived next door and thought she was a grumpy old witch
  • Many witches today use crystals and other talismans to connect to the spirits of nature. 

‘Which’ vs ‘Witch’ Example Sentences

  • The knights had lost the witch while chasing her in the forest and hadn’t seen which way she had gone. 
  • If you were a witch and you could have any magical power, which power would you choose?

Final Advice on ‘Which’ vs ‘Witch’

Homophones can be discouraging at first, given their confusing nature, but the more you use context clues to your advantage, the easier they will be to understand. Remember that language tricks such as using spelling as a clue can be a great way to help memorize definitions and can be applied to any new vocabulary you learn. 

Need a recap? Here’s a quick review of what was covered: 

  • Homophones are words that sound the same but have different definitions and different spellings. 
  • ‘Which’ is a pronoun and determiner that helps specify something previously mentioned or in a set. 
  • Meanwhile, ‘Witch’ is a noun that refers to someone who practices magic. 

Want to learn about more homophones? Be sure to check out other confusing word articles that tackle similar word pairs and give you all the tools you need to expand your vocabulary and linguistic understanding.

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Written By:
Katie Moore
Katie is a recent graduate of Occidental College where she worked as a writer and editor for the school paper while studying linguistics and journalism. She loves helping others find their voice in writing and making their work the strongest it can be. Katie also loves learning and speaking other languages and wants to help make writing accessible for everyone.

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