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  1. #1
    ju.ilkyu is offline Newbie
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    Default ordinal number before relative pronouns

    Shrek is the first movie ( ) I saw at the theater.
    I learned that if there is an ordinal number, superlative, "all", "the same", ...etc before relative pronouns, "that" must be filled in the blank.

    I want to know if "which" is correct in that sentence either.

    In short, I want to know if "Shrek is the first movie which I saw at the theater" could be recognized as a correct sentence.

    Please help me!

  2. #2
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: ordinal number before relative pronouns

    'That' is better than 'which', but no pronoun is best of all.

    'Shrek was the first movie I saw at the cinema.'

    Rover
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 02-May-2011 at 17:30.

  3. #3
    TheParser is online now VIP Member
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    Default Re: ordinal number before relative pronouns

    TE=ju.ilkyu;745401]I learned that if there is an ordinal number, superlative, "all", "the same", ...etc before relative pronouns, "that" must be filled in the blank.

    I want to know if "which" is correct in that sentence either.

    In short, I want to know if "Shrek is the first movie which I saw at the theater" could be recognized as a correct sentence.

    Please help me![/QUOTE]


    ***** A NON-TEACHER'S COMMENT *****


    (1) Here in the United States, many teachers agree with the

    "rule" that you mentioned: use "that" for restrictive (defining)

    clauses.

    (2) When you say that "Shrek is the first movie ...." you are obviously

    referring to a particular movie.

    (3) Mr. Bryan A. Garner, whom many Americans follow for advice on

    "good" English, says:

    "[I]f you see a which without a comma before it, nine times out of

    ten it needs to be a that."

    (4) It is only my opinion that most Americans would feel more

    comfortable with "that" in your sentence. I do not know whether the

    use of "which" can be called "wrong."

    (5) And as Teacher Rover told us: native speakers (especially in

    conversation) simply delete (drop/forget/erase) the relative pronoun

    in sentences such as yours.

    (6) The bottom line: IMHO, use "that" or zero relative pronoun.


    Respectfully yours,


    James
    Last edited by TheParser; 02-May-2011 at 14:17.

  4. #4
    ju.ilkyu is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: ordinal number before relative pronouns

    Thanks for your replies!

    So "that" or no pronoun would be the best usage, but we can't tell that "Shrek is the first movie which~~" is grammatically wrong. Did I understand right?

  5. #5
    TheParser is online now VIP Member
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    Default Re: ordinal number before relative pronouns

    Quote Originally Posted by ju.ilkyu View Post
    Thanks for your replies!

    So "that" or no pronoun would be the best usage, but we can't tell that "Shrek is the first movie which~~" is grammatically wrong. Did I understand right?

    ***** A NON-TEACHER's COMMENT *****


    (1) Sometimes it is very difficult to say whether something is

    "grammatically" wrong.

    (2) In "She don't speak English," almost everyone agrees that

    "don't" is wrong -- at least in standard English.

    (3) I apologize for not being clear in my first post: I do not know

    whether "It was the first movie which I saw" is "grammatically" wrong.

    (a) I shall make a guess and say: NO. I guess that if you said it, nobody

    would be too upset. In fact, probably some native speakers would use it.

    (b) I shall say, however, that you would be much safer to use

    "that" or zero relative pronoun.

    (4) Since you are a learner, you should probably stick with the

    "rule":

    "That" for restrictive/defining clauses.

    "Which" for non-restrictive clauses.

    Zero relative pronoun instead of "that." (Remember: you cannot

    delete the relative pronoun if it is the SUBJECT:

    It was the first movie that/which(?) made an impression on me.)


    Respectfully yours,

    James

  6. #6
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    Soup is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: ordinal number before relative pronouns

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    (3) I apologize for not being clear in my first post: I do not know

    whether "It was the first movie which I saw" is "grammatically" wrong.
    Relative 'that' is preferred with ordinal numbers, but does that make defining 'which' grammatically wrong? Liberate your mind. Click here, Go to the first post.

    _____________________________

    A clause which has lost its [comma] is certainly restrictive.

  7. #7
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: ordinal number before relative pronouns

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post

    (1) Here in the United States, many teachers agree with the

    "rule" that you mentioned: use "that" for restrictive (defining)

    clauses.
    In BrE, this rule does't apply, so which is fine, though that sounds more natural after an ordinal.

  8. #8
    TheParser is online now VIP Member
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    Default Re: ordinal number before relative pronouns

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    In BrE, this rule does't apply, so which is fine, though that sounds more natural after an ordinal.
    ***** A NON-TEACHER's COMMENT *****


    (1) Very interesting to hear that many British people do not follow the

    "that/which" rule.

    (2) I have read that the legendary Fowler Brothers "invented" it, and

    (I believe) the Fowler Brothers were as English as one can be.

    (3) Our Mr. Garner says that it's a wonderful rule and the great

    Fowler Brothers deserve praise for "inventing" it.

    (4) Why, some people actually belittle the Fowlers for having

    invented it!!!


    Respectfully yours,


    James

  9. #9
    ju.ilkyu is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: ordinal number before relative pronouns

    Thank you all of you who answered my question!

    Actually, I'm a middle school student in South Korea, and recently I took an mid-term exam, the problem I asked was on the exam.

    The question in the exam was :

    Choose the answer that has words which will be filled in the blanks in order.

    1. Shrek is the first movie (_____) I saw at the theater.
    2. She has a daughter (_____) name is Paula.
    3. I have two sons, (____) are doctors.
    1)which - whose - who
    2)that - that - that
    3)which - whose- that
    4)that - whose - who
    5)which- that - whose

    I chose number 1), and the answer was 4).

    I must have an 100 score because of entering high school, and I'm so worried.

    I think most of you think that

    1) that or no pronoun is correct, though which doesn't sound unnatural.
    2)especially in BrE, both of them are correct.

    Did I got it right?

    So, I will try to pursue my English teacher, but I can't think how to pursue him.

    Sorry about I keep asking this.. so sorry

    If you have any idea, please give me some advice. Thank you.
    Last edited by ju.ilkyu; 05-May-2011 at 05:41.

  10. #10
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: ordinal number before relative pronouns

    In BrE, we can use that/who or that/which interchangeably in most defining/restrictive relative clauses, but after an ordinal number, after words like any, etc, we tend to use that. So, for me 4 is the best answer; I don't think that 1 is an error, but it doesn't sound very natural to me- it's OK but not the best choice.

    AmE speakers may see things differently.

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