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    #1

    What...that/which

    What are the preconditions that/which may enable Benin to recover these treasures?

    An English grammar book written by a Chinese says that in a What-question sentence only that rather than which should be used to begin an attributive clause. Can which be used too? Thank you in advance.


    (He also says that that rather than who goes with a Who-question, which I found, in the Macmillan Dictionary, is not the case:
    Who's the comedian who took my drink? || Who was the actor who played Romeo?)
    Last edited by joham; 12-Jan-2012 at 00:59.

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    #2

    Re: What...that/which

    Quote Originally Posted by joham View Post
    What are the preconditions that/which may enable Benin to recover these treasures?

    An English grammar book written by a Chinese says that in a What-question sentence only that rather than which should be used to begin an attributive clause. Can which be used too? Thank you in advance.
    I suspect that your grammar book is actually referring to sentences such as

    What did he do that made you angry?

    (rather than ?...which made...)

    or

    Who did you talk to that gave you such good advice?

    (rather than: *...who gave...)

    i.e. where the interrogative pronoun itself is the antecedent of the relative.

    In your cited sentence, where the antecedent is the NP 'preconditions', either pronoun would be possible (although, that said, 'that' would still be the more natural choice).

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