Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12
  1. #1
    roseriver1012's Avatar
    roseriver1012 is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    271
    Post Thanks / Like

    Question about "who" and "that" in starting the attributive clause.

    I'm studying the grammar section about the attributive clause. There is something that I'm not sure about.

    I know that when the word which has an attributive clause refers to a person, we usually use "who" or "that" to

    start the clause. But here is the problem: when the word referring to a person has the attribute like "the first", "the best", "the

    only", "the very" "every" "any" or "no", must I use "that" instead of "who" to start the attributive clause after the word?

    And there is another one: If the word is "everyone", "anyone", "someone", "none" or "no one", must I use "who" instead of

    "that" to start the attributive clause that modifies the word?

    In a word, what are the cases where only "that" or only "who" can be used to start the attributive clause instead of

    the other one? I hope I've made my questions clear enough, for I don't feel I'm good enough to express it well. Many

    thanks for your help!

  2. #2
    roseriver1012's Avatar
    roseriver1012 is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    271
    Post Thanks / Like

    Question Re: about "who" and "that" in starting the attributive clause.

    Hello? Hello? Why no one replies to it?

  3. #3
    a_vee's Avatar
    a_vee is offline Junior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • Costa Rica
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    92
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: about "who" and "that" in starting the attributive clause.

    Quote Originally Posted by roseriver1012 View Post
    Hello? Hello? Why no one replies to it?
    Why isn't anyone replying to this?

    Hi Roseriver, I'm sorry but I'm lost in the wording of your question. Could you give some examples of the ones that you do understand and then try to form some of the ones you are confused about?

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Philippines
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    42,748
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: about "who" and "that" in starting the attributive clause.

    You're trying to form absolute rules, and these will break down. It may be more common to use who after everyone, but that is a pattern of usage and not an absolute rule- you will find everyone that used.




    Quote Originally Posted by roseriver1012 View Post
    Hello? Hello? Why no one replies to it?
    Please be patient- people come in here as volunteers out of interest. They answer what they choose to answer- there are no guarantees that everything will be answered.

  5. #5
    roseriver1012's Avatar
    roseriver1012 is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    271
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: about "who" and "that" in starting the attributive clause.

    Sorry for my way of drawing your attention. It is just because I fear my post would sink down without any replies. That's only a way to up my post. I'm always patient in waiting for your replies, and also I'm extremely fond of this forum. I feel really fortunate to be able to find so many warm-hearted teachers who are native speakers of English. You've really helped me a lot (more than I can imagine) in my English study.

  6. #6
    roseriver1012's Avatar
    roseriver1012 is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    271
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: about "who" and "that" in starting the attributive clause.

    Maybe I've presented my questions in a messy way. So I'll change the way of doing it.
    You know, when we Chinese learn the English grammar of the adjective clause, we often have a lot of rules to remember, which usually puzzles a lot of learners. So I want to make it clear whether or not these rules truly exist in native speakers' mind.
    Here are my questions:
    Mr Smith is the only/the very/the first/ the best foreigner _________ I have met.
    Do you know anyone/someone/..._________ can do this?

    Which is acceptable to be filled in the above two blanks? who? that? or both?

  7. #7
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Philippines
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    42,748
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: about "who" and "that" in starting the attributive clause.

    In the first I would use that or nothing. However, I wouldn't regard who as an error.
    In the second I could use both.

  8. #8
    TheParser is online now Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    4,921
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: about "who" and "that" in starting the attributive clause.

    Quote Originally Posted by roseriver1012 View Post
    we often have a lot of rules to remember
    Mr Smith is the only/the very/the first/ the best foreigner _________ I have met.
    Do you know anyone/someone/..._________ can do this?

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Hello, Roseriver:

    1. I understand your problem. I think that many non-native teachers of English want to do the very best job that they can do for their students. So they expect their students to follow the "rules" for "perfect" English.

    2. Here is something that may interest you. It comes from a very famous (and very old) book entitled The King's English

    by two English brothers, H.W. Fowler and F.G. Fowler. It was first published in 1906.

    3. The brothers write (remember: this was in 1906!):

    "That," used of persons, has in fact come to look archaic [ancient; no longer in use]. The only cases in which

    it is now [in 1906!] to be preferred to "who" [ are those cases] in which the antecedent is "it," or has attached to it

    a superlative or other word of exclusive meaning.

    *****

    The brothers then give these examples (the boldface is my emphasis):

    The most impartial critic that could be found.
    The only man that I know.
    Any one [I guess it was spelled as two words in 1906!] that knows anything knows this.
    It was you that said so.
    Who is it that talks about moral geography?

    *****

    Then the brothers remind us: "Outside these special types, 'that' used of persons is apt to sound archaic."

    *****

    This is 2012. As Tdol reminded us, many native speakers would use "that," "who," or nothing (when possible).

    *****

    Personally, I like the Fowler brothers' "rule," but I do not have the courage to follow it. If I wrote: You are the best friend that I have," someone might say: Excuse me, but you should say "who I have." And, of course, that someone would be wrong. S/he should have said "whom" I have. So that's why many native speakers simply use NO relative pronoun.

    *****

    If your teacher follows the "rule," then you should probably make him/her happy by using "that" whenever the "rule"

    requires it. I know that it is very important to earn good marks on your examinations. But when you get into the

    "real world," you will find that most people could not care less.


    HAVE A NICE DAY!

  9. #9
    roseriver1012's Avatar
    roseriver1012 is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    271
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: about "who" and "that" in starting the attributive clause.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Hello, Roseriver:

    1. I understand your problem. I think that many non-native teachers of English want to do the very best job that they can do for their students. So they expect their students to follow the "rules" for "perfect" English.

    2. Here is something that may interest you. It comes from a very famous (and very old) book entitled The King's English

    by two English brothers, H.W. Fowler and F.G. Fowler. It was first published in 1906.

    3. The brothers write (remember: this was in 1906!):

    "That," used of persons, has in fact come to look archaic [ancient; no longer in use]. The only cases in which

    it is now [in 1906!] to be preferred to "who" [ are those cases] in which the antecedent is "it," or has attached to it

    a superlative or other word of exclusive meaning.

    *****

    The brothers then give these examples (the boldface is my emphasis):

    The most impartial critic that could be found.
    The only man that I know.
    Any one [I guess it was spelled as two words in 1906!] that knows anything knows this.
    It was you that said so.
    Who is it that talks about moral geography?

    *****

    Then the brothers remind us: "Outside these special types, 'that' used of persons is apt to sound archaic."

    *****

    This is 2012. As Tdol reminded us, many native speakers would use "that," "who," or nothing (when possible).

    *****

    Personally, I like the Fowler brothers' "rule," but I do not have the courage to follow it. If I wrote: You are the best friend that I have," someone might say: Excuse me, but you should say "who I have." And, of course, that someone would be wrong. S/he should have said "whom" I have. So that's why many native speakers simply use NO relative pronoun.

    *****

    If your teacher follows the "rule," then you should probably make him/her happy by using "that" whenever the "rule"

    requires it. I know that it is very important to earn good marks on your examinations. But when you get into the

    "real world," you will find that most people could not care less.


    HAVE A NICE DAY!
    Your reply really helps me a lot! To tell the truth, I myself am an English teacher in China. But I myself am often puzzled by so many grammar rules (many of which, now I believe, are in fact created by us Chinese!). I often can't find a satisfying answer in websites of my country. The answers are often quite diverse! Now I can see what a great gap there is between the English in English-spoken countries and that we're learning or teaching in my country! Thank you again! And I like this forum more and more.

  10. #10
    david11's Avatar
    david11 is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Tamil
      • Home Country:
      • India
      • Current Location:
      • India
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    588
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: about "who" and "that" in starting the attributive clause.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post





    Please be patient- people come in here as volunteers out of interest. They answer what they choose to answer- there are no guarantees that everything will be answered.
    Why the posts written by you and moderators which is addressed to specific person always has this font? Is there any specific reason for that?.Just out of curiosity of knowing about forum writing.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Defining "Street," "Road," "Avenue," "Boulevard"
    By ahumphreys in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 31-Dec-2010, 07:14
  2. [Vocabulary] Difference between "health" and "wellness", "Diagnosis" and "Analysis"
    By tobysky in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 28-Dec-2010, 22:43
  3. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 08-Sep-2008, 08:27
  4. confusing words "expressed" or "express" and "named" or"names"
    By Dawood Usmani in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 26-Oct-2007, 19:33
  5. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 16-Feb-2007, 02:54

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •