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Thread: that or which

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    Arrow that or which

    the animals that live in jungle are called wild animals.
    the animals which live in jungle are called wild animals.
    which one is suitable which or that? i think which is used with singles not plurals.pls correct me soon pls...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
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    Default Re: that or which

    If we omit the "that/which" clause (see the underlined clause below) and the result changes the meaning of the sentence, then we should choose "that".

    For example,

    [1a] Animals that/which live in the jungle are called wild animals.

    Now let's delete "that/which live in the jungle":

    [1b] Animals are called wild animals. <Really? All animals or just the animals that live in the jungle?>

    The meaning expressed in [1a] and [1b] is different, so choose "that":

    EX: Animals that live in the jungle are called wild animals.

    => Use "that" when the clause it introduces is necessary; e.g., "Animals (specifically those animals) that live in the jungle are called wild animals".

    => Use comma "which" (,which) when the clause is added information, e.g., ",which (by the way) . . .,".

    Note, some speakers, both past and present, use "which" and "that" near synonymously, so either "that" or "which", without the comma, works here:

    EX: Animals that live in the jungle are called wild animals.
    EX: Animals which live in the jungle are called wild animals.
    EX: Animals , which live in the jungle, are called wild animals.

    The Standard rule of thumb is to use "that" for necessary information and ",which" for added information. But that rule says nothing about not using "which" without a comma, so speakers do use it, did use it, and will continue to use "which" that way.

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