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Thread: that or which

  1. #1
    tyrp is offline Junior Member
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    Default that or which

    Hello everybody,
    We were taught to use 'that' in clauses after 'all', 'every-/any-/something', and not 'which'. If so, should this rule be applied to pronouns on-one (someone, anyone) and -body (every-/any-/somebody) or can we use 'who' with them as well?
    Are only sentences A & C correct in the examples below?
    #1
    A) He told me something that surprised me.
    B) He told me something which surprised me.
    C) He told me something, which surprised me (if we were not on speaking terms, for instance, or I didn't expect him to give me the info).

    #2
    A) He was talking to somebody (someone) who was unfamiliar to me.
    B) He was talking to somebody/someone that was unfamiliar to me.
    C) He was talking to somebody/someone at the bus stop, which was not typical of him.

    #3
    A) He respects all that help other people. (Will it not sound better with 'everybody'?)
    B) He respects all who help other people.
    C) He respects you all, which is very wise of him.

    I appreciate your help, thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: that or which

    Quote Originally Posted by tyrp View Post
    Hello everybody,
    We were taught to use 'that' in clauses after 'all', 'every-/any-/something', and not 'which'. If so, should this rule be applied to pronouns on-one (someone, anyone) and -body (every-/any-/somebody) or can we use 'who' with them as well?
    Are only sentences A & C correct in the examples below?
    #1
    A) He told me something that surprised me.
    B) He told me something which surprised me.
    C) He told me something, which surprised me (if we were not on speaking terms, for instance, or I didn't expect him to give me the info).

    #2
    A) He was talking to somebody (someone) who was unfamiliar to me.
    B) He was talking to somebody/someone that was unfamiliar to me.
    C) He was talking to somebody/someone at the bus stop, which was not typical of him.

    #3
    A) He respects all that help other people. (Will it not sound better with 'everybody'?)
    B) He respects all who help other people.
    C) He respects you all, which is very wise of him.

    I appreciate your help, thanks in advance.
    #1 - A, B and C are all acceptable but B is more natural for me. C, as you say, has a different meaning.
    #2 - A is fine. B is incorrect. C is fine.
    #3 - B and C are fine. A is incorrect and would not be improved by using "everybody".
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  3. #3
    tyrp is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: that or which

    Thanks a million!

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