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  1. #1
    ohmyrichard is offline Member
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    that or where or something else?

    Dear teachers,

    Just now my former student texted me asking a question about the following mutiple-choice question:

    It was at our college library ____ I borrowed the novel.

    A. which B. in which C. that D. where

    I think the correct choice is C and my reason is that this sentence uses the structure of "It is ... that/which/who..." to emphasize the part of "at our college library". However, after I gave my answer to this former student via my cell phone, I browsed the Internet and found that this question is posted online and that some guys insist that D, rather than C, is correct. Anyway, their reasons are not convincing and I still think my answer is correct. So, I would like you, especially native speakers of English, to help me with this multiple-choice question and give your reason(s). BTW, do you native speakers say "at our college library"? If you say "at a library", then what is the difference between "borrow books from a library" and "borrow books at a library"? Thanks a lot.


    Richard
    Last edited by ohmyrichard; 16-Jul-2013 at 10:59.

  2. #2
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Re: that or where or something else?

    Quote Originally Posted by ohmyrichard View Post
    Dear teachers,

    Just now my former student texted me asking a question about the following mutiple-choice question:

    It was at our college library ____ I borrowed the novel.

    A. which B. in which C. that D. where

    I think the correct choice is C and my reason is that this sentence uses the structure of "It is ... that/which/who..." to emphasize the part of "at our college library". However, after I gave my answer to this former student via my cell phone, I browsed the Internet and found that this question is posted online and that some guys insist that D, rather than C, is correct. Anyway, their reasons are not convincing and I still think my answer is correct. So, I would like you, especially native speakers of English, to help me with this multiple-choice question and give your reason(s). BTW, do you native speakers say "at our college library"? And what is the difference between "borrow books from a library" and "borrow books at a library"? Thanks a lot.


    Richard
    I would use "that", if I had to choose. However, I find "I borrowed the novel from the college library" much more natural.

  3. #3
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Re: that or where or something else?

    It was at our college library ____ I borrowed the novel.

    'Where' or 'at which' would only be correct if there was a comma, and the meaning would be different:
    "It was at our college library, where I borrowed the novel." This means that something else was at the college library, and incidentally, that's where I borrowed the novel. Without a comma, it has to mean what bhaisahab has said, and 'that' is the only alternative.

  4. #4
    ptetpe is offline Junior Member
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    Re: that or where or something else?

    This looks like a cleft sentence, which has an adjunct realized by the prepositional phrase "at our college library" as its focused element. Hence "that" is correct.
    If this was a relative clause,with "our college library" as a fairly specific antecedent, I wonder if the following paraphrase is correct?

    It was our college library where I borrowed the novel from.

  5. #5
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Re: that or where or something else?

    Quote Originally Posted by ptetpe View Post
    This looks like a cleft sentence, which has an adjunct realized by the prepositional phrase "at our college library" as its focused element. Hence "that" is correct.
    If this was a relative clause,with "our college library" as a fairly specific antecedent, I wonder if the following paraphrase is correct?

    It was our college library where I borrowed the novel from.
    No, it isn't.

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