Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 11 to 16 of 16

Thread: grammer

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    671
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: grammer

    I do see the difference, of course. But native speakers would not normally use no. 2 (it should be ", who have been..." in this case, as it should have been in my original example ;-(). They would say something like "I like to talk to anyone, but I particularly like to talk to my friends, as they have been to America.", or "I like to talk to my friends; they have been to America."

    My point is that native speakers are either unaware of the grammatical distinction, or know that it is so seldom observed that they must reconstruct the sentence. This is done instinctively, and with the understanding that No. 1 is the common interpretation whether 'that' or 'which/who' is used. A careful writer will therefore use the construction "I like to talk to those of my friends that have been to America." even though "those of" is not strictly necessary.

    When we have this problem, we should deprecate the grammtical rule in my opinion. It would avoid potential misunderstandings.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    12,971
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: grammer

    Quote Originally Posted by nyggus
    I think that even though in casual (or spoken) English the difference between 'which' and 'that' is often not noticed, in formal English it is. In academic writing, free exchanging of these words is interpreted as a mistake, and I think this is good.
    From Guide to Grammar and Writing
    The word which can be used to introduce both restrictive and nonrestrictive clauses, although many writers use it exclusively to introduce nonrestrictive clauses; ...
    From World Wide Words: WHICH VERSUS THAT

    To judge from correspondence, and from comments ... from time to time, there is confusion over which of these words to use when introducing clauses that modify nouns. This is not surprising, as there has been a shift in usage this century and older style books give different advice from newer ones.

    Older style guides make two firm points about the difference between the two types of clause:
    • Restrictive clauses are introduced by that and are not separated from the rest of the sentence by commas.
    • Non-restrictive clauses are introduced by which and must be separated by commas from the rest of the sentence to indicate parenthesis.
    The problem is that few people have followed these rules systematically, and you can find lots of examples where the relative pronoun which is used to start a restrictive clause. The 1965 edition of Fowler’s Modern English Usage comments:
    If writers would agree to regard that as the defining relative pronoun, and which as the non-defining, there would be much gain both in lucidity and in ease. Some there are who follow this principle now; but it would be idle to pretend that it is the practice either of most or of the best writers.
    This is even more true today than when he wrote it and most modern style guides say that either relative pronoun can be used with restrictive clauses. For example, I found this sentence quoted approvingly as an example under the equivalent section in “Oxford English”:
    A suitcase which has lost its handle is useless.
    The clause “which has lost its handle” is certainly restrictive. If you take it out, you are left with “A suitcase is useless”, obviously a different meaning to that intended. So, according to Fowler’s rule, the which ought to be that.

    Read more about the 'which hunt' here.

  3. #13
    dihen is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • (Afan) Oromo
      • Home Country:
      • Aaland
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    475
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: grammer

    Isn't it that "which" shouldn't be used with people and should be like the following? :
    `
    1) "I have friends that I trust",
    or:
    2) "I have friends who/whom I trust"
    and
    1. "I like to talk to my friends who/that have been to America.",
    or:
    2. "I like to talk to my friends, who have been to America."
    Last edited by dihen; 04-Jun-2006 at 06:13.

  4. #14
    Szymon is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    92
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: grammer

    it is the comma that makes the difference, not 'which'/'who'/'that', 'which' is more formal than 'that' but 'that' is not used to introduce a non-defining clause

    1)"I have friends who/m (or 'that') I trust" I trust some of my many friends
    2) "I have friends, who (non-defining clause) I trust" I trust all of my friends

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    671
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: grammer

    Quote Originally Posted by Szymon
    it is the comma that makes the difference, not 'which'/'who'/'that', 'which' is more formal than 'that' but 'that' is not used to introduce a non-defining clause
    1)"I have friends who/m (or 'that') I trust" I trust some of my many friends
    2) "I have friends, who (non-defining clause) I trust" I trust all of my friends
    With the greatest respect, please try not to interject into a long-running thread without first reading the post history. I am sorry, but you are completely incorrect.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    12,971
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: grammer

    From One Stop English.com

    When a relative pronoun is functioning as the subject of the verb in a relative clause and refers back to a thing or things, the relative pronouns which or that are used, e.g.:

    I’ve bought a new oven that comes on automatically.
    There are systems which are much more reliable.

    From Edict.com

    EX: Poor families (which/that) already possess a child should not attempt to have another.

    ... both which and that forms of the non-human pronoun may be used here because the family may be viewed as a non-human unit. This is an example of an identifying (sometimes called defining) clause. It is so named because it clearly specifies which kind of families are being referred to.

    See more examples here.

Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12

Similar Threads

  1. Grammer
    By Becks N in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 07-Feb-2006, 00:43
  2. english grammer
    By Anonymous in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 17-Dec-2005, 10:18
  3. What is the correct Grammer?
    By hunny2505 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 15-Nov-2005, 17:51
  4. correcting grammer and structure!
    By Recardo in forum Editing & Writing Topics
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 30-Sep-2004, 23:49

Posting Permissions

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