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  1. #1
    Hanka is offline Senior Member
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    Default identifying clauses

    Hi,

    my grammar book says that in case of identifying clauses it is possible to use both "which" and "that". (e.g. The book that/which I gave to you is really easy to read). Are there any cases where "that" is the only possibility and "which" is not correct?

    Thank you very much.

    Hanka

  2. #2
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: identifying clauses

    Quote Originally Posted by Hanka View Post
    Hi,

    my grammar book says that in case of identifying clauses it is possible to use both "which" and "that". (e.g. The book that/which I gave to you is really easy to read). Are there any cases where "that" is the only possibility and "which" is not correct?

    Thank you very much.

    Hanka
    "That" is never used for non-restrictive clauses, i.e., those that are not necessary for the sentence to be meaningful and are set off by commas.

    In BrE, either can be used for restrictive clauses. In AmE, "that" is far more commonly used for restrictive clauses.

    restrictive clause: The book that I gave you is easy to read.
    nonrestrictive clause: This book, which was written by James Joyce, is difficult to read.

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