Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11

    • Join Date: Feb 2007
    • Posts: 23
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #1

    is this sentence correct?

    A media officer from U.S. troops in Iraq told CNN that chemical materials had
    been found in five facilities what seemed to be bomb factories near Fallujah.


    Could you tell me if this sentence is correct?
    I am not confident as to the way I used "what."

  1. csharp's Avatar

    • Join Date: Feb 2007
    • Posts: 51
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #2

    Re: is this sentence correct?

    I think you should use "which" to replace for "what"


    • Join Date: May 2006
    • Posts: 1,335
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #3

    Re: is this sentence correct?

    I agree with Cs,
    You could keep what if you left out five facilities.


    • Join Date: Sep 2005
    • Posts: 260
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #4

    Re: is this sentence correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by csharp View Post
    I think you should use "which" to replace for "what"
    'What' is wrong, but you need to be careful about using 'which' or 'that'. In this sentence you can't simply replace 'what' with 'which'.

    'That' is used with restrictive clauses, 'which' is used for non-restrictive clause. This means that 'which' should be preceded by a comma.

    In the sentence given, 'seemed to be bomb factories' is additional, non-restrictive, information - it could simply say 'five facilities near Fallujah' and still be a complete sentence.

    That means it should be introduced by 'which' as you say, but it should also be separated by commas.

    "A media officer from U.S. troops in Iraq told CNN that chemical materials had been found in five facilities, which seemed to be bomb factories, near Fallujah."


    There may be a counter argument that 'seemed to be bomb factories' is restrictive - out of all the facilities inspected, only ones with explosives seemed to be bomb factories. That would make the sentence

    "A media officer from U.S. troops in Iraq told CNN that chemical materials had been found in five facilities that seemed to be bomb factories near Fallujah."

    My own view is that the facilities seem to be bomb factories because they contain explosives, so all explosive-containing facilities seem to be bomb-factories and it is non-restrictive.


    If you want to use the restrictive option, the sentence would need a bit more modifying.

    "A media officer from U.S. troops in Iraq told CNN that chemical materials had been found in five facilities near Fallujah that seemed to be bomb factories."

    This is because 'near Fallujah' should not be modified by 'seemed'. They seemed to be bomb factories, but they did not seem to be near Fallujah. They are definitely near Fallujah, so those two ideas should be kept together.


    • Join Date: Feb 2007
    • Posts: 41
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #5

    Re: is this sentence correct?

    As far as I know, you can replace "which" with "taht" all the time when the caluse is defining.
    For example: This is my car (that/which, you can use no pronoun) cost me a lot. ( I don't have a car by the way )

    Am I right?


    • Join Date: Sep 2005
    • Posts: 260
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #6

    Re: is this sentence correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by Riyadh View Post
    As far as I know, you can replace "which" with "taht" all the time when the caluse is defining.
    For example: This is my car (that/which, you can use no pronoun) cost me a lot. ( I don't have a car by the way )

    Am I right?
    Some say that 'which' or 'that' are equally acceptable for a defining relative clause, but I don't agree.

    'That' is a defining relative pronoun, while 'which' isn't, so to be strictly accurate only 'that' can be used in a defining/restrictive relative clause.

    Here is a quote from the wonderful book "The Kings English", written by H.W. Fowler.

    ''that' is the defining, 'who' or 'which' the non-defining relative; the reason for each modification is given in its place. We must here remind the reader of the distinction drawn (...)between defining and non-defining clauses: a defining clause limits the application of the antecedent, enabling us to select from the whole class to which the antecedent is applicable the particular individual or individuals meant.

    'That' should never be used to introduce a non-defining clause; (...)'Who' or 'which' should not be used in defining clauses except when custom, euphony, or convenience is decidedly against the use of 'that'.'



    'Which', by the way, should always be used when it is referring to the whole preceding clause rather than the preceding noun.


    • Join Date: May 2006
    • Posts: 1,335
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #7

    Re: is this sentence correct?

    Hi,
    Here’s from my archive ( I don’t know the source):
    “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.”

    The conclusion: it’s always correct to use which (without a comma) in restrictive clauses.

    Regards


    • Join Date: Sep 2005
    • Posts: 260
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #8

    Re: is this sentence correct?

    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.
    I agree, a lot of people do use 'that' or 'which' incorrectly. A lot of people also start sentences with conjunctions. It is a matter of debate whether that makes it acceptable or not: I would argue not.




    most modern style guides say that either relative pronoun can be used with restrictive clauses.
    I already mentioned that! - 'Some say that 'which' or 'that' are equally acceptable for a defining relative clause, but I don't agree.'

    Saying that is effectively dumping the idea of restrictive and non-restrictive pronouns. In what way is that an improvement? It may allow some to remember one pronoun less, but I find that a deterioration in the language rather than an improvement.


    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.”
    I would agree with Fowler. It should be 'that', and I would use 'that'.


    • Join Date: Feb 2007
    • Posts: 41
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #9

    Re: is this sentence correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by Riyadh View Post
    As far as I know, you can replace "which" with "taht" all the time when the caluse is defining.
    For example: This is my car (that/which, you can use no pronoun) cost me a lot. ( I don't have a car by the way )

    Am I right?
    Sorry for the mistake I've made. In the example I gave you can't omit the pronoun coz it functions as the subject.


    • Join Date: Jan 2007
    • Posts: 21
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #10

    Re: is this sentence correct?

    I think in this case 'which' and 'that' can both be used with a defining clause.

    Grammar is always changing and the fact that so many people do use both means that is has or will become part of the 'officail' grammar rules.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. help correct my sentence
    By esophea in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 27-Mar-2010, 18:23
  2. Is this sentence correct?
    By snade17 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 31-Mar-2009, 01:12
  3. correct sentence
    By shaukat mahmood in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 06-Oct-2006, 18:30
  4. Is the sentence correct?
    By Hanka in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 03-Oct-2006, 22:51
  5. grammar
    By jiang in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 17-Dec-2003, 20:02

Posting Permissions

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