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Thread: which or that?

  1. #1
    Matthewxua is offline Newbie
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    Default which or that?

    Here is a multiple choice:
    There are a lot of oranges in the kitchen. Those____I bought the day before yesterday taste better.
    A who B that C which D as
    Here the answer is C
    I know the rule that those should be followed by who when reffered to a people. For example: Those who like the book can contact me.
    Is it true that when those refer to something, we must use which? Can't we use B that?

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    Default Re: which or that?

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthewxua View Post
    Here is a multiple choice:
    There are a lot of oranges in the kitchen. Those____I bought the day before yesterday taste better.
    A who B that C which D as
    Here the answer is C
    I know the rule that those should be followed by who when reffered to a people. For example: Those who like the book can contact me.
    Is it true that when those refer to something, we must use which? Can't we use B that?
    I'm personally not sure which word is grammatically correct, but in everyday speech here in the USA, most people would use "that" instead of "which" in this case...however, "which" sounds more intelligent and is probably preferred in grammar...but both "that" and "which" would work and make sense in everyday USA speech. "Which" also seems to flow better in that particular sentence.

    I can think of an example where both words are used. If you transform the old saying "all that glitters is not gold," you can get "that which glitters is not always gold."

  3. #3
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Default Re: which or that?

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthewxua View Post
    Here is a multiple choice:
    There are a lot of oranges in the kitchen. Those____I bought the day before yesterday taste better.
    A who B that C which D as
    Here the answer is C
    I know the rule that those should be followed by who when reffered to a people. For example: Those who like the book can contact me.
    Is it true that when those refer to something, we must use which? Can't we use B that?
    If you are defining something by distinguishing it from a larger class of which it is a member, use “that”: “I chose the lettuce that had the fewest wilted leaves.” When the general class is not being limited or defined in some way, then “which” is appropriate: “He made an iceberg Caesar salad, which didn’t taste quite right.” Note that “which” is normally preceded by a comma, but “that” is not.

    In your example I would say that "B" is the correct answer.

  4. #4
    CHOMAT is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: which or that?

    the comma is not compulsory before which, depending on whether it is a defining relative clause or an undefining clause:
    two horses which he owned ( defining) no comma vs
    He walked down to Broadway, the main street of the town, which ran parallel to the river ( comma)
    I would opt for that B here as well. that implies that the antecedent has been somehow defined. The oranges you bought the day before belong to that pile of oranges in the kitchen. With those you extract some of them.

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    Default Re: which or that?

    Quote Originally Posted by CHOMAT View Post
    the comma is not compulsory before which, depending on whether it is a defining relative clause or an undefining clause:
    two horses which he owned ( defining) no comma vs
    He walked down to Broadway, the main street of the town, which ran parallel to the river ( comma)
    I would opt for that B here as well. that implies that the antecedent has been somehow defined. The oranges you bought the day before belong to that pile of oranges in the kitchen. With those you extract some of them.
    To use a comma or no comma with the word "which" depends on what's being defined.

    Comma

    As for using "that" or "which," it wasn't really taught as a strict rule in my schooling growing up in the USA, and I hear American speakers use either word interchangeably.

  6. #6
    CHOMAT is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: which or that?

    which in a defining relative c. sticks to the noun group in the main. This is the relative which defines the subject in the main.
    in an undefining c, with a comma, which and the relative clause does not define the noun group, it gives more details on it but the subject has been already defined beforehand.

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