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  1. #1
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    Default relative clauses

    Hi everyone, I would like to know if the following sentences are grammatically correct
    1) The leather (that/which) we make the jackets with is expensive
    2) The leather is the material (that/which) we made the jackets with
    3) The leather that is the material (that/which) we made the jackets with is expensive.
    4a) The woman whose house I was linving in for 2 years is nice
    or should I say
    4b) The woman in whose house I was leaving for 2 years is nice ?

    I know that we could use sentences more simple to express the same ideas, but I really would like to know if grammatically this sentences are correct.

    thank you...

  2. #2
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    Default Re: relative clauses

    As long as you don't add commas (, which...,) either which or that is fine for 1) and 2). (Please see note on notorious confusables below).

    1) The leather (that/which) we make the jackets with is expensive. (OK)
    2) The leather is the material (that/which) we made the jackets with. (OK)

    Note that, in 2) 'The leather' should be either This leather or That leather or even The leather here.

    In both 1) and 2) the subject is 'leather' and the verb is 'is'. The relative clauses are 1) that/which we make the jackets with; 2) that/which we made the jackets with. In 1) the relative clause modifies the subject 'leather'; in 2) the relative clause modifies the subject complement (also called a predicate nominal/noun) 'material'.

    3) The leather that is the material (that/which) we made the jackets with is expensive. (Not OK)


    Note that, the relative that and the noun 'leather' both function as the subject of the verb 'is'. There can only be one subject. :wink:


    4a) The woman whose house I was living in for 2 years is nice. (OK)

    Note, Spelling: living, not leaving. :D

    In 4a) the subject is 'woman' and the verb is 'is'. The relative clause is 'whose house I was living in for 2 years'. It modifies the subject.


    4b) The woman in whose house I was living for 2 years is nice.

    In 4b) The subject is 'woman', the verb 'is', the relative clause 'whose house I was living for 2 years', and the preposition 'in' has been topicalized:

    Base form: I was living in the woman's house
    WH-Replacement: I was living in whose house.
    Movement: in whose house I was living.

    4b) is marginal: The preposition 'in' separates the noun 'woman' from its modifier 'whose house', but, since 'in' is part of the phrase 'in whose house', speakers will topicalize it along with the phrase.

    The woman in whose house I was living for two years is nice.

    Quote Originally Posted by notorious confusables
    WHICH VERSUS THAT
    The word which can be used to introduce both restrictive and nonrestrictive clauses, although many writers use it exclusively to introduce nonrestrictive clauses; the word that can be used to introduce only restrictive clauses. Think of the difference between

    1. "The garage that my uncle built is falling down."

    and

    2. "The garage, which my uncle built, is falling down."

    I can say the first sentence anywhere and the listener will know exactly which garage I'm talking about the one my uncle built. The second sentence, however, I would have to utter, say, in my back yard, while I'm pointing to the dilapidated garage. In other words, the "that clause" has introduced information that you need or you wouldn't know what garage I'm talking about (so you don't need/can't have commas); the "which clause" has introduced nonessential, "added" information (so you do need the commas).

    We recommend Michael Quinion's article on the usage of which and that in his World Wide Words.

    Incidentally, some writers insist that the word that cannot be used to refer to people, but in situations where the people are not specifically named, it is acceptable.

    The students that study most usually do the best.

    (But we would write "The Darling children, who have enrolled in the Lab School, are doing well.")

    Click here to view the source.

  3. #3
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    Thank you very much...

  4. #4
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    You're welcome.

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